‘An Extreme Case’ in B O D Y

“For this was always the dream of the founding fathers, who had imagined the country as a military base from the start, and it was also the dream of those who believed in the existence of the truly nonexistent country, in their Olympic victories, in their paper cars, in their astronaut’s wave. If a country is officially nothing other than an inland sea, its inhabitants the last of a kind of fish believed to be extinct living out their lives in its depths, or an enchanted fairytale forest, a communist Hundred-Acre Wood enclosed by a wall, then it will not occur to anyone to try to flee to any of the map’s very real countries, because it will not be a border but rather an entire period of time, the endlessness of a shameful fairytale idea, that will separate them from reality.”

From Gábor Schein’s short story, “An Extreme Case”, translated from the Hungarian by Adam Z. Levy.

You can read more about Schein’s prose and poetry here

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