Pigeon, Gator, Horses, Humans
I have not read Patrick Suskind’s novel Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, published in 1985, his second of six books. I saw the terrific 2006 film adaptation. When The Pigeon, a novella, came my way, I was curious, even though the front cover refers to it as a fable and the back likens it to Kafka, whose work I found difficult. 77 pages, it’s the story of a Paris armed bank security guard, five years from retirement, living an orderly life alone in a tiny room. One day as he is leaving for work, there is a pigeon and poop in the hall, and it freaks him out, most of the turmoil inner. Many suffer disruptions to daily routine and may be made miserable temporarily by it. I have, the latest a parking dispute that was upsetting even though I believe didn’t do anything wrong. It bothered me most of the night and had me likening myself to the protagonist of the book. His reaction seems extreme, however, highly unusual, akin to mental illness. Perhaps it is attributable to his background. His parents were killed in concentration camps. As a boy, he was sent to live with an uncle on a farm in France and immediately put to work. He was tricked into a marriage with a pregnant woman that lasted only four months. It is a sound though unsatisfying portrait. I don’t think there is a broader meaning, although, as often I’ve said in the blog, I have never been good at interpreting symbolism. The translation by John E. Woods is first rate. I learned a new word: clochard, defined as a beggar, vagrant. 201 users at Amazon have rated The Pigeon, forging to a consensus of 4.4 on a scale of five. I’ll go with three. Woods specializes in German works, having translated 12 other writers, including luminaries such as Gunter Grass and Thomas Mann. Here’s Suskind, who’s now 71:
Just a normal day for a Florida cop. Photo from foxnews.com:
Yeah, that’s right — it’s the border patrol agents on horseback and their whips that are the problem, not the policy that invites illegal immigration. I mighta known.
A picture perfect day followed the heavy overnight rain. My thanks to The Quiet Man, who returned for another DVD, Marauders (2016), with which I’m completely unfamiliar; and to Wolf, who took home two others, the remake of the 1975 film The Killer Elite (2011) and Killing Them Softly (2012); and to the gentleman who bought That Was Then, This Is Now by S. E. Hinton; and to Nadine, who purchased a beautiful hardcover edition of Grimm Brothers’ Fairy Tales and a book on Buddhism.
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