MICHELLE WOODS is half-Irish, half-Czech. She is an English Professor at SUNY New Paltz, an inveterate reader, and the author of Translating Milan Kundera.
“I made a world – worlds!” he thinks, “and afterwards what else was there left to do but wile away the day of rest, the interminable, idle Sunday that the remainder of my life has been.”
“You know how it is,” he says:
Say you are walking down a not particularly crowded street. You spy, at quite a long way off still, out of the corner of your eye, out of the corner of your watchfulness, as it were, a stranger who, you can see, has in his turn become aware of you as you approach him. Even at that distance you both begin to make little adjustments, covert little feints and swerves, so as to avoid eventual collision, all the while pretending to be perfectly oblivious to each other … I am always, always on guard against coming smack up against one of my own kind.
“The house stood in a crooked street, wedged narrowly between its taller neighbours as if it had sidled in there one day and stayed put.”