jueves, 10 de julio de 2014

Milan Kundera, Fragment from Ignorance (On leaving a place)


Some fourteen months later, on the fifty second anniversary of Russia’s October Revolution, imposed o the country as a national holiday, Josef had climbed into his car in the town where he had his animal clinic and set off to see his family at the other end of the country. Arriving in their city, he slowed down; he was curious to see how many windows would be draped with red flags which, in that year of defeat, were nothing else but signals of submission. There were more of them than he expected: perhaps the people displaying them were doing so against their actual convictions, out of prudence, with some vague fear; still, they were acting voluntarily, no one was forcing them, no one was threatening them. He had pulled up in front of his family home. On the top floor, where his brother lived, there blazed a large flag, hideously red. For a very long moment Josef contemplated it from inside his car; then he turned on the ignition. On the trip home he decided to leave the country. Not that he couldn’t have lived here. He could have gone on peacefully treating cows here. But he was alone, divorced, childless, free. He reflected that he had only one life and that he wanted to live it somewhere else.

-Milan Kundera

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