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The Young Painters (by Nicole Krauss) / Fiction

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Short story about a novelist who writes a story about a painting owned by an acquaintance she met at a dinner party

FFour or five years after we got married, Your Honor, S. and I were invited to a dinner party at the home of a German dancer, who was then living in New York. At the time, S. worked at a theatre where the dancer was performing a solo piece. The apartment was small and filled with the dancer’s unusual possessions, things he had been given or had found on the street or during his tireless travels, all arranged with the sense of space, proportion, timing, and grace that made him such a joy to watch onstage. In fact, it was strange and almost frustrating to see the dancer in street clothes and brown house slippers, moving so practically through his apartment, with little or no sign of the tremendous physical talent that lay dormant in him, and I found myself craving some break in this pragmatic façade, a leap or turn, some explosion of his true energy. All the same, once I got used to this and began examining his many little collections I had the elated, otherworldly feeling I sometimes get when entering the sphere of another’s life, when for a moment changing my banal habits and living like that seems entirely possible, a feeling that always dissolves the next morning, when I wake up to the familiar, unmovable shapes of my own life.

At some point I got up from the dinner table to use the bathroom, and in the hall I passed the open door of the dancer’s bedroom. The room was spare, with only a bed and a wooden chair and a little altar with candles set up in one corner. There was a large window facing south, through which lower Manhattan hung suspended in the dark. The walls were blank except for one painting that was tacked up with pins, a vibrant picture out of whose many bright, high-spirited strokes several faces emerged, as if from a bog, now and then topped ...


Продолжение читайте в журнале English4U №6 (июнь 2011) на который можно подписаться или купить здесь.

22 июля 2011

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