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This report is taken from PN Review 249, Volume 46 Number 1, September - October 2019.

from The Notebooks
of Arcangelo Riffis
Marius Kociejowski
Arcangelo Riffis wasn’t really Arcangelo Riffis. Stop, I’d better rephrase that. Should there be a Hereafter and he, in his reconstituted state, is back on the job as night porter and I, at a loose end, swing by the Hotel Paradiso (or the Hotel Inferno) to discuss with him why it is things in heaven (or hell) are not so different from what they were on earth and, damn it all, why do we have to go through all these things twice, and he replies, a glimmer of menace in his voice, well, the dead have their ways, you know, what I would have to do then is to explain my opening gambit because, you see, some years ago I made the terrible mistake of writing a short essay on Fellini’s movie La Dolce Vita, that began ‘I go to see the man who calls himself Arcangelo Riffis…’ and, wouldn’t you know it, those seemingly innocuous words calls himself were sufficient to ignite yet another of our rows and he refused to read beyond the first sentence of my piece, which, had he pressed on with it, he would have seen put him in a much better light than he could ever have imagined coming from such a one. ‘I am Arcangelo Riffis,’ he thundered. ‘You weren’t always so,’ I replied. So, to begin afresh, Arcangelo Riffis was Arcangelo Riffis, but it wasn’t the name with which he was born, not the name that now graces his tombstone.

Arcangelo Riffis

Simplicity ...

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