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City Of Glass - New York Trilogy #1, City of Glass - CD 02 parte II (1)

City of Glass - CD 02 parte II (1)

Drawing heavily on Milton's interpretation of the fall, he followed his master in placing an inordinate importance on the role of language. But he took the poet's ideas one step further. If the fall of man also entailed a fall of language, was it not logical to assume that it would be possible to undo the fall, to reverse its effects by undoing the fall of language, by striving to recreate the language that was spoken in Eden? If man could learn to speak this original language of innocence, did it not follow that he would thereby recover a state of innocence within himself? We had only to look at the example of Christ, Dark argued, to understand that this was so. For was Christ not a man, a creature of flesh and blood? And did not Christ speak this prelapsarian language? In Milton's Paradise Regained, Satan speaks with “double-sense deluding,” whereas Christ's “actions to his words accord, his words / To his large heart give utterance due, his heart / Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape.” And had God not “now sent his living Oracle / into the World to teach his final will, / And sends his Spirit of Truth henceforth to dwell / in pious Hearts, an inward Oracle / To all Truth requisite for me to know”? And, because of Christ, did the fall not have a happy outcome, was it not a felix culpa, as doctrine instructs? Therefore, Dark contended, it would indeed be possible for man to speak the original language of innocence and to recover, whole and unbroken, the truth within himself.

Turning to the Babel story, Dark then elaborated his plan and announced his vision of things to come. Quoting from the second verse of Genesis 11—“And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shi-nar; and they dwelt there”—Dark stated that this passage proved the westward movement of human life and civilization. For the city of Babel—or Babylon—was situated in Mesopotamia, far east of the land of the Hebrews. If Babel lay to the west of anything, it was Eden, the original site of mankind. Man's duty to scatter himself across the whole earth—in response to God's command to “be fertile…and fill the earth”—would inevitably move along a western course. And what more western land in all Christendom, Dark asked, than America? The movement of English settlers to the New World, therefore, could be read as the fulfillment of the ancient commandment. America was the last step in the process. Once the continent had been filled, the moment would be ripe for a change in the fortunes of mankind. The impediment to the building of Babel—that man must fill the earth—would be eliminated. At that moment it would again be possible for the whole earth to be of one language and one speech. And if that were to happen, paradise could not be far behind.

Just as Babel had been built 340 years after the Flood, so it would be, Dark predicted, exactly 340 years after the arrival of the Mayflower at Plymouth that the commandment would be carried out. For surely it was the Puritans, God's newly chosen people, who held the destiny of mankind in their hands. Unlike the Hebrews, who had failed God by refusing to accept his son, these transplanted Englishmen would write the final chapter of history before heaven and earth were joined at last. Like Noah in his ark, they had traveled across the vast oceanic flood to carry out their holy mission.

Three hundred and forty years, according to Dark's calculations, meant that in 1960 the first part of the settlers' work would have been done. At that point, the foundations would have been laid for the real work that was to follow: the building of the new Babel. Already, Dark wrote, he saw encouraging signs in the city of Boston, for there, as nowhere else in the world, the chief construction material was brick—which, as set forth in verse three of Genesis 11, was specified as the construction material of Babel. In the year 1960, he stated confidently, the new Babel would begin to go up, its very shape aspiring toward the heavens, a symbol of the resurrection of the human spirit. History would be written in reverse. What had fallen would be raised up; what had been broken would be made whole. Once completed, the Tower would be large enough to hold every inhabitant of the New World. There would be a room for each person, and once he entered that room, he would forget everything he knew. After forty days and forty nights, he would emerge a new man, speaking God's language, prepared to inhabit the second, everlasting paradise.

So ended Stillman's synopsis of Henry Dark's pamphlet, dated December 26, 1690, the seventieth anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower.

Quinn let out a little sigh and closed the book. The reading room was empty. He leaned forward, put his head in his hands, and closed his eyes. “Nineteen sixty,” he said aloud. He tried to conjure up an image of Henry Dark, but nothing came to him. In his mind he saw only fire, a blaze of burning books. Then, losing track of his thoughts and where they had been leading him, he suddenly remembered that 1960 was the year that Stillman had locked up his son.

