Page 83 - Litteratteur Redefining World December issue
P. 83

Litterateur redefining world                      December 2020

                      alternating passage between cars is reserved for smokers, and since so
                      many  Russians  smoke  while  traveling  by  train,  those  passages  are

                      normally filled. Michael and I stand by ourselves between the cars in the
                      odd, non-smoking passages, and he plays Guthrie while I look out at the
                      wilderness  with  dusk  coming  on,  out  at  the  same  land  Angela  Carter
                      describes  in  Night  at  the  Circus  as  the  caravan  crosses  into  Asia:
                       “Outside the window, there slides past that unimaginable and deserted
                      vastness where night is coming on, the sun declining in ghastly blood-
                      streaked splendor like a public execution across, it would seem, half a
                      continent, where live only bears and shooting stars and the wolves who
                      lap congealing ice from water that holds within it the entire sky. All white
                      with snow as if under dustsheets, as if laid away eternally as soon as
                      brought back from the shop, never to be used or touched. Horrors! And,
                      as  on  a  cyclorama,  this  unnatural  spectacle  rolls  past  at  twenty-odd
                      miles an hour in a tidy frame of lace curtains only a little the worse for
                      soot and drapes of a heavy velvet of dark, dusty blue.”

                                                    Sacred Obo, Lake Baikal

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