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Articles tagged "Money"

from “Seven Moral Failings”

Now was the time to ask for a recommendation from David. In fact, he had already intended to raise the subject at their morning meeting, but then that student had appeared, whose name, he discovered, he had forgotten again, and the whole matter had dissolved. He really had to find supplementary sources of income, now that he'd retired. He couldn't depend only on his pension. That was especially true in New York, where the cost of living had become intolerable. Fisher planned to...

An Odd Story

I glanced at the wreath against the tombstone and was amazed to read my own name on it: TO MY SECOND MOTHER—FROM KAREL HRABĚ. In our family there had never been anybody by that name. My father, Abraham Grafi, was the owner of a fairly respectable fabric store located on the oblong main square of a district town near Moravská Ostrava. There my mother, Sarah, spent her days in the cashier's booth. Every crown of the daily gross sales passed through her short...

Dr. Gordeau

I When the plane has almost come to rest, he sees an angel. The angel is sitting right at the back of the small baggage train on its way across the runway. A young man. Or a woman? Longish hair. His eyes. Frightened? Happy? Is he raising his hand? The next time he looks out, the case the angel was sitting on has fallen off. The baggage train continues on its unsteady journey. The case is black. Locked. The kind that holds a musical instrument. The plane follows a course of red and...

The Not-So-Perfect Crime

My brother Borja's name isn't Borja. It's Pep (or Josep). And his surname isn't Masdéu Canals Sáez de Astorga. We're both Martínez on our father's side and Estivill on our mother's. Unlike Borja (I mean, Pep), I've kept the name and surnames my parents christened me with: a humble Eduard (though still a Spanish Eduardo on my ID card) Martínez Estivill. On the other hand, my brother's (or at least the one he prefers to...

Akiko

Greetings, noble stranger! Your appearance is unfamiliar, as if you were not from these parts. Are you perhaps newly arrived from the distant lands of the North? My name is Akiko. What glorious name do you bear? Type it and press "enter" and Akiko will unlock her door. We are delighted, QWERTY, that you have called into our site, forgotten here amid the mountains of ancient Japan. We are Akiko and the little monkey Mao. If you look down at the lower left corner of the screen, you will...

Encounter

I have a feeling that it is a mistake to go to the party at Mr. M.'s, especially under the circumstances. Things have tightened up once more. Again scarves have to be pulled down all the way to the eyebrows and legs covered in thick, black stockings. Again the loose-fitting, ankle-length smocks have to be worn. They are once again slashing women's bare legs with razors and shaving the heads of young boys or publicly flogging them in city squares. And yet no one is really scared or...

Blue, White, Red

At the beginning, there was the name. A humdrum name. A two-syllable name: Moki... At the beginning, there was that name. Moki is standing in front of me. I see him again. He's talking to me. He is giving me instructions. He tells me to take care of the rest with Préfet. Don't ask him any questions. Just do what he asks me to do. Moki is there, his gaze turned upward toward the sky. He rarely takes a good look at his go-betweens. I listen to him. Continuously. Rapt. Am I...

Waiting in the Offing

"Itoyama's sharp eye and sly wit set her apart from other Japanese women writers. Her writing style is intellectually controlled, and often glows with wisdom."--Kenzaburo Oe "My hiccups won't stop." Makihara Futoshi was standing in his stocking feet just inside the door with a woebegone look on his face. When I stop to think about it, that somewhat troubled expression quite suited him. It hadn't been my intention to go to Gotanda. After all, I live in Saitama City and...

There Are No Hopeless Situations

"I'm very happy," said Personov as he left the house for work. "I'm very happy," he reminded himself as he performed the process in reverse that evening. "I'm very happy," he repeated as he rode the carousel with his kids. There were two: a six-year-old boy and a girl of four. The boy was full of curiosity and used to construct fleets of ships out of cardboard; the girl was cute and round-faced and already demonstrated a talent for housekeeping. "I'm very happy,"...

The House Loses

Terrales was founded by improvident people, who found themselves without fuel in the mountains, and had no wish to return on foot to the desert suns. The sole meeting place (though it would be more precise to call it a "passing point") was a ramshackle hut where the drivers would gather and play poker. For some reason that no one recalled, they also came to ascribe the name "Terrales" to the three of aces. Those hands of cards always seemed to bring bad luck. Radio held up his three...

The Right Course

1 The Camel He adopted the jenny as his mount after a disastrous experience with the malice of camels. In fact, it was the spiteful behavior of this species that drove him to the she-ass. To quench the thirst of some camels in Tassili, he had been busy drawing water from a well, aided by a camel, which he had received from a foreigner in repayment for a loan, without ever imagining that any of the tales of this species' perfidy might come true. Just past noon, when the heat was...

from Seven

Time: 2004 Place: In a corner of West Kowloon Characters: Voice - the "inner voice" of various main characters Tze Seun Wong - real estate agent, about 50 yrs old, deals mainly with old run-down Chinese-style buildings Cindy - an extremely intelligent 28 yr-old young lady, with a mature sensuousness Jason - a college student, just turned 19, innocent with a sunny disposition Plus a small ensemble cast of ten which includes the roles of Owner, Prostitute, Colleague, Daughter, Garbage Lady...

