By David Albahari

The position is Serbia, the time is the past due Nineteen Nineties. Our protagonist, a unmarried guy, writes a standard op-ed column for a Belgrade newspaper and spends the remainder of his time along with his ally, smoking pot and speaking approximately intercourse, politics, and existence typically. sooner or later at the shore of the Danube he spots a guy slapping a stunning girl. Intrigued, he follows the lady into the tangled streets of town until eventually he loses sight of her. a couple of days later he gets a mysterious manuscript whose contents appear to mutate at any time when he opens it. To decipher the manuscript—a number of fragments at the Kabbalah and the background of the Jews of Zemun and Belgrade—he contacts an previous schoolmate, now an eccentric mathematician, and a gaggle of fellows from the Jewish community. 

As the narrator delves deeper into arcane subject matters, he starts to work out symptoms of anti-Semitism, earlier and current, during the urban and he feels impelled to denounce it. yet his more and more passionate columns erupt in a scandal culminating in homicide. Following within the footsteps of Foucault’s Pendulum, Leeches is a cerebral event into the underground worlds of mystery societies and conspiracy theories.

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I sensed the diagonal whiteness of her thigh, then her naked foot, yet needed to make the effort to keep in mind her face. on the other hand I observed her thigh and felt my penis stiffening, until eventually like a bar it reached throughout my stomach. I must have referred to as her, i presumed. i did not flow. I trembled, stared into the darkness, and waited for the blood to seep again out of the spongy tissue. That was once the 1st time i assumed that Margareta may possibly really be the Shekhinah, the feminine presence of the divine, tied to the 10th Sephirot, nation, located at the map of the human physique within the soles of the toes. Wasn't Margareta barefoot in the course of our dialog on the residence within the Zemun high-rise? yet whether she used to be, does that truly suggest whatever? humans move barefoot, in the end, simply because they prefer to and never simply because they suggest to carve the shards of a mystery message into a persons attention. the days we have been dwelling in required a haven from fact, which may be stumbled on in simple terms through residing way of life in a fable or by way of studying meanings into truth. If i am going in this means, i assumed, i'll by no means nod off. My penis had wrinkled and curled up via then like a domestic dog weary of chasing cats. I touched it with my fingertips; it raised its head sleepily, then flopped correct again onto my crossed arms. stable, I stated, at the least you are asleep. My voice sounded hole at the hours of darkness, like every voice that is familiar with it will probably anticipate no solution. My eyelids have been commencing to suspend, my head lolled at the pillow, my limbs grew heavier, and that i may inform myself that at last i used to be at the verge of sleep, and, after all, the minute that inspiration happened to me my eyes snapped open, the ceiling stared me within the face, and that i knew past a doubt that i might greet the morning. Now whilst i believe approximately it, i'm surprised that anybody slept in any respect in these days, or relatively, these nights. fact had reached a mind-boggling measure of ugliness: we have been dwelling less than a dictatorship pretending to be a democracy, which was once final in ever extra tightly round somebody who dared voice a divergent opinion. The divide among the cynical executive, keen about fabric possessions, and the inhabitants driven into gloom and poverty was once deeper than the Grand Canyon, and the sensation of powerlessness to alter something ate at humans like a abdominal ulcer. you could not see it all in Belgrade but, yet within the heartland of Serbia a real darkness reigned, either non secular and in a different way. Such innovations unsettled me all of the extra, so I bought up and commenced pacing round the house. i did not activate the sunshine; I shuffled round, notwithstanding now not barefoot like Margareta, yet in delicate slippers, till I acquired to the table and the manuscript, which, it happened to me, I hadn't checked out for a very long time, goodbye, in truth, that I felt i might by no means learn it in any respect. I received again into mattress, switched at the gentle, opened to [>], and skim another time what used to be written at the dealing with web page: A dream uninterpreted is sort of a letter unread. I resisted the temptation to seem back on the pages i would dreamed of, so I flipped forward to [>].

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