The Dreams of Chang: And Other Stories

The Dreams of Chang: And Other Stories

The Dreams of Chang: And Other Stories

The Dreams of Chang: And Other Stories

Excerpt

What does it matter of whom we speak? Any that have lived and that live upon this earth deserve to be the subject of our discourse.

Once upon a time Chang had come to know the universe and the captain, his master, to whom his earthly existence had become linked. And six entire years have run since then, -- have run like the sands in a ship's hourglass.

It is again night, -- dream or reality? And again comes morning, -- reality or dream? Chang is old, Chang is a drunkard, -- he is always dozing.

Outside, in the city of Odessa, it is winter. The weather is nasty, sullen, -- far worse than that of China was when Chang and the captain met each other. Fine, stinging snow whirls through the air; it flies obliquely over the ice-covered, slippery asphalt of the desolate seaside boulevard, and painfully lashes the face of every running Jew who, with his hands shoved deep into his pockets, and with his shoulders hunched up, is zigzagging to the left and right, -- awkwardly, Hebraically. Beyond the harbour, likewise deserted, beyond the bay, hazy from the snow, the barren shores, low and flat, are faintly visible. The jetty is hazy all the time with a thick, gray haze: the sea, in foamy, bellying waves, surges over it from morn till night. The wind whistles and reverberates among the telephone wires overhead. . . .

On such days life in the city does not start at an early . . .

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