He opened the red notebook and set it squarely on his lap. Just as he was about to write in it, however, he decided that he had had enough. He closed the red notebook, got up from his chair, and returned Stillman's book to the front desk. Lighting a cigarette at the bottom of the stairs, he left the library and walked out into the May afternoon.

7

He made it to Grand Central well in advance. Stillman's train was not due to arrive until six-forty-one, but Quinn wanted time to study the geography of the place, to make sure that Stillman would not be able to slip away from him. As he emerged from the subway and entered the great hall, he saw by the clock that it was just past four. Already the station had begun to fill with the rush-hour crowd. Making his way through the press of oncoming bodies, Quinn made a tour of the numbered gates, looking for hidden staircases, unmarked exits, dark alcoves. He concluded that a man determined to disappear could do so without much trouble. He would have to hope that Stillman had not been warned that he would be there. If that were the case, and Stillman managed to elude him, it would mean that Virginia Stillman was responsible. There was no one else. It solaced him to know that he had an alternate plan if things went awry. If Stillman did not show up, Quinn would go straight to 69th Street and confront Virginia Stillman with what he knew.

As he wandered through the station, he reminded himself of who he was supposed to be. The effect of being Paul Auster, he had begun to learn, was not altogether unpleasant. Although he still had the same body, the same mind, the same thoughts, he felt as though he had somehow been taken out of himself, as if he no longer had to walk around with the burden of his own consciousness. By a simple trick of the intelligence, a deft little twist of naming, he felt incomparably lighter and freer. At the same time, he knew it was all an illusion. But there was a certain comfort in that. He had not really lost himself; he was merely pretending, and he could return to being Quinn whenever he wished. The fact that there was now a purpose to his being Paul Auster—a purpose that was becoming more and more important to him—served as a kind of moral justification for the charade and absolved him of having to defend his lie. For imagining himself as Auster had become synonymous in his mind with doing good in the world.

He wandered through the station, then, as if inside the body of Paul Auster, waiting for Stillman to appear. He looked up at the vaulted ceiling of the great hall and studied the fresco of constellations. There were light bulbs representing the stars and line drawings of the celestial figures. Quinn had never been able to grasp the connection between the constellations and their names. As a boy he had spent many hours under the night sky trying to tally the clusters of pinprick lights with the shapes of bears, bulls, archers, and water carriers. But nothing had ever come of it, and he had felt stupid, as though there were a blind spot in the center of his brain. He wondered if the young Auster had been any better at it than he was.

Across the way, occupying the greater part of the station's east wall, was the Kodak display photograph, with its bright, unearthly colors. The scene that month showed a street in some New England fishing village, perhaps Nantucket. A beautiful spring light shone on the cobblestones, flowers of many colors stood in window boxes along the house fronts, and far down at the end of the street was the ocean, with its white waves and blue, blue water. Quinn remembered visiting Nantucket with his wife long ago, in her first month of pregnancy, when his son was no more than a tiny almond in her belly. He found it painful to think of that now, and he tried to suppress the pictures that were forming in his head. “Look at it through Auster's eyes,” he said to himself, “and don't think of anything else.” He turned his attention to the photograph again and was relieved to find his thoughts wandering to the subject of whales, to the expeditions that had set out from Nantucket in the last century, to Melville and the opening pages of Moby Dick. From there his mind drifted off to the accounts he had read of Melville's last years—the taciturn old man working in the New York customs house, with no readers, forgotten by everyone. Then, suddenly, with great clarity and precision, he saw Bartleby's window and the blank brick wall before him.

Someone tapped him on the arm, and as Quinn wheeled to meet the assault, he saw a short, silent man holding out a green and red ballpoint pen to him. Stapled to the pen was a little white paper flag, one side of which read: “This good article is the Courtesy of a DEAF MUTE. Pay any price. Thank you for your help.” On the other side of the flag there was a chart of the manual alphabet—LEARN TO SPEAK TO YOUR FRIENDS—that showed the hand positions for each of the twenty-six letters. Quinn reached into his pocket and gave the man a dollar. The deaf mute nodded once very briefly and then moved on, leaving Quinn with the pen in his hand.

