Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Tiny Brilliant Fiction Fix

Lenin's just put me in a Kafka state of mind, thanks to a rather high-flown comparison of Our Dear Leader to Red Peter (a comparison in which, frankly, the latter is substantially the slandered party).

Poking around after Red Peter, I came across a short short story I'd never seen, called 'Jackals and Arabs', posted in translation by Ian Johnston of Malaspina University-College.

It's astonishing--creepy and strange and hilarious and melancholy and fantastic. Kafka all over. I militantly don't do spoilers, so I won't tell what it's about, beyond the eponymous jackals and Arabs. Go read it; it will take you 5 minutes. A snip to entice you:
'How can you bear it in this world, you noble heart and sweet entrails? Dirt is their white; dirt is their black; their beards are horrible; looking at the corner of their eyes makes one spit; and if they lift their arms, hell opens up in their arm pits.'

What better can you possibly have to do? Go.

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