jueves, 10 de julio de 2014

Milan Kundera, Fragment from Ignorance (On seeing someone again after a long time)


He rings, and his brother, five years older than he, opens the door. They grip hands and gaze at each other. These are gazes of enormous intensity, and both men know very well what is going on: they are registering – swiftly, discreetly, brother about brother- the hair, the wrinkles, the teeth; each knows what  he is looking for in the face before him, and each knows that the other is looking for the same thing in his. They are ashamed of doing so, because what they’re looking for is the probable distance between the other man and death or, to say it more bluntly, each is looking in the other man’s face for death beginning to show through. To put a quick end to that morbid scrutiny, they cast about for some phrase to make them forget those few grievous seconds, some exclamation or question, or if possible (It would be a gift from heaven) a joke (but nothing comes to their rescue).

“Come,” the brother finally says and taking Josef by the shoulders, leads him into the living room. 

-Milan Kundera

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