Towards Better Democracy

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Brohumil Hrabal – Closely Observed Trains

from p 10
And yet the beighbours could never forgive him. maybe it was because of Great -grandfathr Luke, who was only 18 when he was granted a disability pension of a gold piece a day, though afterwards, in the republic he got it in crowns.
My grandfather was born in 1830, and in 1848 he was drummer in the army, and as a drummer boy he took part in the fighting on Charles Bridge,. The students dug out cobble-stones from the paving to throw at the soldiers, and they hit Great-grandfather on the knee and crippled him for life. From that time on he was grated this disability pension, a gold piece every day and every day he would spend it on a bottle of rum and two packets of tobacco, but instead of sitting quietly at home to do his drinking and smoking, he went off limping about the streets and field paths, taking a special delight in turning up wherever there were people slaving away at some hard labour. And there he’d sit and grin and gloat over these workers, and drink this rum of his, and smoke his tobacco, and what with one thing and another, never a year passed without Great-grandfather Luke getting beaten up somewhere, and Grandfather would have to wheel him home in the wheelbarrow.
Bohumil Hrabal – Closely Observed Trains
Translated by Edith Parteger
Release Date: April 1990
Publisher: Abacus
Format: Paperback
Length: 96 Pages
Malcolm D B Munro
Thursday 23 August, 2018

Filed under: art, Literature, Media, Memoir, Music, poetry, songs, stories

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