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The Teachers’ Lounge: Stories

An original translation of new Hebrew fiction from Bernstein Prize-winner Dror Burstein, author of ‘Kin’

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The Literature Teacher

The Literature teacher said: “What, in fact, is poetry and literature? Let’s suppose,” he said, “that I go into the kitchen. In the kitchen there is a black bucket, actually an old pot that was turned into a bucket, and inside it is a pile of onions; the onions, without soil and without water, without almost any sunlight, send out green leaves, transform their insides, which are already rotting, into one final growth. I go into the kitchen and think, I’ll make myself onion soup today. But then I see this sight, in the bucket, in the black pot, and I forget about the onion soup. I forget my hunger and my great craving for onion soup. My good friend calls and says, “I’ll come over in fifteen minutes to eat the onion soup with you that I’m sure you’ll prepare especially for me,” but I forget about the friend as well and will never see him again. I bend down next to this onion and peer at the onions’ green leaves, which are ignoring the fact that there is no soil, and that there is no place for their roots to fasten themselves, and there is no hope for anything at all, and nevertheless they protrude in a chorus, or like green birds, parrots perhaps, that take off from the ground and leave behind them, for a moment, for one brief moment, a type of green trail, it seems, which reminds the viewer of a certain taste, yes, the taste of green onion soup, that his mother prepared for him, he dreams up, that his mother made for him when he was little.”

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The Teachers’ Lounge: Stories

An original translation of new Hebrew fiction from Bernstein Prize-winner Dror Burstein, author of ‘Kin’