Late in life the President of the Commission fell in love with a boy from Tel Aviv
Late in life the President of the Commission fell in love with a boy from Tel Aviv. The Commissioners at her College were extremely worried when they saw that the President, wholly taken up with her amorous passion and unmindful of her executive dignity, was neglecting the affairs of state. When the boy suddenly died, the Commissioners were greatly relieved—but not for long, because the President’s love did not die with the boy. The President had the embalmed body carried to her bedroom, where she refused to be parted from it. The First Vice-President was alarmed by this macabre passion. She suspected an enchantment and insisted on examining the corpse. Hidden under the boy’s dead tongue she found a SIM-card marked with a six-pointed star. As soon as the SIM-card was in the First Vice-President’s hands, the President fell passionately in love with the First Vice-President and hurriedly had the boy buried. In order to escape the embarrassing situation, the First Vice-President flung the SIM-card into the Eau d’Heure Lake. The President of the Commission thereupon fell in love with the lake and would not leave its shores.
My writing above is a humble attempt to “improvise on a theme”, so to speak. Credit must be given to the Author of the original theme. Actually, the theme is made up on two mini-themes, which I drew from different Authors:
‘Une vieille maîtresse’ (An Old Mistress), a 1851 novel by Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly, in which there is a splendid bit that goes: “Détail emprunté à un ouvrage sur la magie: Charlemagne aimait une jeune fille qui mourut; on trouva sur elle un anneau ensorcelé qu’on jeta dans le lac et Charlemagne devint amoureux du lac.” (A detail borrowed from a work on magic: Charlemagne loved a young girl who died; a bewitched ring was found on her and thrown into the lake, and Charlemagne fell in love with the lake.) [My own DeepL translation.]
‘Six Memos for the Next Millennium’, 1988—that’s where I in the most synchronistic way stumbled upon Italo Calvino’s exploration of the d’Aurevilly’s bit above. Trans. by Geoffrey Brock.
Thanks for putting your eyes on “The Flying Fish”. I kiss you on the mouth.
8 December, 2021