From Reading Room/8:

What Still Lives Within Us
Manuel Fernández-Montesinos
Translated by Isabel García Lorca and John J. Healey

Back to the issue 8 page

Many things had changed, and all of a sudden. I heard and felt things that had not been a part of my life in that house—fear and sobbing. And I sensed that it was related to two huge absences, that of my father and Uncle Federico. I have no real memory of their physical existence. I have no memory of their absence, an absence which no one would explain. Imre Kertesz once wrote: “If you want to tell the story of my life, you should tell the story of my dead”.  There is no doubt that the dead, the absence of the living, have a definite influence on one’s life…

Regardless of how much the adults in the house wanted to hide certain facts from the children, I knew two things: that in war there are different sides and that in war there is death; but what I did not know was how to behave, what would be expected of me.


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