A new translation of a short story by Pepperstein (from his book “Spring”)


Who ever permitted humans, those arrogant wretches, to snatch other creatures, offhandedly interfere in their business, devour them, kill them, maim them, shit everywhere and fill everything full of filth and poison?

They say that God permitted it. But only humans say that. All right then, I’ll believe it, if at least one non-human confirms it: an ant, a stone, a breeze, a crack, a grain, a waterfall, a gas, an elephant or a piece of ice.

Of course, there are some delightful individuals among humans, especially certain girls and children, as well as enlightened little old women and little old men. The humans can be forgiven a lot for their sake. But even so, on the whole humans are a bunch of demented, conceited, absolute fuckheads, deranged by greed and envy! They brazenly carry on producing more of their own kind, and actually take pride in it, as if it was some kind of good deed. And they’ve congested the entire planet so badly that the ducks and the peaches, as they say, soon won’t have anywhere left to draw breath or fart.

But on the other hand, it’s kind of stupid to be angry with people. Sometimes you can glance into the face of one of the most terrible of them – for instance, a war criminal, a dictator or a serial killer – and that face glimmers with a surprising, childish bewilderment, or the dryness of a splinter of wood, or the dangling fragility of a Christmas tree decoration… It makes you burst into laughter and stop feeling angry with them.

This was the thought of a colossal diamond cube, who was dubbed the “tolerant outraged cube” because his thought flowed so freely and his rage was so irresolute. And what does this cube do? He dances away, performing his cube dance at the centre of some fresh void or other. He wallows blissfully in his own glitterings and shimmerings: sometimes he gets angry, sometimes he turns mellow.

© Pavel Pepperstein, 2010

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