The Battle of Eylau, February 1807

It is much better to read instead of listening to the news, as they keep inserting the most maddening clips of Trump admonishing Californians for neglecting to sweep the forest floors.

Self is still reading Colonel Chabert. It is French melodrama told in a sarcastic omniscient voice. High Fives!

The following is Colonel Chabert telling the sad tale of how he came to be wounded and left for dead at Eylau, when Napoleon sent his army of 60,000 against the 80,000-strong Russian Army. NOT A SPOILER; IT’S CLOSE TO THE BEGINNING AND THE COLONEL IS ALIVE TO TELL THE TALE.

We cut the three Russian lines in half, but when they immediately re-formed, we were obliged to return back through them in the opposite direction. As we were coming up towards the Emperor, after scattering the Russians, I met with a mass of enemy cavalry. I flung myself at the stubborn blighters. Two Russian officers, real giants, both of them, attacked me simultaneously. One of them dealt me a sabre blow to the head which cut right through to a black silk cap I was wearing, and made a deep gash in my skull. I fell off my horse. Murat came to my aid, but rode right over my body, he and his entire company, fifteen hundred men, no less! My death was announced to the Emperor . . .

Stay safe, dear blog readers. Stay safe.

Tomas Transtromer’s The Clearing

The sky is whitish haze and it is intensely hot. The nearest fire is 0% contained. Stay inside! the radio says. Until we give the order to evacuate.

Self is reading Tomas Transtromer.

(Also, praying. Does she feel lucky?)

Excerpt from The Clearing

— translated by Robin Fulton

Deep in the forest there’s an unexpected clearing that can be reached only by someone who has lost his way.

The clearing is enclosed in a forest that is choking itself. Black trunks with the ashy beard stubble of lichen.


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