Although not the most representative work of this Slovenian classic of short prose, I love this story for its high spirit, for the power it gives to one’s mind against the chances of destiny and pressures of the society. A graduate finds himself choosing between a career that is expected of him and encouragements he has received from a literary magazine which published his writings. He seeks advice from an old professor, who of course cannot deliver a straight answer but tells a story instead.
Florian has set new standards for what I seek and admire in contemporary prose. This short story is like a boy’s breathing, describing his primary school teacher through the desires and words of a boy, but the mindset and literary structure of a man. Bananas were scarce in Romania three decades ago, and while waiting in front of the grocery store for the rare luxury, a boy is tricked out of the line by his favourite teacher.
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