6. desember

"Four-tenths of a second wasn't much. If you were looking aside and mentally adding up the hours until the execution of a young killer, all that registered was something dark flashing by. But if you happened to be gazing directly at the window in question and you happened as well to be feeling unprecedentedly calm, four-tenths of a second was more than enough time to identify the falling object as your husband of forty-seven years; to notice that he was wearing the awful black raincoat which had lost its shape and should never have been worn in public but which he'd willfully packed for the trip and willfully carried with him everywhere; to experience not only the certainty that something terrible had happened but also a peculiar sense of intrusion, as if you were witnessing an event that nature had never intended you to witness, like the impact of a meteorite or the copulation of whales; and even to observe the expression on your husband's face, to register its almost youthful beauty, its peculiar serenity, for who could have anticipated the grace with which the raging man would fall?

He was remembering the nights he'd sat upstairs with one or both of his boys or with his girl in the crook of his arm, their damp bath-smelling heads hard against his ribs as he read aloud to them from Black Beauty or The Chronicles of Narnia. How his voice alone, its palpable resonance, had made them drowsy. These were evenings, and there were hundreds of them, maybe thousands, when nothing traumatic enough to leave a scar had befallen the nuclear unit. Evenings of plain vanilla closeness in his black leather chair; sweet evenings of doubt between the nights of bleak certainty. They came to him now, these forgotten counterexamples, because in the end, when you were falling into water, there was no solid thing to reach for but your children."

-- Fra Jonathan Franzen: "The Corrections" (2001)

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35, Oslo

Inger Merete Hobbelstad (f. 1980) er kulturjournalist, teateranmelder og filmanmelder i Dagbladet og burde egentlig vre lut lei av skrive etter endt arbeidsdag. Men den gang ei. Jo, og s har jeg mastergrad i Litteraturvitenskap med en oppgave som handlet om Homers "Iliaden". Hvilket jeg altfor sjelden fr sprsml om. Og s ns jeg p imh@dagbladet.no.