A couple, moving into a house, children. A story can have an infinite number of versions, which implies that all stories are one and the same – they are part of the same fictional universe. A couple moves into a house, they have no children but are young enough to have them. It is Sunday afternoon: A boy lies face down on the street outside the house. He bleeds from his forehead, the couple takes him to their living room. They tend to his wound. He says nothing. Couple, house (moving into), children. Many possibilities. But our story begins (and ends) thus:
A man died of old age. The only heir, a male poet of some recognition, cleared out the man’s, his father’s, house. He found a cassette in the VHS player. It was probably the last thing his father had watched before he died. Out of curiosity, the poet, the man’s son, played it. The unlabeled cassette appeared to contain a late 70’s – or early 80’s – thriller/detective movie. There was no clear plot, no main characters and it started and ended in the middle of a scene, as if the cassette only contained the movie’s middle section. Continue reading “Beyond the Pinkroom”
One infection caused pathological sensitivity to ordinary spring rain. There are few things that harbor the bittersweet imprint of human lust to a greater extent than the sound of silvery drops of water in the dying night. But spring doesn’t kill the night completely – and the effects of this particular infection were awful. No one managed to figure out what caused it and how it spread. It seemed to emerge randomly and instantly, causing the rain to burn the skin like acid. Before long, governments imposed curfews when the skies were heavy in May. Continue reading “Infections”
Günter’s house was burnt to the ground. He died in the fire. The work has turned to ash.
I remember our conversations.
Talk held for the Swedish Academy on 1 September 2017
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The King takes a shit in his chambers. There is blood in the stool. There are throbs of pain in his belly. He is dying. Continue reading “The King Shits Blood”