O MacGuffin: Roth

segunda-feira, agosto 14, 2006


“(…)Most people, he believed, would have thought of him as square. As a young man, he’d thought of himself as square, so conventional and unadventurous that after art school, instead of striking out on his own to paint and to live on whatever money he could pick at odd jobs – which was his secret ambition – he was too much the good boy, and, answering to his parents’ wishes rather than his own, he married, had children, and went into advertising to make a secure living. He never thought of himself as anything more than an average human being, and one who would have given anything for his marriage to have lasted a lifetime. He had married with just that expectation. But instead marriage became his prison cell, and so, after much tortuous thinking that preoccupied him while he worked and when he should have been sleeping, he began fitfully, agonizingly, to tunnel his way out. Isn’t that what an average human being would do? Isn’t that what average human beings do every day? Contrary to what his wife told everyone, he hadn’t hungered after wanton freedom to do anything and everything. Far from it. He hungered for something stable all the while he detested what he had. He was not a man who wished to live two lives. He held no grudge against either the limitations or the comforts of conformity. He’d wanted merely to empty his mind of all the ugly thoughts spawned by the disgrace of prolonged marital warfare. He was not claiming to be exceptional. Only vulnerable and assailable and confused. And convinced of his right, as an average human being, to be pardoned ultimately for whatever deprivations he may have inflicted upon his innocent children in order not to live deranged half the time.
Terrifying encounters with the end? I’m thirty-four! Worry about oblivion, he told himself, when you’re seventy-five! The remote future will be time enough to anguish over the ultimate catastrophe!”

in Everyman, Jonathan Cape 2006

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