Tuesday, September 28, 2021


The Future

Carlo Levi, Christ Stopped at Eboli, tr. Frances Frenaye (New York: Time Incorporated, 1964), p. 215:
The entire future, as far as the end of the world, was merging for me too into the vague crai of the peasants, with its implications of futile endurance, remote from history and time. How deceiving are the contradictions of language! In this timeless land the dialect was richer in words with which to measure time than any other language; beyond the motionless and everlasting crai every day in the future had a name of its own. Crai meant tomorrow and forever; the day after tomorrow was prescrai and the day after that pescrille; then came pescruflo, maruflo, maruflone; the seventh day was maruflicchio. But these precise terms had an undertone of irony. They were used less often to indicate this or that day than they were said all together in a string, one after the other; their very sound was grotesque and they were like a reflection of the futility of trying to make anything clear out of the cloudiness of crai. I, too, began to lose hope that anything new might come forth from maruflo or maruflone or maruflicchio.
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