It was now past five o'clock. Quinn decided he would be less vulnerable in another spot and removed himself to the waiting room. This was generally a grim place, filled with dust and people with nowhere to go, but now, with the rush hour at full force, it had been taken over by men and women with briefcases, books, and newspapers. Quinn had trouble finding a seat. After searching for two or three minutes, he finally found a place on one of the benches, wedging himself between a man in a blue suit and a plump young woman. The man was reading the sports section of the Times, and Quinn glanced over to read the account of the Mets' loss the night before. He had made it to the third or fourth paragraph when the man turned slowly toward him, gave him a vicious stare, and jerked the paper out of view.



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City of Glass - CD 02 parte II (1)

Drawing heavily on Milton's interpretation of the fall, he followed his master in placing an inordinate importance on the role of language. Basándose en gran medida en la interpretación de la caída de Milton, siguió a su maestro al otorgar una importancia desmesurada al papel del lenguaje. But he took the poet's ideas one step further. Pero llevó las ideas del poeta un paso más allá. If the fall of man also entailed a fall of language, was it not logical to assume that it would be possible to undo the fall, to reverse its effects by undoing the fall of language, by striving to recreate the language that was spoken in Eden? Si la caída del hombre también supuso una caída del lenguaje, ¿no era lógico suponer que sería posible deshacer la caída, revertir sus efectos deshaciendo la caída del lenguaje, esforzándose por recrear el lenguaje que se hablaba en el Edén? ? If man could learn to speak this original language of innocence, did it not follow that he would thereby recover a state of innocence within himself? Si el hombre pudiera aprender a hablar este lenguaje original de la inocencia, ¿no se seguiría que de ese modo recuperaría un estado de inocencia dentro de sí mismo? We had only to look at the example of Christ, Dark argued, to understand that this was so. Solo teníamos que mirar el ejemplo de Cristo, argumentó Dark, para comprender que esto era así. For was Christ not a man, a creature of flesh and blood? Porque ¿no fue Cristo un hombre, una criatura de carne y hueso? And did not Christ speak this prelapsarian language? ¿Y no hablaba Cristo este lenguaje prelapsario? In Milton's Paradise Regained, Satan speaks with “double-sense deluding,” whereas Christ's “actions to his words accord, his words / To his large heart give utterance due, his heart / Contains of good, wise, just, the perfect shape.” And had God not “now sent his living Oracle / into the World to teach his final will, / And sends his Spirit of Truth henceforth to dwell / in pious Hearts, an inward Oracle / To all Truth requisite for me to know”? En Paradise Regained de Milton, Satanás habla con “engaño de doble sentido”, mientras que las “acciones de Cristo concuerdan con sus palabras, sus palabras / A su gran corazón dan expresión debida, su corazón / Contiene de bueno, sabio, justo, la forma perfecta. ” ¿Y no había Dios “enviado ahora su Oráculo viviente / al Mundo para enseñar su última voluntad, / Y envía su Espíritu de Verdad a morar / en Corazones piadosos, un Oráculo interior / A toda la Verdad requerida para que yo sepa”? And, because of Christ, did the fall not have a happy outcome, was it not a felix culpa, as doctrine instructs? Y, por causa de Cristo, ¿no tuvo la caída un desenlace feliz, no fue una felix culpa, como instruye la doctrina? Therefore, Dark contended, it would indeed be possible for man to speak the original language of innocence and to recover, whole and unbroken, the truth within himself. Por lo tanto, sostuvo Dark, sería posible que el hombre hablara el lenguaje original de la inocencia y recuperara, entera e intacta, la verdad dentro de sí mismo.

