By Daniel Kehlmann, Gregor von Rezzori
An NYRB Classics Original
Set simply after international struggle I, An Ermine in Czernopol facilities at the tragicomic destiny of Tildy, an erstwhile officer within the military of the now-defunct Austro-Hungarian Empire, made up our minds to guard the advantage of his dishonest sister-in-law at any price. Rezzori surrounds Tildy with a bunch of amazing characters, enticing us in a kaleidoscopic event of a urban the place not anything is because it appears—a urban of discordant voices, of untamed ugliness and heartbreaking sadness, within which, in spite of the fact that, “laughter was once in every single place, a part of the air we breathed, a crackling rigidity within the surroundings, continually able to erupt in showers of sparks or discharge itself in thunderous peals.”
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Additional resources for An Ermine in Czernopol
Then, sheltered by a mist, astoundingly, he enters in among the crowd, mingling together with the Tyrians. No one sees him. Just at the center of the city stood a thickly shaded wood; this was the place where, when they landed, the Phoenicians ﬁrst— hurled there by whirlwind and by wave—dug up an omen that Queen Juno had pointed out: the head of a ﬁerce stallion. This had meant the nation’s easy wealth and fame in war throughout the ages. Here Sidonian Dido was building a stupendous shrine for Juno, enriched with gifts and with the goddess’ statue, where ﬂights of steps led up to brazen thresholds; the architraves were set on posts of brass; [418-449] 595 600 605 610 615 620 625 630 635 [449-478] BOOK I the grating hinges of the doors were brass.
Then in the dark sides of the horse they hide men chosen from the sturdiest among them; they stuff their soldiers in its belly, deep in that vast cavern: Greeks armed to the teeth. “Before their eyes lies famous Tenedos, an island prosperous and powerful as long as Priam’s kingdoms held their own, but now only a bay, a treacherous ships’ anchorage. And here the Argives sail to hide themselves along that lonely shore. We thought that they had left, to seek Mycenae before the wind. And all of Troy is free of long lament.
And boys and unwed girls surround it, singing their sacred chants, so glad to touch the cable. The horse glides, menacing, advancing toward the center of the city. O my land, o Ilium, the home of gods and Dardan walls long renowned in war, four times it stalled before the gateway, at the very threshold; four times the arms clashed loud inside its belly. Nevertheless, heedless, blinded by frenzy, we press right on and set the inauspicious monster inside the sacred fortress. Even then can Cassandra chant of what will come with lips the gods had doomed to disbelief by Trojans.
An Ermine in Czernopol by Daniel Kehlmann, Gregor von Rezzori