Monday, December 12, 2005

Something from 'Everything' (1)

From Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer (pp. 28-29):

A few days before the hero was to arrive, I inquired Father if I could go forth to America when I made to graduate from university. "No," he said. "But I want to," I informed him. "I do not care what you want," he said, and that is usually the end of the conversation, but it was not this time. "Why?" I asked. "Because what you want is not important to me, Shapka." "No," I said, "why is it that I cannot go forth to America after I graduate?" "If you want to know why you cannot go forth to America," he said, unclosing the refrigerator, investigating for food, "it is because Great-Grandfather was from Odessa, and Grandfather was from Odessa, and Father, me, was from Odessa, and your boys will be from Odessa. Also, you are going to toil at Heritage Touring when you are graduated. It is a necessary employment, premium enough for Grandfather, premium enough for me, and premium enough for you." "But what if it is not what I desire?" I said. "What if I do not want to toil at Heritage Touring, but instead toil someplace where I can do something unordinary, and make very much currency instead of just a petite amount? What if I do not want my boys to grow up here, but instead to grow up someplace superior, with superior things, and more things? What if I have girls?" Father removed three pieces of ice from the refrigerator, closed the refrigerator, and punched me. "Put these on your face," he said, giving the ice to me, "so you do not look terrible and manufacture a disaster in Lvov." This was the end of the conversation. I should have been smarter.

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