Turning to the Babel story, Dark then elaborated his plan and announced his vision of things to come. Volviendo a la historia de Babel, Dark luego elaboró su plan y anunció su visión de lo que vendría. Quoting from the second verse of Genesis 11—“And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shi-nar; and they dwelt there”—Dark stated that this passage proved the westward movement of human life and civilization. Citando el segundo versículo de Génesis 11: “Y aconteció que yendo de oriente, hallaron una llanura en la tierra de Sinar; y habitaron allí”—Dark afirmó que este pasaje probaba el movimiento hacia el oeste de la vida humana y la civilización. For the city of Babel—or Babylon—was situated in Mesopotamia, far east of the land of the Hebrews. Porque la ciudad de Babel, o Babilonia, estaba situada en Mesopotamia, muy al este de la tierra de los hebreos. If Babel lay to the west of anything, it was Eden, the original site of mankind. Si Babel estaba al oeste de algo, era Edén, el sitio original de la humanidad. Man's duty to scatter himself across the whole earth—in response to God's command to “be fertile…and fill the earth”—would inevitably move along a western course. El deber del hombre de esparcirse por toda la tierra—en respuesta al mandato de Dios de “ser fecundos… y henchir la tierra”—se movería inevitablemente a lo largo de un curso occidental. And what more western land in all Christendom, Dark asked, than America? ¿Y qué tierra más occidental en toda la cristiandad, preguntó Dark, que Estados Unidos? The movement of English settlers to the New World, therefore, could be read as the fulfillment of the ancient commandment. El movimiento de colonos ingleses hacia el Nuevo Mundo, por lo tanto, podría interpretarse como el cumplimiento del antiguo mandamiento. America was the last step in the process. América fue el último paso en el proceso. Once the continent had been filled, the moment would be ripe for a change in the fortunes of mankind. Una vez que el continente se hubiera llenado, sería el momento propicio para un cambio en la suerte de la humanidad. The impediment to the building of Babel—that man must fill the earth—would be eliminated. El impedimento para la construcción de Babel, que el hombre debe llenar la tierra, sería eliminado. At that moment it would again be possible for the whole earth to be of one language and one speech. En ese momento sería posible de nuevo que toda la tierra fuera de una sola lengua y una sola palabra. And if that were to happen, paradise could not be far behind. Y si eso sucediera, el paraíso no se quedaría atrás.

Just as Babel had been built 340 years after the Flood, so it would be, Dark predicted, exactly 340 years after the arrival of the Mayflower at Plymouth that the commandment would be carried out. Así como Babel se había construido 340 años después del Diluvio, Dark predijo que exactamente 340 años después de la llegada del Mayflower a Plymouth se cumpliría el mandamiento. For surely it was the Puritans, God's newly chosen people, who held the destiny of mankind in their hands. Porque seguramente fueron los puritanos, el pueblo recién elegido de Dios, quienes tenían el destino de la humanidad en sus manos. Unlike the Hebrews, who had failed God by refusing to accept his son, these transplanted Englishmen would write the final chapter of history before heaven and earth were joined at last. A diferencia de los hebreos, que le habían fallado a Dios al negarse a aceptar a su hijo, estos ingleses trasplantados escribirían el último capítulo de la historia antes de que el cielo y la tierra se unieran por fin. Like Noah in his ark, they had traveled across the vast oceanic flood to carry out their holy mission. Como Noé en su arca, habían viajado a través del vasto diluvio oceánico para llevar a cabo su sagrada misión.

Three hundred and forty years, according to Dark's calculations, meant that in 1960 the first part of the settlers' work would have been done. Trescientos cuarenta años, según los cálculos de Dark, significaban que en 1960 se habría realizado la primera parte del trabajo de los colonos. At that point, the foundations would have been laid for the real work that was to follow: the building of the new Babel. En ese momento, se habrían puesto los cimientos para la verdadera obra que seguiría: la construcción de la nueva Babel. Already, Dark wrote, he saw encouraging signs in the city of Boston, for there, as nowhere else in the world, the chief construction material was brick—which, as set forth in verse three of Genesis 11, was specified as the construction material of Babel. Dark escribió que ya vio señales alentadoras en la ciudad de Boston, porque allí, como en ningún otro lugar del mundo, el principal material de construcción era el ladrillo, que, como se establece en el versículo tres de Génesis 11, se especificaba como el material de construcción. de Babel. In the year 1960, he stated confidently, the new Babel would begin to go up, its very shape aspiring toward the heavens, a symbol of the resurrection of the human spirit. En el año 1960, afirmaba confiado, comenzaría a levantarse la nueva Babel, aspirando su misma forma hacia los cielos, símbolo de la resurrección del espíritu humano. History would be written in reverse. What had fallen would be raised up; what had been broken would be made whole. Lo que había caído sería levantado; lo que había sido roto sería reparado. Once completed, the Tower would be large enough to hold every inhabitant of the New World. Una vez completada, la Torre sería lo suficientemente grande como para albergar a todos los habitantes del Nuevo Mundo. There would be a room for each person, and once he entered that room, he would forget everything he knew. Habría una habitación para cada persona, y una vez que entrara en esa habitación, olvidaría todo lo que sabía. After forty days and forty nights, he would emerge a new man, speaking God's language, prepared to inhabit the second, everlasting paradise. Después de cuarenta días y cuarenta noches, emergería como un hombre nuevo, hablando el idioma de Dios, preparado para habitar el segundo paraíso eterno.

