"Don't worry your pretty head over it," I remarked as I followed them through the doorway. What I left unsaid was this: It was the poems that failed to beat about the bush, not the orgasms with this bewitching sea nymph, which risked to cut short Mandelstam's ifeline. Not to mention mine. When we'd burst through the door of the flat earlier, I'd instantly detected what my husband, too enthralled by Zinaida's petal-of-rose perfume, had missed: the stale aroma of a strong tobacco that only men smoked. And I noticed, as I was meant to, that the glass ashtray on the windowsill was filled with cigarette ends. I didn't have the heart to spoil Mandelstam's Lucullan banquet by telling him we'd had visitors. At least for the space of a few hours, he would put behind him the agony of no longer being published, the indignity of reading his poems to eleven people, the humiliation of Once, long ago, there was such a poet.
Dear God in heaven, while he still has a muse and an erection, arrange things so the sun will simply fail to rise tomorrow morning. Amen.
Copyright © 2009 by Robert Littell
Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!
Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only
If there is anything more dangerous to the life of the mind than having no independent commitment to ideas...
Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.
Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.