His father rebukes him again and also pleads a little

<The Same Sea, Amos Oz's newest novel, is written in a series of vignettes and monologues. Rico David is off in Tibet, has just found another lady by the name of Maria. The monologue below is his father, Albert Danon, calling him from Bat Yam, outside of Yaffa, Israel. Dita is his girlfriend, now living with Albert. His wife, Rico's mother, has just died of cancer. As with much of the book, this chapter is written in verse.

Listen carefully. This is your father speaking. A simple man,
a rather grey man, and so on and so forth, but still your father. The only one
you have, and that's something your irony can't change.
That cheap woman you're with may let off
fireworks in bed, I'm not an expert in such matters
and I'm sorry to mention it, but fireworks
go out and time is drying up and the summer is over and you are
not back. The summer is over the autumn is gone and what about you,
where are you? Shrouded in fog in limbo in the arms
of a whore. It's lucky your mother --- well, never mind. Don't hang up.
Just a minute. Listen to me: Dita is back here. In your room.
Sometimes, just in my mind's eye, I look at her and think,
my grandchild is drying up. Wait. Don't put the phone down. The autumn
is over and you are just mist. Last night I dreamed of my own father,
he was kneading dough, grunting hoarsely in Ladino, Stupido Albert,
in ten more minutes se hizo bamets. This call
is already costing me a fortune, but there's one more thing I have to tell you:
under the same roof she is waiting and so am I. There is something not right
about this. The summer is over and the autumn is gone, the rain brings me
a smell of dust. Don't come back too late.

--- From The Same Sea
Amos Oz
©2001 Harcourt, Inc.

Go to another reading from Amos Oz

Send us e-mail


Go Up     Go Home

Go to the most recent RALPH