Cosas Que Leo #162: EL CANTO DE LA NIEVE SILENCIOSA, Hubert Selby Jr.

“Mike oía sus risas y se sentía molesto, no porque no deseara que fueran felices, sino porque deseaba que sus risas de algún modo aliviasen su dolor, el dolor que le crecía dentro como una carcoma, haciendo que su cuerpo y su mente se retorcieran de tensión, un dolor magnificado por la culpa y el remordimiento abrumadores, un dolor que aumentaba a medida que aceptaba la certeza de que le había roto la mano a su hermano, y en su interior sabía que lo había hecho”

El canto de la nieve silenciosa

HUBERT SELBY JR.

Hermida Editores, 2021 (publicado originalmente en 1986 como Song of the silent snow)

217 págs.

Traducción de José Luis Piquero

Cosas Que Leo #159: LARGA TEMPORADA, Wright Morris

Wright Morris - "Larga temporada" – Libros Walden

“- Viejo amigo -dijo-, ¿piensas que soy un hijo de puta?

– No sé que pensar -dije.

– Bueno, pues lo soy. Soy un hijo de puta desde hace tanto tiempo que voy a hacer algo bueno con ello. Voy a escribir el mejor libro que un hijo de puta haya escrito jamás.”

Larga temporada

WRIGHT MORRIS

Libros Walden, 2020 (publicado originalmente como The huge season en 1954)

316 págs.

Traducción de Manuel Moreno

Cosas Que Leo #85: NORTHLINE, Willy Vlautin

“When she sat up she petted the dog and said, ‘Is it cold out there? You cold?’

‘It’s not so bad once you get out. But there’s no need for you to get up. You stay in bed as long as you want.’

‘I will then’, she said and smiled. ‘It sure is beautiful out there’.

‘When I got out of the hospital, when I was good enough to walk around, my uncle and I came out here. He’s got a small camping trailer. It was fall and colder than shit but we stayed out here week. During the day we’d just drive around. We’d explore, get firewood, go drinking at the bars in Gerlach. We’d drive up to Cedarville and Eagleville. We’d sit in the hot springs. Then in the evening just before dark we’d cook dinner, then we’d get in the trailer and try not to freeze to death. I was pretty damn down. I moped around an awful lot, and my uncle he didn’t know what the hell to do with me. But by the end of the trip I was a hell of a lot better than I was when I first got in his truck on the way out here. Everything makes better sense when you’re in the middle of nowhere.”

Northline

WILLY VLAUTIN

Faber & Faber, 2008

192 págs.

Cosas Que Leo #46: LADIES MAN, Richard Price

“On the farthest court from me, three Puerto Rican teenagers played paddleball -two, short twitchy butted girls in hip-high pea-coats against a skinny kid in a brimmed porkpie hat and a premature moustache. The kid was showing off, hitting the ball behind his back, between his legs, smacking one girl on the ass with his paddle, adjusting, readjusting his hat. The girls were laughing, stiff-arming their swings, innuendoing to each other with their eyes. He had a hard-on. Anytime the girls scored a point he groaned or slapped his forehead or said, “Ah must be getting’ old!” Once in a while he slammed a killer just so they would know he was a layback but active volcano.

Candy moved his weight well. They both had good coordination, but it had been a long time, and they played like shit.

By the basketball courts, on our bench, three identically dressed Puerto Rican guys sat on the top slat, backs against the fence, hands in coat pockets, feet on the seat slats. Against the far mesh wall a kid also in a porkpie leaned into his girlfriend, whose back was curved into the fence. His hands were in his pockets and he supported himself by resting his long thigh in her crotch.

That was us. All of it. All of it. Me and Sandy Talla against the fence. Me and Suzie and Dawn and Ronnie playing handball. Me and Donny and Brazil shooting hoops. Me and the boys bullshitting on the bench listening to WMCA, WABC, WINS.

I felt a rush of panic. For a second I thought I lost my sample case. Then I remembered it was in Candy’s car. Outside the playground two sixteen-year-old blond Irish girls walked by in pea coats and I got hit with a sweetness, a sweet horniness, and I remembered what it was like to thrill to a tongue in my mouth, a tit in my hand, perfume in my nose. The delicious gut-wrenching agony of the time in my life when titty was king and I never even knew girls had cunts. Another el train roared overhead, bringing back the millions of el trains that had roared past my window and I started crying.

