At the Manor, or Jump into the Fire by Maarja Kangro (tr. Christopher Moseley)

a nutshell: dreamlike & sumptuously strange, this story follows a poet dining and touring an Estonian manor house while erratically conversing with a bunch of musicians ahead of their joint performance

a line: “That was a beautiful moment of spring: feeling like a manor arsonist.”

an image: I loved the line about hearing the pianist’s verbal skills at the petrol station, how sensitively he used onomatopoeic words – trickle, murmur, dither, dangle

a thought: with its lavishly weird offerings (badger parfait, anyone?) & references to death, as well as the constant intertextuality/philosophising, the story strongly reminded me of the ‘Banquet of Trimalchio’ in Petronius’ Satyricon; on another note, I was seriously impressed with Moseley’s translation and curious about how he accomplished the wordplay around manors/manners

a fact: or not… while looking up the history of Baltic German manor houses in Estonia I came across this estonianworld.com article about the recent purchase of one by Prince Harry & Meghan Markle, before seeing (via an asterix) that it was in fact a hilarious* April Fools joke

want to read At the Manor, or Jump into the Fire? visit here(once again I have to thank the ever amazing Words Without Borders!)

*reality: thoroughly unamusing

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