The Unloved: From the Diary of Perla S.

The Unloved: From the Diary of Perla S.

Language: English

Pages: 197

ISBN: 0877957398

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Winner of the National Jewish Book Award for Fiction

Perla S. is a beautiful seventeen-year-old girl who, while interred in the Theresienstadt concentration camp, becomes a prostitute. Capturing Perla's voice through a series of diary entries, Arnost Lustig shows how she maintains her integrity, honesty, and hope amidst lies and horror. This first paperback edition has been extensively revised and expanded by the author.

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Harychek Geduld is a communist. “ I don’t really know,” I replied. “Who wouldn’t believe in some­ thing besides the coming o f spring, summer, fall, or winter?” I smiled. It also occurred to me that Harychek Geduld acts at times as if he and his gang know something that no one else knows. M y father, from what I can remember, was always upset when people promised something that was true for a couple of weeks or months at most, if they were lucky. “ He’s puffed up like a balloon that’s about to

Mr. L., the destinies of countries merely reflect human des­ tinies, or the other way around. He thinks things have been going downhill for mankind for a good number of centuries, but, unfortu­ nately or fortunately, not for everybody at the same time; therefore, no one ever really resists. They keep dropping away, one right after another, all the same, like slices of a salami. He doubts that it can be turned around. He talks about decadence, but he has never explained the exact meaning o f that

bad, the beautiful for the ugly. One can talk about everything with the old man. With others, one can’t speak about anything. Then he told me more about the dead city, with its pyramids to the sun and the moon, where an Indian girl pure as a virgin would be sacrificed. They would lead her up the sun pyramid’s stairs to the Hat little top; they w’ould stab her in the crooks of her arms with cac- 6i tus prickles so that she would bleed and faint before she was burned as an homage to the sun god.

he fell asleep just like a baby, just as when I was little I managed to sit for hours on the potty until I fell asleep with a pacifier in my mouth. In the morning he said that it was as sweet a way for him to fall asleep as he had ever known. And that he wished that when his time was up, he would die just that way. Shivers ran up and down my spine, and it occurred to me just how strange it was that eventually everything came down to that. I can hear the melody o f all the words I am writing down,

see them, because it wasn’t pleasant to watch what had happened to them, so they themselves will be glad in the end when the Germans finish them off once and for all. She had the same feelings when the Germans first came to Prague. As though everything had been stripped from her body; stripped stark naked, as if she had nothing but herself, and even that seemed sud­ denly to be too much. It was like an avalanche. One o f those moods that come over people without their knowing how to explain it.

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