Peru: Novel Excerpt --- Gordon Lish | Numéro Cinq
Peru is a compulsively "spoken," recursive, stylized monologue that circles around and around the moment in 1940, when, at the age of six, the narrator murdered another six-year-old boy with a toy hoe in a sandbox. I give you here one of the great death/murder scenes, bizarrely dispassionate, full of a kind of schizophrenic detail and a consciousness on the narrator's part of wanting to tell you the story correctly. So, at the outset, the first detail he tells you about the murder is that he could hear water running for the garden spigot, a detail that seems irrelevant and then compelling. We see the pitted marks the hoe leaves on the victim's face. We see the victim getting up from his dying and stumbling around, watching his own dying.