Epilogue by Ivo Andric

1 Mar

Epilogue

You are much alone and often silent, my son, you are beset by dreams, exhausted by journeys of the spirit. Your body is bent and your face pale, your eyelids lowered and your voice like the rasp of the prison door. Go out into the summer day, my son!

‘What did you see in the summer day, my son?’

I saw that the earth is strong and the sky eternal, but man is week and short-lived.

‘What did you see, my son, in the summer day?’

I saw that love is brief, and hunger eternal.

‘What did you see, my son, in the summer day?’

I saw that life is a painful affair which consists in an unequal exchange of sin and happiness, that to live means to pile illusion on illusion.

‘Do you wish to sleep, my son?’

No, father, I am going out to live!

*********

Found this prose poem in this book. Also, something interesting about Ivo Andric, a Yugoslav novelist, poet and short-story writer, and a Nobel Prize winner in 1961. Part of his speech upon receiving the Nobel Prize in literature says: ”My Homeland is truly ‘a small country between worlds’ as one of our writers has put it, and it is a country which is trying in all fields, including culture, at the price of great sacrifices and exceptional energy to compensate rapidly for all that its unusually stormy and difficult past has denied it… Your recognition of one writer from that country undoubtedly means encouragement for that endeavour. We are therefore bound to be grateful, and I am happy that at this moment and in this place I can express gratitude but sincerely not only in my name, but in the name of the literature to which I belong.

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