Escape from Disney World

After having spent his childhood doing comic strips and his youth doing animated cartoons, Mickey Mouse finally discovered his true vocation as a corporate insignia. In heraldic times, only mythological creatures or rampant beasts could aspire to adorn a coat of arms. In the century of the cartoon, it's only natural that the Magic Kingdom's logo is a rodent with gloved hands. Like the Mercedes star or the McDonald's golden arches, Mickey is a registered trademark. At this...

from “REX”

TRANSLATOR'S NOTE: Jose Manuel Prieto's Rex is a novel like none other. Its epigraph, from Bishop Berkeley, "Things are what they appear to be," is the first of many indications that things are not what they appear to be. The storyline might sound like the plot of a thriller: the narrator, a young, Spanish and Russian-speaking man, arrives at the home of a superrich Russian couple living on the Costa Brava, near Marbella, in Spain. He has been hired as a tutor to their young son,...

The Veiler of All Deeds

NOTE: Born in 1968, Hamdy Abu Golayyel is of Bedouin origin and lives in Cairo. In keeping with a growing trend in Egyptian fiction, Thieves in Retirement-the novel from which this excerpt is taken-is set in a crowded Cairo apartment building, the various inhabitants of which offer a cross-section of Egyptian society, while highlighting a modern sense of displacement and urban alienation. Thieves in Retirement will be published by Syracuse University Press in 2006. People are...

Mrs. Saniya’s Holiday

Under the beam of light that fell from the one window of the room, darkening the rest of this particular place, Abla Saniya, the seamstress, starts up her machine aware of making use of the last thread of daylight before darkness takes over the room. Abla Saniya turns on the electric light whose cord comes through the same window, for which she pays five pounds every month and which she takes great care in collecting, since her income melts into the smiles of her youngsters and the...

Courage Does Not Reign

I was kicked out of the Conservatory. When called to the office of the elderly director where I was handed my dismissal papers, I said: "Sir, believe me Sir, I am not concerned for my sake regarding this decision of yours. What concerns me is how the St. Petersburg Conservatory will shoulder the heavy burden of having kicked out the best student it has ever had-just for one or two disciplinary offenses: That is what concerns me." "I do not know what to say to you," said the director....

Shooq

Translator's note: Shooq means "longing" and is also a woman's given name. Following custom, Shooq's mother and father are referred to in the story by the honorifics Umm Shooq and Abu Shooq (Mother/Father of Shooq) respectively. It's a wide street, and short, and anyone who enters it feels out of place there. There are no signs of life except for the old houses on either side, and the earth mound at the end seems to mark the end of the world. Leaving it you find...

No One Dies, Life Only Changes

Note: This piece was originally written in Náhuatl. We only change the way we live.... Thus it is explained in the tale of the experience of two people who lived through the following revelation. "When the town was much smaller and had no electricity, the town was calmer and more tranquil. The people knew each other well and respected each other. There were very few people who walked about at night. People used to go to bed very early; pero... there were always those who went...

Dreams and Memories of a Common Man

Note: This piece was originally written in Náhuatl. Over there, in "The Disenchantment," it was said about the great city of Mexico-Tenochtitlan that, in addition to its beauty, one earns a lot of money there. It was said that there was more than enough work and since it was rarely hot, one could become a little fairer. No longer dark, no longer appearing so Indian. It also had big movie theaters. Some people even presumed to know Rigo Tovar1 and had shaken hands with El Santo,...

The Abandoned Garden

The house stood alone, facing the sea, a modest little cottage that was getting on in years, on a small dirt lane bordered by tamarisks twisted by winter winds. She had noticed the sign affixed to the front door as she walked slowly along, following the setting sun that was lighting up the sea. It seemed like a sign from destiny. At the pension Sorriso, the overly loud voices of the guests and the children's shrill cries shattered the quiet and made her temples pound: as the years go...

The Pigs

You have to be away from Italy to see Italy. Or maybe just slightly displaced within its borders—on one of the islands, for example. I was in Favignana a few years ago, and late one afternoon, on an old rented bicycle, I came to a cliff behind the island's little cemetery. I sat up there, gazing at the distant coast of Sicily, until I lost any sense of time. Someone had told me—or maybe I had only imagined it—that what one saw from that point was the part of the...

The Rematch

"The Rematch" offers a fictionalized account of the downfall of one of Argentina's most famous boxing champions, Carlos Monzón, El Flaco, the World Champion Middleweight Boxer from 1970 to 1977. Monzón defended his title in fourteen fights, defeating the North American boxers Bennie Briscoe and Emile Griffith, among others. In 1983 he strangled his wife and was sentenced to prison. He was killed in a car accident in 1995. When a publisher requested that Ana María...

I Am Spartan

To you, my friend Spartan, Sofia said to Sandra, reminding her of snowbound icy Moscow where she was trained as a StalinistFidelistaSpartan in long lines at thirty below zero with ever-enraged watchmen and the smell of booze but with professors who were scholarly and stifflyaffectionate, with nice fat wives who only ever smiled after knowing you for a long time because they don't trust anyone, and Sandra had come from Cuba so trusting and Spartan to begin with, having spent two years...

The Rudolf Family Does Good Works

"Herr Rudolf! Wait a minute." The caretaker's old wife straightened up, dropped her rag into her bucket, and limped over to the stairs. Herr Rudolf stopped and removed his tasseled hat. The snow on his shoes was melting. As a man with both a social conscience and a vague and confused attitude to professional cleaning ladies, the puddle forming around his feet made him feel very ill at ease. "Good day, Frau Simmes." Herr Rudolf tried to smile. "Good day." The caretaker's wife...

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