Friday, April 25, 2008

The Magistrate

The grey beard is caked with blood. The lips are crushed and drawn back, the teeth are broken. One eye is rolled back, the other eye-socket is a bloody hole. “Close it up,” I say. The guard bunches the opening together. It falls open. “They say that he hit his head on the wall. What do you think?” He looks at me warily.

---from JM Coetzee’s “Waiting for the Barbarians,” of the magistrate looking at the corpse that bore the marks of torture

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