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Donald Barthelme

“The Dead Father was slaying, in a grove of music and musicians. First he slew a harpist and then a performer upon the serpent and also a banger upon the rattle and also a blower of the Persian trumpet and one upon the Indian trumpet and one upon the Hebrew trumpet and one upon the Roman trumpet and one upon the Chinese trumpet of copper-covered wood. Also a blower upon the marrow trumpet and one upon the slide trumpet and one who wearing upon his head the skin of a cat performed upon the menacing murmurous cornu and three blowers on the hunting horn and several blowers of the conch shell and a player of the double aulos and flautists of all descriptions and a Panpiper and a fagotto player and two virtuosos of the quail whistle and a zampogna player whose fingering of the chanters was sweet to the ear and by-the-bye and during the rest period he slew four buzzers and a shawmist and one blower upon the water jar and a clavicytheriumist who was before he slew her a woman, and a stroker of the theorbo and countless nervous-fingered drummers as well as an archlutist, and then whanging his sword this way and that the Dead Father slew a cittern plucker and five lyresmiters and various mandolinists, and slew too a violist and a player of the kit and a picker of the psaltery and a beater of the dulcimer and a hurdy-gurdier and a player of the spike fiddle and sundry kettledrummers and a triangulist and two-score finger cymbal clinkers and a xylophone artist and two gongers and a player of the small semantron who fell with his iron hammer still in his hand and a trictrac specialist and a marimbist and a maracist and a falcon drummer and a sheng blower and a sansa pusher and a manipulator of the gilded ball.
The Dead Father resting with his two hands on the hilt of his sword, which was planted in the red and steaming earth.
My anger, he said proudly.
Then the Dead Father sheathing his sword pulled from his trousers his ancient prick and pissed upon the dead artists, severally and together, to the best of his ability-four minutes, or one pint.
Impressive, said Julie, had they not been pure cardboard.
My dear, said Thomas, you deal too harshly with him.
I have the greatest possible respect for him and for what he represents, said Julie, let us proceed.”


Donald Barthelme, The Dead Father
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The Dead Father The Dead Father by Donald Barthelme
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