Stranger, a good or evil prophet, or a phantom enshrouded in visions?

(Excerpt of Stranger)

What was he to me, this phantom enshrouded in visions, sinking further away as the years went by, deeper and deeper into a reality, which I could but hate..., what did his appearances and exits forebode? I still do not know.

Was he simply the good or evil prophet? Even such discrimination was beyond my power to discern from the complicated night spirals he had woven into my path.

He was the Stanger. That is who he was.

He had even followed me here, in this town with its single never-ending season where a few somber-faced people still took an interest in computers and interpreters. He would no doubt follow my drifting star wherever else cosmopolitan chance trust me—the chance of a man without a fate.

Major events of my life and the encounters with the Stranger

I saw him once more several years later, or rather my wife (then my wife-to-be) spotted him first in the open-air restaurant where we first met just before midnight. He posed a striking figure beneath the vault of the stairway leading to the terrace. He seemed to be looking for a place to sit. As soon as he caught us staring at him, he smiled back. Did he smile at the girl's curiosity or at my confusion? Now I wonder whether that face, which had caused our eyes to meet, did not also join our fates together... He was wearing the same sheeny outfit: the shirt (white satin, perhaps), the jacket slung over his shoulder, the cane topped with stainless metal—all of it. From then on, I would run into him on multiple occasions and in different circumstances. (I remember it was raining that evening, yet the sky was studded with stars—the night of my daughter's birth was one of them.) Besides, all these encounters coincided with major events of my life, though most of them had sunk into oblivion and now only his ghostly appearances on this stage, passing by and beyond, illuminate those rare moments.

Each time he smiled his stadium smile. The same one that had distinguished me from the others then—at the finale of the World Youth Festival—but he never spoke to me. Neither could his manner, of resting on his cane with eyes piercing straight through me, ever have inspired me with enough boldness to address him first. His friendliness was of the same quality as his eyes, cast in the same hard alloy, which made up his very being—unyielding, arrogant, bright and unforgettable.

Review: "It no longer surprises anyone that for a quite a number of authors, writing is a way and means to procure a reality. Yet Danilo Peshikan does it with a full awareness of the ceaseless variability of reality, and its tendency to flee beyond the horizon of visions and perceptions, of anticipations and hopes. As all this registers in the profound concept of Stranger's author, it will have the same impact as Rene Magritte's famous phrase 'This is not a pipe!' only inverted, 'The pipe is not this!'" Iren Ivancheva

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