"Be mindful of others' humanity"
The Speedy Malinowski Radio Show
and other stories
Flora says now’s my chance to write my book. She’s right. How about ‘I, Florence’, I said to her, written from a woman’s perspective? All about her boring husband who has no flair for gardening and spends his life under headphones, listening to rock, blues, jazz. And Motown. Plenty of Motown. Although, of course, it would be catchier if I called it ‘I, Claudia’. Would you like to be called Claudia? ‘Claudia was actually one of my grandmother’s names,’ Flora tells me; ‘she was Florencia Gabriela Claudia. Anyway,’ she said, checking on her phone, ‘it looks like someone has already beaten you to that particular title.’ ‘Only joking’, I said. ‘I could never write from a woman’s point of view anyway and I don’t know how a man could ever do that’. ‘Think of all those Victorian women novelists’, said Flora. ‘They used to write from every point of view'.
Kosciuszko in London
INTERIOR – THE SABLONIERE HOTEL, LEICESTER SQUARE
Wednesday 31st May, 1797.
My dearest Marta, I hope you are well and still think of me as often as I think of you. We arrived in England from Sweden on Monday. Niemcewicz was sea-sick. God knows how he will cope with a voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. Word has spread that General Kosciuszko is here in London. It’s in the newspapers and people are flocking to see him.
You wouldn’t believe the size of this city. It is absolutely overwhelming and stretches out for miles. And the number of different people there are here! In fact, Niemcewicz says that when he was last in England , he felt much more like a foreigner than he does today. Because today, in the wake of the revolution in France, he says, we are only a few of many. It’s true, we see not only French exiles, but people of all nationalities walking along the streets. No wonder people feel safe here. And so they come from all the trouble spots of Europe, indeed the world. It’s a shame that General Kosciuszko will not be able to see much of the city in his condition. No-one dares tell him, but we think he may be paralyzed for the rest of his life.
The Chronicle of Lerna
An Unapproved Account of the Campaign at Troy
I haven’t found any descriptions of Helen yet, sir, but I’m sure there must be something somewhere. But if I don’t find anything then I can give you a description myself. I did visit Troy, if you remember.
And you saw Helen?
And was she as beautiful as they say?
Well, it’s all a matter of taste, I suppose. Remember I was very young back then. I must have been about eight years old and generally overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of the city. All I know for sure is that she was the absolute focus of everyone’s attention and that she definitely wasn’t ugly. Even a youngster like myself knew she was something special at the time.
Ah, well, maybe this was a case of some kind of mass hypnosis. Or extremely successful propaganda. Were her eyes dark blue?
I couldn’t really tell from where I was standing, venerable sir.
Did you see Cassandra as well?
I did. She had the reputation of being eccentric, but she didn’t look it, as far as I remember. In fact, I found her far more attractive than Helen, but what does a young boy know about these things?