MICHAEL ROLOFF


'SINGULAR + PLURA', A TRANSLATION OF HANDKE'S 'DIE EINZAHL UND DIE MEHRZAHL'


On a bench in the park sits a Turk with a thickly bandaged finger: I am sitting on a bench in the park next to a Turk with a thickly bandaged finger: We are sitting on a bench in the park, I and a Turk with a thickly bandaged finger: A Turk with a thickly bandaged finger is sitting with me on a bench in a park.

We are sitting on a bench in the park gazing out on the pond, and I see something swimming in the pond, and the Turk is gazing out on the pond.

We are gazing at the pond, and I see an object swimming in the pond, and the Turk is gazing at the pond.

We are gazing at the pond, and I see a tuft of grass, propelled by swimming ducks, making its way to the shore, and the Turk is gazing at the pond.

We are gazing at the pond, and I see a tuft of grass swimming shoreward, propelled by swimming ducks, and then I see the tuft of grass floating away from the shore, propelled by ducks swimming in the opposite direction, and the Turk is gazing at the pond.

We are gazing at the pond, and I see a tuft of grass that, propelled by swimming ducks, was about to be washed ashore and then, propelled by ducks swimming in the opposite direction, was about to be washed back into the middle of the pond and now, propelled by ducks intersecting the two groups of ducks that are swimming in the opposite direction, float suspended in place, and the Turk is gazing at the pond.

We are gazing at the pond, and I see an object I took to be a tuft of grass or something I took to be an object that I believed was a tuft of grass suddenly disappear after it had moved in place, and I stop moving my head in time with the object on one and the same spot: that is to say, I am startled or, I am startled, that is to say, I stop moving my head in time with the object on one and the same spot, and no longer move at all, and the Turk is gazing at the pond.

We are gazing at the pond, and I see a duck surfacing with a tuft of grass in its bill, and I am tired of gazing and am satisfied, and the Turk is gazing at the pond.

We are gazing at the pond and, without seeing anything, I remember the sports writer who talked about death, and the Turk is gazing at the pond.

A Turk and I, we are sitting in the park on a bench and are gazing at the pond: I am sitting in the park on a bench next to a Turk with a thickly bandaged finger: I am sitting on a bench in the park next to a Turk with a thickly bandaged finger: next to me on the bench in the park there suddenly sits a Turk with a thickly bandaged finger which he is extending away from his other fingers: in the park on a bench sits a Turk with nine unimpaired fingers which he presses to the palpeter-hhandke-wounded-love-childms of his hands: on a bench in the park sits a Turk with a thickly bandaged finger and gazes out at the pond.

Submitted: Saturday, November 26, 2011

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