Monday, February 6, 2012
the last book I ever read (Ragtime, excerpt three)
from E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime:
The most fascinating of all was a small, limber man who wore jodhpurs and a white silk shirt open at the neck and a flat white linen cap with a button. He was a flamboyant, excited person whose eyes darted here and there, like a child's, afraid of what they might miss. He carried on a chain around his neck a rectangular glass framed in metal which he often held up to his face as if to compose for a mental photograph what it was that had captured his attention. One cloudy morning on the hotel porch it turned out to be Mother. Caught in the act he came over and in a thick foreign accent made profuse apologies. He was, he said, the Baron Ashkenazy. He was in the moving-picture business and the glass rectangle was a tool of the trade which he could not forbear using even when on vacation. He laughed sheepishly and Mother was charmed.