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This article is taken from PN Review 34, Volume 10 Number 2, November - December 1983.

In Broad Daylight (translated by James Merrill) C.P. Cavafy


This is Cavafy's only known prose work, translated by JAMES MERRILL and first published in Grand Street (Spring 1983) as part of their anniversary tribute to Cavafy.


I was sitting one evening after dinner at the San Stefano Casino at Ramleh. My friend Alexander A., who lived in the Casino, had invited me and another young man, a close friend of us both, to dine with him. As it was not an evening with music, very few people had come, and we three had the place to ourselves.

We talked of various things. Since none of us was very rich, the conversation turned naturally enough to money, to the independence and consequent pleasures it brings.

Our young friend said he would like to have three million francs and began to describe what he would do, and above all what he would stop doing, once in possession of this large sum.

I calculated, more modestly, that I could get along with twenty thousand francs a year.

Alexander A. said: "Had I wished, I should today be who knows how many times a millionaire-but I didn't dare."

These were strange words, we thought. We knew our friend A.'s life thoroughly, and could not recall his ever being presented with an opportunity to become many times a millionaire. We supposed therefore that he had spoken lightly, that some joke would follow. But our friend's face was ...


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