“We can read about her life in the factory, learn about the work that’s done there, the processes that are carried out, the rules that are followed, and so on, but the fact that we receive each new detail greedily, always hungry for more, is proof of how little we really know. In that same way, I pored over Delia’s uniform when she lowered her sleeves: I wanted to find the detail, the accidental mark that, together with the clues I had received earlier, would allow me to reconstruct her shift. Clothes are particularly good for this, aren’t they? I’ve read many novels in which characters study the clothing of others to learn something about them, something their words don’t say and their actions don’t reveal. There are even novels in which someone is fooled by clothing, though they know it to be a prime form of trickery. This was not the case with Delia. Much is written about the accessory, but very little about the essential.” —Sergio Chejfec, from The Dark.
(Another photograph for my ongoing series, Visitors, of street photography on Boston’s mass transit. If you’re not familiar with Chejfec’s work, it’s definitely worth checking out. Here’s an excellent review of The Dark in Music & Literature. This interview with Chejfec in Guernica also nicely previews his concerns and dispositions.)