Sunday, March 16, 2008

Robert Dessaix on Easter

In his novel about a trip to the Greek island, ‘Corfu’, Robert Dessaix writes about a meal at Easter:

“So untethered to anything was the table conversation that afternoon that I wouldn’t have been in the least surprised if we’d all floated up off our chairs into the sky and vanished.”

“The consul’s wife embarked on a long story about Abu Dhabi, where they’d spent eight years, but it petered out on a spattering of interjections about other things—the correct pronunciation of Arabic words (her husband was a stickler for the glottal stop), Arab terrorists, bats, scientology, AIDS, Andy Warhol (who’d just died)…this and that.”

“Someone eventually asked me where I came from, and I said Australia. The Dutch said they’d once lived in Indonesia. A Greek man said he had a cousin in Adelaide.”

“The Resurrection, needless to say, never came up. Should it have, I wonder? Was anyone there having a new life in Christ? If someone was—and that’s what the red-painted eggs on the Easter loaves were hinting we should be having, it says so in my Treasury of Authentic Greek Cooking—wasn’t it at least worth mentioning? Should I have asked the consul’s wife as I passed her the sauce if she believed in the bodily resurrection of the Nazarene?”

Robert Dessaix, Corfu (A Novel) (London: Scribner, 2001), 64-65.

Image: “that’s what the red-painted eggs…were hinting we should be having…”