“Castle of Snow” – Joseph Heller (1948)

“Then one day, without a word beforehand, my Uncle returned with a stranger, a man who had come to buy his books.

I remember the figure of my Uncle kneeling by the closet before the open trunk. He removed the books singly, each one with both hands, glanced at the title soberly, and passed it to the strange man, who appraised it in a moment and added it to the mounting pile behind him. My Aunt was stunned by this latest development, and she stood motionless, watching the proceeding with profound regret.

From my Uncle’s actions it seemed that he had been determined to sell them all and had then wavered. Midway through the pile, he hesitated over one book and placed it on the floor behind him. Near the end he withheld another. When all the others had been sacrificed, he picked up the two books and considered each thoughtfully. Then, with reluctance, he handed one to the man and rose. It is interesting to note that in this, possibly the moment of his greatest tragedy, he chose the humor of Chaucer in preference to the comforting promise of the Bible.”

“Castle of Snow” – Joseph Heller, 1948 (Publicado en Catch as Catch Can, 2003)

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