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By John Irving


i'm doomed to recollect a boy with a wrecked voice—not as a result of his voice, or simply because he used to be the smallest individual I ever knew, or perhaps simply because he was once the software of my mother's demise, yet simply because he's the explanation i feel in God; i'm a Christian as a result of Owen Meany.

in the summertime of 1953, eleven-year-old boys—best friends—are enjoying in a bit League 3-hitter in Gravesend, New Hampshire. one of many boys hits a bad ball that kills the opposite boy's mom. The boy who hits the ball doesn't think in injuries; Owen Meany believes he's God's device. What occurs to Owen after that 1953 foul ball is remarkable.

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Ik onderdrukte de aanvechting om ‘Dat weet ik want dat is precies wat ik heb besteld’ te zeggen, en concentreerde me op de pink. Dichterbij dan dit was hij vanavond nog niet gekomen, ook niet bij het inschenken van de wijn. De gerant had ten slotte voor de makkelijkste oplossing gekozen en was uit de open keuken teruggekeerd met een nieuwe fles waar de kurk al half uitstak. Na de wijnkelder en het reisje naar het Loire-dal was de zesweekse wijncursus gekomen. Niet in Frankrijk maar in een leegstaand klaslokaal van een avondschool.

Als de historici over een paar eeuwen willen weten hoe achterlijk de mensheid was aan het begin van de eenentwintigste eeuw hoeven ze alleen maar een kijkje in de computers van de zogenoemde toprestaurants te nemen, want al die gegevens worden bewaard, dat weet ik toevallig. Wanneer meneer L. de vorige keer bereid was om drie maanden op een raamtafeltje te wachten dan wacht hij nu ook wel vijf maanden op een tafeltje naast de deur van het toilet – dat noemen ze in die restaurants ‘het bijhouden van de klantgegevens’.

Ik denk eerder dingen met school,’ zei ik. ‘Hij heeft net die proefwerkweek achter de rug, volgens mij is hij gewoon moe. ’ Klonk dit geloofwaardig? En vooral: keek ik er geloofwaardig bij? Claires ogen schoten heen en weer van mijn linker- naar mijn rechteroog; daarna bracht ze haar hand omhoog naar de kraag van mijn overhemd, alsof er iets verkeerd zat dat nu nog kon worden recht gestreken, zodat ik straks niet voor gek zou lopen in het restaurant. Ze glimlachte en legde haar hand met de vingers gespreid plat op mijn borst, ik voelde twee vingertoppen op mijn huid, op de plek waar het bovenste knoopje van mijn overhemd openstond.

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