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Dormitory

To be honest, I’m not sure you could even call it a sound. It might be more accurate to say it was a quaking, a current, even a throb. But no matter how I strained to hear it, everything about the sound–its source, its tone, its timbre–remained vague. I never knew how to describe it. Still, from time to time, I attempted analogies: the icy murmer of a fountain in winter when a coin sinks to the bottom; the quaking of the fluid in the inner ear as you get off a merry-go-round; the sound of the night passing through the palm of your hand still gripping the phone after your lover hangs up . . . But I doubted these would help anyone understand.

I’ve been doing a one book a week regimen and so far the Japanese authors, though filtered through a translator, are the most poignant.

Excerpt: “Dormitory” in The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa. Photo: Chiu Heiyan
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