"Dying is easy. . ."

I know what few readers may frequent here are probably bored out of their minds with the constant threshing of Kertész.  But I think he is a prime example of why one can't just completely dismiss the Nobel Committee as irrelevant (were one inclined to that position anyway.)  Here is an author who deserves a wider readership--and it has taken me a long while to get around to his work.

from Liquidation
Imre Kertész


Dying is easy
life is one enormous concentration camp
that God has established here on Earth for mankind
and that man has refined yet further
as an annihilation camp for his own kith
Taking ones own life amounts to
outwitting those who stand on guard
escaping deserting those who are left behind
laughing up one's sleeve
in this big Lager of life
the neither-in-nor-out neither-forward-nor-back
in this wretched world of lives held
in suspended animation where we grow decrepit
without time moving any further forward. . .
this is where I learned that to rebel is
The great insubordination is
for us to live our lives to the end
and equally the big humiliation
that we owe ourselves
The sole method of suicide that is worthy
of respect is to live
to commit suicide amounts
to continuing life
starting anew every day
living anew every day
dying anew every day
I don't know how I should continue.

And then a commodius vicus of recirculation that powers the whole motive force of the narrative, brings us back to the scene in the office where we started and we lever up a new layer of understanding, information, and insight into B--who he is, what he did, why he matters.  I can't begin to describe how much I am enjoying this wonderful, short, dense book.


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