So ended Stillman's synopsis of Henry Dark's pamphlet, dated December 26, 1690, the seventieth anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower. Así terminaba la sinopsis de Stillman del panfleto de Henry Dark, fechado el 26 de diciembre de 1690, el septuagésimo aniversario del desembarco del Mayflower.

Quinn let out a little sigh and closed the book. Quinn dejó escapar un pequeño suspiro y cerró el libro. The reading room was empty. He leaned forward, put his head in his hands, and closed his eyes. Se inclinó hacia adelante, puso su cabeza entre sus manos y cerró los ojos. “Nineteen sixty,” he said aloud. Mil novecientos sesenta dijo en voz alta. He tried to conjure up an image of Henry Dark, but nothing came to him. Trató de evocar una imagen de Henry Dark, pero no se le ocurrió nada. In his mind he saw only fire, a blaze of burning books. En su mente solo vio fuego, una llamarada de libros ardiendo. Then, losing track of his thoughts and where they had been leading him, he suddenly remembered that 1960 was the year that Stillman had locked up his son. Luego, perdiendo el hilo de sus pensamientos y de hacia dónde lo habían llevado, de repente recordó que 1960 fue el año en que Stillman había encerrado a su hijo.

He opened the red notebook and set it squarely on his lap. Abrió el cuaderno rojo y lo colocó directamente en su regazo. Just as he was about to write in it, however, he decided that he had had enough. Sin embargo, justo cuando estaba a punto de escribir en él, decidió que ya había tenido suficiente. He closed the red notebook, got up from his chair, and returned Stillman's book to the front desk. Cerró el cuaderno rojo, se levantó de la silla y devolvió el libro de Stillman a la recepción. Lighting a cigarette at the bottom of the stairs, he left the library and walked out into the May afternoon. Encendió un cigarrillo al pie de la escalera, salió de la biblioteca y salió a la tarde de mayo.

7

He made it to Grand Central well in advance. Llegó a Grand Central con mucha anticipación. Stillman's train was not due to arrive until six-forty-one, but Quinn wanted time to study the geography of the place, to make sure that Stillman would not be able to slip away from him. El tren de Stillman no debía llegar hasta las seis y cuarenta y uno, pero Quinn quería tiempo para estudiar la geografía del lugar, para asegurarse de que Stillman no pudiera escabullirse de él. As he emerged from the subway and entered the great hall, he saw by the clock that it was just past four. Cuando salió del metro y entró en el gran salón, vio en el reloj que eran poco más de las cuatro. Already the station had begun to fill with the rush-hour crowd. La estación ya había comenzado a llenarse con la multitud de la hora pico. Making his way through the press of oncoming bodies, Quinn made a tour of the numbered gates, looking for hidden staircases, unmarked exits, dark alcoves. Abriéndose paso entre la multitud de cuerpos que se aproximaban, Quinn hizo un recorrido por las puertas numeradas, en busca de escaleras ocultas, salidas sin marcar, rincones oscuros. He concluded that a man determined to disappear could do so without much trouble. Llegó a la conclusión de que un hombre decidido a desaparecer podría hacerlo sin muchos problemas. He would have to hope that Stillman had not been warned that he would be there. Tendría que esperar que Stillman no hubiera sido advertido de que él estaría allí. If that were the case, and Stillman managed to elude him, it would mean that Virginia Stillman was responsible. Si ese fuera el caso, y Stillman logró eludirlo, significaría que Virginia Stillman fue la responsable. There was no one else. No había nadie más. It solaced him to know that he had an alternate plan if things went awry. Lo consolaba saber que tenía un plan alternativo si las cosas salían mal. If Stillman did not show up, Quinn would go straight to 69th Street and confront Virginia Stillman with what he knew. Si Stillman no aparecía, Quinn iría directamente a la calle 69 y confrontaría a Virginia Stillman con lo que sabía.

