November 22, 2006


Concerning the opening paragraphs

Ace -- quiet sick a flu that will not quite quit
reinsulted, as it were....enjoying the status

Fed -- wait till you hear what a night I had

Ace --last wk you were famous i heard brasss bands
playing, medals were being pinned on chests
all yr revs were starred....

but since then....silence, no but slnc

Fed -- silence everywhere

you can't even hear

the rustle of the

falling leaves

silence from all sides

and worse

today some guy writes a description of a stage adaptation he is doing in Lille of Mon Corps en Neuf Partie -- and talking about the author -- he says 80 years old experimental ecrivain ... tatata

fucking guy makes me 80

that hurts

well let me tell you about last night

last night while watching the chargers demolish the broncos did you see LT

4 touchdowns well we were watching with some typical americans at their typical american house you know the type that put the booze away endlessly and recklessly

not me though I don't drink that shit especially not bad california wine I'm a chauviniste de premiere classe and a snob too

so instead of boozing I eat and eat and eat well let's call it nibble I nibble and nibble but the stuff I was nibbling was well you know typical american grub made special for watching a football game with americans

need I say more

well I kept stuffing myself especially when Lt was scoring another touchdown

100 touchdowns in 83 games jim brown move over

anyway I even had ice cream a huge portion

which is not good for me erica says

but what does she know

ice cream makes me feel joyful and ticklish inside

well after that last night I couldn't sleep

I kept burping and belching and rotting

I almost barfed I couldn't stay in bed

in the prone position neither left or right side

the fucking serial belching kept coming

and with them the bile that tasted like

burnt carrot juice spiced with garlic

I couldn't take it any more

I went downstairs and sat

in my leather rocking chair

straight up I sat all night

my legs dangling

wrapped in a blanket

I didn't even turn on the tv

I just stared into the dark

belching and belching

and feeling the bile

rising inside of me

into my throat

and I felt so sick

and lonely

and humiliated

so to take my mind

away from the belching

I started rewriting in my head

the first two paragraphs of

chut histoire d'une enfance

by the way that's the subtitle

story of a childhood

and this morning I typed

the two paragraphs

I reworked in my head

here look

in french of course

but i'll do an english version

of these two paragraphs

so that the unilinguists

can have an idea of what

is going on chez federman

those two paragraphs

tell the whole story

I even wonder if I should

add another word

why can a novel be

two paragraphs long

with a title

and a subtitle

and of course

the name of the author


written on the same page

as the title & subtitle

histoire d’une enfance

Raymond Federman

Chut ...

Ce chut ... J’ai bien des fois raconté que c’était le dernier mot que j’ai entendu de ma mère, ce triste jour de juillet 1942 quand la porte du cabinet de débarras dans lequel ma mère m’avait poussé
se referma sur moi.


This shhh ... I have often told that it was the last word I heard from my mother, that sad day of July 1942, when the door of the closet into which my mother had pushed me closed upon me.

Chut, murmura ma mère. Et les quatorze premières années de ma vie furent englouties dans l’obscurité de ce débarras au troisième étage de notre immeuble. Moi qui avais si peur du noir quand j’étais petit, moi qui n’osais pas aller au cabinet dans la cour tout seul parce qu’il faisait trop noir dedans, moi qui tremblais de peur quand je devais descendre dans la sombre cave de notre maison chercher du charbon pour notre salamandre, moi qui avais si peur des gros rats noirs qui cavalaient dans la cave, moi je suis resté dans le noir de ce cabinet de débarras pendant toute une journée et toute une nuit, perdu dans l’incompréhension.

Shhh, murmured my mother. And the 14 first years of my life vanished into the obscurity of the closet on the third floor of our house. Me who was so afraid of the dark when I was small, me who couldn't go alone at night in the toilet in the courtyard because it was so dark in it, me who trembled with fear when my father sent me to fetch coal in the dark basement of the house where huge black rats attacked me, me I stayed in the black hole of the closet for one full day and one night, lost in incomprehension.

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