"The Castaway" by Alessio Zanelli
As a child he’d been feeding on sea stories, sea people, sea
adventures. Benign and adverse sea, calm and rough, emerald
and leaden. Tale after tale, book after book, devoured by
insane desires, adrift in timeless daydream. A seagull, he’d
planed over enchanted bays; sea fog, he’d enveloped mighty
fleets; roller foam, he’d broken against rocks. Pirates and
privateers, crossings and peripli, vanished treasures and
alluring arcana, epic landings and ruinous shipwrecks filled
his nights. The white whale, Sir Henry Morgan, and the
Maelström were his favorite talismans. Then, a boy with
pristine hairs on the face, so far from the real sea, misplaced
in his flatland in the middle of nowhere, he still had the sea
awave inside. He could hear its call more than ever before, a
wretched hero deprived of his element. Until, unaware of
what lay further ahead, he saw the tempest come and crush
him like a straw. Fiercer than the heaviest storm he’d ever
fantasized of, truer than his rudest awakening, more
untamable than his wildest dreams. Right when, alone and
forlorn, he didn’t have sufficient time and strength to lower
the sails and take the helm.
Today he remembers with somber indifference all the hours
spent on thinking, an eternally pensive adolescent, about
which album he would take to a desert island. But there is not
nor ever was any such place, the tempest didn’t cast him to
any remote seashore. The immobile time, missed because
unused, is his hermetic little world, his desert island, with no
music nor sound except the howling of the wind. He thrashes
around in the usual shoals, like an eel that’s lost its way to
Sargasso Sea but still retains a grain of hope. He keeps on
clutching at the same old reef, conscious the final slip is near.
He, who used to rule the seas! He fancies he is Captain Nemo
at the wheel of Nautilus in the abyss once more. He sees
himself a child again, when the sea fog so dear to him
removes all horizons from his view.
Table of Contents
SPECIAL SECTION: German Crime Writing
Guest edited by J. Madison Davis
- Introduction, J. Madison Davis, guest editor
- FICTION: Lisa Lercher, "Forty-three-year-old woman seeking..."
- ESSAY: Beatrix Kramlovsky, "Show Your Face, oh Violence"
- ESSAY: Almuth Heuner, "Germany's Crime and Mystery Scene"
- FICTION: Nina George, "The Light in the West"
- ESSAY: Hughes Schlueter, "The Grand Duchy Strikes Back"
- ESSAY: Paul Ott, "Murder in the Alpenglow: Swiss Crime Writing in the German Language"
- ESSAY: Thomas Przybilka, "A Resource for Lovers of Crime Writing: The Bonn Archive of Secondary Crime Writing Literature"
SPECIAL SECTION: World Cup/World Lit 2011
Guest edited by John Turnbull
- Introduction, John Turnbull, guest editor
- INTERVIEW: John Turnbull, "A Conversation with Nalinaksha Bhattacharya"
- FICTION: Nalinaksha Bhattacharya, "Hem and Football" an excerpt
- POETRY: Mona Nicole Sfeir, "Laws of the Game (adapted from FIFA 2010-11)"
- INTERVIEW: Sandra Kingery, "A Conversation with Ana María Moix"
- ESSAY: Jennifer Doyle, "Soccer, Art and Desire"
- INTERVIEW: John Turnbull, "A Conversation with Elísabet Jökulsdóttir"
- ESSAY: Clarice Lispector, "Armando Nogueira, Soccer, and Me (Poor Thing)"
- WLT Online Book Club: The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky
- Author Profile: Jonas Hassen Khemiri
- Czesław Miłosz Centennial
- City Profile: Tallinn, Estonia
- Raquel Chalfi, "Double Exposure in the Black Forest"
Q&A: WLT INTERVIEWS
- Ray Taras, "A Conversation with Carsten Jensen"
WEB EXCLUSIVES: MARITIME READING
- READING LIST: More Maritime Reading
- PHOTO GALLERY: Marstal Maritime Museum Photos
- EXCERPT:Vi sejlede bare (2009; We just sailed) by Carsten Jensen
- POETRY: "The Castaway"by Alessio Zanelli
OUTPOSTS: Norwich, Norfolk
- Norwich, Norfolk