Nothing heavy. Just misty sadness. It was over. It had been the best and now it was over and nothing had ever felt as good. We had peaked back then, and all we’d been doing since was dying.

I heard Candy groan as though he just got skewered with a sword. I glanced up in time to see the pink ball soar over the factory roof. End of the game. They slowly staggered over to me, breathing heavily. Donny looked miserable. Candy’s chest was heaving like a bellows and perspiration dripped steadily off his nose. I wasn’t sure if it showed that I had been crying. If any of us had had anything real going on in our lives we never would have come back.

“Gentlemen? We are very lost people”.

Donny caught my eye for a second, then looked away. Candy stared at me, still wheezing. Raising his hand above his head, he wiped the sweat off his face with his shoulder. “Speak for yourself, Kenny”.

“Yeah, Candy? Whata you got?”

“Kids. I got kids, Kenny, and they’re the best”. He lightly slapped Donny on the chest with the back of his hand while looking at me. “C’mon, I’ll blow you guys to Tabs”.”

Ladies Man

RICHARD PRICE

Bloomsbury 1998 (publicado originalmente en 1978)

264 págs.

Cosas Que Leo #12: THE WAPSHOT SCANDAL, John Cheever

Wapshot

“Among guests was Shakespearean actress. Lottie Beauchamp. Pronounced Beecham. Played supporting roles with Farquarson Grant Stratford and Avon Shakespearean Co. Traveled with own bed-linen, silver, jams and jellies. Mlle. Beauchamp as she was then known to writer appeared at desk late in evening with sad tale. Had lost pearl necklace on beach. Remembered where she had left it but was reluctant to venture on dark shore alone. Writer accompanied star-boarder on search. Mild night. Moon, stars, etc. Gentle swell. Found necklace on stone in sheltered cove. Admired scenery, warmth of night air, moon riding in west. Mlle. Beauchamp breathing heavily. Pleasant hour ensued. Writer dozed off. Woke to find famous Thespian jumping up and down in moonlight, holding breasts to keep from jouncing. Moon madness? What are you doing? Well, you don’t want me to have a child do you? says she. Jumped up and down. Never experienced such behavior before or since. Seemed to work.

Lottie Beauchamp was 5’6”. 117 lbs. Age unknown. Paine’s Celery Compound Complexion. Light brown hair. Would be called blonde nowadays. Excellent but excessive topside structure by modern standards. Golden voice. Could raise your hackles, also bring tears to every eye. Noticeable English accent but not foreign sounding or in other way unpleasant. Fastidious nature. Traveled with own bed-linen as noted above. Hot house flowers in bedroom. Spoke however of humble beginnings. Daughter of a Leeds mill worker. Mother was drunkard. Familiar with cold, hunger, poverty, destitution, etc., in childhood. A dungheap rose. Enjoyed ample stock of artistic temperament. Very volatile. Complained liberally to management about lack of hot water and lumpiness of bed but was always gracious to servants. Sometimes repented of life as actress. All mummery and sham. Needed tenderness. Writer happy to accommodate. No question of wrong-doing or so it semed.”

The Wapshot Scandal

JOHN CHEEVER

(Harper Perennial 2003, con prólogo de Dave Eggers; publicado por primera vez en 1959; publicado en España como El escándalo de los Wapshot, RBA, y como Los Wapshot, Debolsillo, en volúmen doble junto a La crónica de los Wapshot)

302 págs.

Bohemia en el Midwest: Dalva, de Jim Harrison

Ya he vuelto de vacaciones. Hola. Esta es mi reseña del Dalva, de Jim Harrison, que publicó Babelia de El País el 16 de agosto. Espero que les guste, tanto mi pieza como el libro.

Kurt Vonnegut: ideas tatuables

Esta es mi primera colaboración con Babelia, de El País. Vendrán muchas más. Es un Top 5 de pistas sobre Vonnegut. Mi querido Vonnegut.

Les conmino a que la lean aquí. La cosa no podía empezar mejor.