As he wandered through the station, he reminded himself of who he was supposed to be. Mientras deambulaba por la estación, se recordó quién se suponía que era. The effect of being Paul Auster, he had begun to learn, was not altogether unpleasant. El efecto de ser Paul Auster, había comenzado a aprender, no era del todo desagradable. Although he still had the same body, the same mind, the same thoughts, he felt as though he had somehow been taken out of himself, as if he no longer had to walk around with the burden of his own consciousness. Aunque todavía tenía el mismo cuerpo, la misma mente, los mismos pensamientos, sentía como si de alguna manera lo hubieran sacado de sí mismo, como si ya no tuviera que caminar con la carga de su propia conciencia. By a simple trick of the intelligence, a deft little twist of naming, he felt incomparably lighter and freer. Por un simple truco de la inteligencia, un pequeño giro hábil de nombrar, se sintió incomparablemente más ligero y más libre. At the same time, he knew it was all an illusion. Al mismo tiempo, sabía que todo era una ilusión. But there was a certain comfort in that. Pero había cierto consuelo en eso. He had not really lost himself; he was merely pretending, and he could return to being Quinn whenever he wished. Realmente no se había perdido a sí mismo; simplemente estaba fingiendo, y podía volver a ser Quinn cuando quisiera. The fact that there was now a purpose to his being Paul Auster—a purpose that was becoming more and more important to him—served as a kind of moral justification for the charade and absolved him of having to defend his lie. El hecho de que ahora tuviera un propósito para ser Paul Auster, un propósito que se estaba volviendo cada vez más importante para él, sirvió como una especie de justificación moral para la farsa y lo absolvió de tener que defender su mentira. For imagining himself as Auster had become synonymous in his mind with doing good in the world. Porque imaginarse a sí mismo como Auster se había convertido en su mente en sinónimo de hacer el bien en el mundo.

He wandered through the station, then, as if inside the body of Paul Auster, waiting for Stillman to appear. Deambuló por la estación, entonces, como si estuviera dentro del cuerpo de Paul Auster, esperando a que apareciera Stillman. He looked up at the vaulted ceiling of the great hall and studied the fresco of constellations. Miró hacia el techo abovedado del gran salón y estudió el fresco de las constelaciones. There were light bulbs representing the stars and line drawings of the celestial figures. Había bombillas que representaban las estrellas y dibujos lineales de las figuras celestes. Quinn had never been able to grasp the connection between the constellations and their names. Quinn nunca había sido capaz de captar la conexión entre las constelaciones y sus nombres. As a boy he had spent many hours under the night sky trying to tally the clusters of pinprick lights with the shapes of bears, bulls, archers, and water carriers. Cuando era niño, había pasado muchas horas bajo el cielo nocturno tratando de contar los grupos de luces puntiagudas con las formas de osos, toros, arqueros y aguadores. But nothing had ever come of it, and he had felt stupid, as though there were a blind spot in the center of his brain. Pero nunca había resultado nada, y se había sentido estúpido, como si hubiera un punto ciego en el centro de su cerebro. He wondered if the young Auster had been any better at it than he was. Se preguntó si el joven Auster lo habría hecho mejor que él.

