Gift to Sebastiano

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  • Published 20040601
  • ISBN: 9780733314339
  • Extent: 268 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm)

THE TAILOR WAS always awed by the sight of a stranger returning from the lawless world of sleep so, having only just set eyes on him for the first time, he had many questions for the prone figure of Orsino Duran. What if I should push your shoulder, thought the tailor, and you are already as hard as stone? Or what if you are not dead but just drunk, or gone mad, and in your long slumber have fallen into a dream of despair? What if I wake you and you are roused into visiting some unwarranted rage against me? Will you be someone new when you wake? Have you been transformed by the world you have visited in your sleep? Who are you?

That the tailor had only just now seen his landlord for the first time was perhaps surprising. After all he had been a tenant in the room immediately beneath the old man’s for two weeks already. But the simple fact of the matter was that the only thing the old man ever did was lie in bed all the long day and rattle on to his nurse and neighbour, Signora Maria, about the ache in his legs or the piss that was soaking through his nappy, and the tailor had little time for such lamentosi. He preferred the solitude that enveloped him in his room, journeying into his drawings, his combinations and recombinations of ideas, his cases full of histories, scratching impressions into his small black notebook, coaxing cloth, scissor and needle until late in the night.

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