Quite a Quote

     ‘You see, here, this is the past. That’s my grandfather.’
     I examine the photograph in my turn. The dog-eared cardboard shows me a snowy landscape, not far from a railway line, and three men, two dressed in civilian rags, the third bundled up in military rags and feebly threatening the others with a knife. It could have been anywhere, at any time.
     ‘Which one?’
     ‘Which one what?’ Evon Zwogg says with a start.
     ‘Your grandfather—which of these three is he?’
     An outraged look crosses Evon Zwogg’s face. He makes a stack of the photographs, turning them over so that I can’t see them. His fingers are trembling. I don’t know how to repair whatever might be repaired between us.
     ‘And you,’ he suddenly says, violently, ‘of the two of us, which one are you?’

Volodine, Antoine. Minor Angels. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2004.

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