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“A Little Love Story” by Ödön von Horváth

2016/2/10 — 13:03

【Text by Linda Frazee Baker andÖdön von Horváth】

The fact of the matter was, I wanted every girl I saw, I wanted to possess her. God knows I never felt any “spiritual” connection.

How quiet it is in autumn, a strange and unearthly quiet.

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Everything is just as it always was, it seems nothing has changed. Neither the marsh nor the farmland, not the fir trees on the hills, not the lake. Nothing. Only that summer’s gone. October’s end. And already late in the afternoon.

A dog howls in the distance, and the earth smells of sodden leaves. It’s rained heavily in the last few weeks, soon it will snow. The sun is gone, and twilight shuffles over the hard ground. It rustles in the stubble as if someone were skulking around in it. And as the clouds come in, so does the past. I see you again—oh days of yesteryear! Your mountains, your trees, your roads—we can all see each other again now.

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And the two of us, you and I. Your light-color summer dress gleams in the sunlight, joyful and wanton as if you had nothing on under it. The stalks of grain swayed back and forth, the earth breathed in and out. It was hot and humid, do you remember? The air buzzed like an army of invisible insects. In the west, a storm threatened. And the two of us far from the village on a steep, narrow path, then walking through the sheaves of corn, you ahead of me—but good heavens, what has this got to do with you? Yes, I mean you, dear reader! Why should I tell you about this? Come on now, don’t be like that! What’s it to you if two people once disappeared into a cornfield? After all, it doesn’t affect you. You have other things to worry about than someone else’s love affair—and it certainly wasn’t love anyway.

The fact of the matter was, I wanted every girl I saw, I wanted to possess her. God knows I never felt any “spiritual” connection. And her? Well, I thought she trusted me completely. She told me so many stories, both colorful ones and dreary, about her work, about going to the movies, about her childhood—the sort of things that happen in every life. But it all bored me, and once in a while I wished she were deaf and dumb. I was a brutish fellow then, conceited out of a roguish emptiness.

 

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