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Against Reading. A Farce.

by Patrick Călinescu

 

 

 

His domed chest was rising to the rhythm of his irregular breathing (which had actually succeeded in making the altitude at which the act of breathing had put his chest relative to what was  generally understood by elevation)—his hands, holding the book on the indefinite surface of the bumpy height of his chest, were being locked into a sitting position for it, which was so hard on the gripping muscles in his fingers, in order for the book to be able to keep the rhythm of his chest without falling off it—his chin was literally being tucked into the hairs that began the manly outline of his chest—his eyes, directed at the moving centre of the printed words on the pages of the book, were following, with increasing difficulty, the displacement of the reading zone either higher than it had just been, or lower than it would momentarily be (or in a completely vice versa manner—as only approximation can really be exact about)—his nostrils were being exuberant because of the always different weight of air inhaled in relation to the always different chest position when the corresponding exhaling would return out of the canals of the nose—his heart was pounding with both the thrill of whatever was contained in the book, and the actual bulk contained in the matter of the book—his legs were being rendered rather invisible by the tidal trepidations of his chest, which was by this time being quite into the arousing illo tempore of perusal—his mind was desperately trying to shut itself out of the containing brain therein, and further down into the unconscious, full as it was, sick as it was, tired as it was, dying as it was, of all the reading it had, intellectually and intentionally, been gorging on—irrespective of its appetite—for the simple reason that no part of his body, either mentioned or not, could have been hearing it shouting stuff which might have been construed as being against reading.

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