The long way to......

essays about my daily life. It will be something about India since it makes me happy and bothers me a lot.

Sunday, April 09, 2006


To many of those people, articulate as they were, the great loss was the loss of language-that they could not say what was in them to say. You have some subtle thought and it comes out like a piece of broken bottle. They could, of course, manage to communicate but just to communicate was frustrating. As Karl Otto Alp, the ex film star who became a buyer for Macy’s, put it years later, “I felt like a child, or worse, often like a moron. I am left myself unexpressed. What I know, indeed, what I am, becomes to me a burden. My tongue hangs useless.” The same with Oskar it figures. There was terrible sense of useless tongue, and I think the reason for his trouble with his other tutors was that to keep from drowning in things unsaid he wanted to swallow the ocean in a gulp: Today he would learn English and tomorrow wow them with an impeccable Fourth of July speech, followed by a successful lecture at the Institute for Public Studies.

-Bernard Malamud, “The German Refugee” in Idiots First (Dell, 1963)


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