Across the way, occupying the greater part of the station's east wall, was the Kodak display photograph, with its bright, unearthly colors. Al otro lado del camino, ocupando la mayor parte de la pared este de la estación, estaba la fotografía de la pantalla Kodak, con sus colores brillantes y sobrenaturales. The scene that month showed a street in some New England fishing village, perhaps Nantucket. La escena de ese mes mostraba una calle en algún pueblo de pescadores de Nueva Inglaterra, tal vez Nantucket. A beautiful spring light shone on the cobblestones, flowers of many colors stood in window boxes along the house fronts, and far down at the end of the street was the ocean, with its white waves and blue, blue water. Una hermosa luz primaveral brillaba sobre los adoquines, había flores de muchos colores en las jardineras de las ventanas a lo largo de los frentes de las casas, y al fondo, al final de la calle, estaba el océano, con sus olas blancas y su agua azul, azul. Quinn remembered visiting Nantucket with his wife long ago, in her first month of pregnancy, when his son was no more than a tiny almond in her belly. Quinn recordó haber visitado Nantucket con su esposa hace mucho tiempo, en su primer mes de embarazo, cuando su hijo no era más que una pequeña almendra en su vientre. He found it painful to think of that now, and he tried to suppress the pictures that were forming in his head. Le resultaba doloroso pensar en eso ahora, y trató de suprimir las imágenes que se formaban en su cabeza. “Look at it through Auster's eyes,” he said to himself, “and don't think of anything else.” He turned his attention to the photograph again and was relieved to find his thoughts wandering to the subject of whales, to the expeditions that had set out from Nantucket in the last century, to Melville and the opening pages of Moby Dick. “Míralo a través de los ojos de Auster”, se dijo, “y no pienses en nada más”. Volvió a centrar su atención en la fotografía y se sintió aliviado al descubrir que sus pensamientos vagaban por el tema de las ballenas, las expediciones que habían partido de Nantucket en el siglo pasado, Melville y las primeras páginas de Moby Dick. From there his mind drifted off to the accounts he had read of Melville's last years—the taciturn old man working in the New York customs house, with no readers, forgotten by everyone. De allí su mente se desvió hacia los relatos que había leído sobre los últimos años de Melville, el anciano taciturno que trabajaba en la aduana de Nueva York, sin lectores, olvidado por todos. Then, suddenly, with great clarity and precision, he saw Bartleby's window and the blank brick wall before him. Entonces, de repente, con gran claridad y precisión, vio la ventana de Bartleby y la pared de ladrillos frente a él.

Someone tapped him on the arm, and as Quinn wheeled to meet the assault, he saw a short, silent man holding out a green and red ballpoint pen to him. Alguien le dio un golpecito en el brazo y, cuando Quinn se dio la vuelta para enfrentarse al asalto, vio a un hombre bajito y silencioso que le tendía un bolígrafo verde y rojo. Stapled to the pen was a little white paper flag, one side of which read: “This good article is the Courtesy of a DEAF MUTE. Grapado al bolígrafo había una banderita de papel blanco, uno de cuyos lados decía: “Este buen artículo es cortesía de un SORDO MUDO. Pay any price. Thank you for your help.” On the other side of the flag there was a chart of the manual alphabet—LEARN TO SPEAK TO YOUR FRIENDS—that showed the hand positions for each of the twenty-six letters. Gracias por tu ayuda." En el otro lado de la bandera había un gráfico del alfabeto manual —APRENDE A HABLAR CON TUS AMIGOS— que mostraba las posiciones de las manos para cada una de las veintiséis letras. Quinn reached into his pocket and gave the man a dollar. Quinn metió la mano en su bolsillo y le dio al hombre un dólar. The deaf mute nodded once very briefly and then moved on, leaving Quinn with the pen in his hand.

It was now past five o'clock. Quinn decided he would be less vulnerable in another spot and removed himself to the waiting room. Quinn decidió que sería menos vulnerable en otro lugar y se retiró a la sala de espera. This was generally a grim place, filled with dust and people with nowhere to go, but now, with the rush hour at full force, it had been taken over by men and women with briefcases, books, and newspapers. Por lo general, este era un lugar sombrío, lleno de polvo y gente sin ningún lugar a donde ir, pero ahora, con la hora pico en pleno apogeo, había sido ocupado por hombres y mujeres con maletines, libros y periódicos. Quinn had trouble finding a seat. Quinn tuvo problemas para encontrar un asiento. After searching for two or three minutes, he finally found a place on one of the benches, wedging himself between a man in a blue suit and a plump young woman. Después de buscar durante dos o tres minutos, finalmente encontró un lugar en uno de los bancos, acomodándose entre un hombre de traje azul y una mujer joven y regordeta. The man was reading the sports section of the Times, and Quinn glanced over to read the account of the Mets' loss the night before. El hombre estaba leyendo la sección de deportes del Times, y Quinn miró para leer el relato de la derrota de los Mets la noche anterior. He had made it to the third or fourth paragraph when the man turned slowly toward him, gave him a vicious stare, and jerked the paper out of view.

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