Buku The God of Nightmares by Paula Fox

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The God of Nightmares by Paula Fox

Author:Paula Fox [Fox, Paula]

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Published: 2011-06-05T22:00:00+00:00

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The God of Nightmares by Paula Fox

Nina had been deluded that first day. Even I, who knew better, hadn’t sensed how fleeting, how scant, was the energy that had given my aunt an air of self-possession. It had been just enough to get her to the bank to collect her check from my grandfather’s trust. She must have known, with the utterly indifferent knowledge of a drunk, that all her talk of seeking political influence in the mayor’s office was a fable.

The first thing she did that day, after she had the money, was to buy liquor and pay a colored man to help her lug it to the ballroom. She hid what was left of the money in pockets of clothing, in old handbags, beneath the mattress of her bed. I imagined her singing to herself as she went about her housekeeping, nearly breathless with desire for the oblivion that lay ahead.

She almost always enjoyed that authority accorded to unreason. But in the best of circumstances, it would have been awkward for two people living in that round room, which seemed to press one toward its center as though the walls exerted a silent centripetal force. For Nina, with her gentle manners that held a faint note of atonement, Lulu’s drunken howling, her black despair when she was sobering up, must have been a torment.

 

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The God of Nightmares by Paula Fox

 

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The God of Nightmares by Paula Fox

Author:Paula Fox [Fox, Paula] , Date: July 1, 2019

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Author:Paula Fox [Fox, Paula]

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company

Published: 2011-06-05T22:00:00+00:00
Nina had been deluded that first day. Even I, who knew better, hadn’t sensed how fleeting, how scant, was the energy that had given my aunt an air of self-possession. It had been just enough to get her to the bank to collect her check from my grandfather’s trust. She must have known, with the utterly indifferent knowledge of a drunk, that all her talk of seeking political influence in the mayor’s office was a fable.

The first thing she did that day, after she had the money, was to buy liquor and pay a colored man to help her lug it to the ballroom. She hid what was left of the money in pockets of clothing, in old handbags, beneath the mattress of her bed. I imagined her singing to herself as she went about her housekeeping, nearly breathless with desire for the oblivion that lay ahead.

She almost always enjoyed that authority accorded to unreason. But in the best of circumstances, it would have been awkward for two people living in that round room, which seemed to press one toward its center as though the walls exerted a silent centripetal force. For Nina, with her gentle manners that held a faint note of atonement, Lulu’s drunken howling, her black despair when she was sobering up, must have been a torment.

Nina kept hoping it would get better, she told me. And she had little experience of living around women. She had been raised by her maternal grandfather, had no living female relatives as far as she knew, and had had male tutors because her grandfather disapproved of the public schools in Tarrytown, where he and Nina lived in the gatehouse he owned on an old estate. Her mother and father had been divorced when she was two, and her mother had gone to France, where she died a few years later in Paris. Her father had disappeared. Her grandfather was a master printer. When he retired, he gave himself over to his passion for books. His taste was idiosyncratic. When she was ten years old, Nina had listened to him read from James Huneker, Boswell’s Life of Johnson, translations from Heine, Pushkin and Joris Karl Huysmans.

He was a socialist, a follower of Eugene Debs; he’d been a pacifist during the World War. During her early adolescence, at her grandfather’s fond insistence, Nina had read Elihu Burritt, William Lloyd Garrison and, of course, Gandhi. Perhaps all of this accounted for her quality of innocence, of belonging to another time and place. She was like someone who had spent years in a breakaway utopian community. Her peculiar, narrow learning, her gleaming fairness, were mysterious and, I thought, immensely alluring.

Her grandfather died when she was eighteen. A socialist friend of his, a lawyer of fifty or so, wanted to marry Nina. She refused him, but he helped her sell the gatehouse.

Her grandfather had disapproved violently of Nina’s mother. He’d wept when he received the cable from the American hospital in Paris where Eleanor Weir

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