This is where it ends: 1-0 because in the end Argentina scores and Nigeria plays very very well. That one doesn’t work. It happens like this: I find myself underlining and rereading and remembering to tell about An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter. The beginning is tied to the ending, steeped in extremes the pampas come alive with warriors and lightning and only the company of a horse. I lay here and look up at those exact stars of the southern hemisphere; my foot caught in the stirrup. I wonder about the geographical line of my life and walking back the path that brought me here.
An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter is bigger than the pampas and Graceland is not bigger than Lagos. Graceland is only about a place in a time; a documentary in a literature contest.
They both play on the storytelling level which is almost always enough but An Episode in the Life of a Landscape Painter earns the win with language; a timeless grasp on us quietly living in pampas all over.
Lance Edmonds is a Bookseller at Posman Books in Chelsea Market. He lives in New York City.
Originally published in French in 2007, We’re Not Here to Disappear (On n’est pas là pour disparaître) won the Prix Wepler-Fondation La Poste and the Prix Pierre Simon Ethique et Réflexion. The work has been recently translated by Béatrice Mousli. . .
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