Download Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age (New York Review by Bohumil Hrabal PDF

By Bohumil Hrabal

Rake, drunkard, aesthete, gossip, raconteur extraordinaire: the narrator of Bohumil Hrabal's rambling, rambunctious masterpiece Dancing classes for the complex in Age is these kind of and extra. chatting with a bunch of sunbathing ladies who remind him of enthusiasts earlier, this aged roué tells the tale of his life--or no less than unburdens himself of a lifetime's worthy of news. hence we research of amatory conquests (and humiliations), of scandals either deepest and public, of army adventures and family feuds, of what issues have been like "in the times of the monarchy" and the way they've replaced seeing that. because the booklet tumbles restlessly ahead, and the comedian tone takes on darker shadings, we detect we're hearing a guy conversing as a lot out of desperation as from exuberance.

Hrabal, one of many nice Czech writers of the 20th century, in addition to an inveterate haunter of Prague's pubs and soccer stadiums, built a different technique which he termed "palavering," wherein characters gab and soliloquize with abandon. half drunken boast, half soul-rending confession, half metaphysical poem at the nature of affection and time, this spectacular novel (which unfolds in one enormous sentence) indicates why he has earned the admiration of such writers as Milan Kundera, John Banville, and Louise Erdrich.

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Example text

Before long, Ma Zhong, who had actually caught Guan Yu, came hustling his prisoner before him. “I had long admired you for your great virtue,” said Sun Quan to Guan Yu, “so I offered you an alliance through marriage. Why did you refuse? You always regarded yourself 61 invincible—how come you are my prisoner today? ” Guan Yu answered, cursing indignantly at his enemy: “You blue-eyed brat! You red-bearded rat! I pledged in the Peach Garden with my sworn brothers to uphold the Hans. Do you think I will ever associate with a rebel like you?

On his return to Lukou the messenger told his new commander that Guan Yu was very much pleased and would cease to worry about threats from them. Lu Xun, delighted with the result, at once sent out spies to gather more information on Guan Yu’s moves, and they returned to say that most of the troops in Jingzhou had been removed to assist in the siege of Fancheng, which was to be seriously assaulted as soon as Guan Yu recovered from his wound. This news was promptly sent on to Sun Quan, who at once called in Lu Meng to decide upon the next move.

The first order issued by Lu Meng was to spare the people. Instant death was to be the punishment for any murder or robbery. The various officials in the city were allowed to retain their offices and continue their work. Guan Yu’s family was put in safe accommodation without any danger of being assaulted by outsiders. A report was sent immediately to Sun Quan. One very wet day Lu Meng, with a few horsemen as escort, was going round the four gates of the city when he saw a soldier taking a local resident’s broad-brimmed hat and putting it over his armor to keep it dry.

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