Arnon Grunberg

The Owner


Friday evening the caravan arrived in Padova, minus my translator Franco Paris who had to stay in the southern part of Italy because of a contest for young translators of Cicero.
We had dinner at a small trattoria near the university. The owner was sitting in front of his restaurant while reading poems by Carver in Italian translation.
I have never read poetry by Carver -- I didn’t even know that Carver was a poet as well.
Later the owner came to our table and he declared that he had two passions: “Poetry and mushrooms.” Some of his own poems, one about old people in his village, hung on the wall.
The restaurant stayed fairly empty but the owner didn’t seem to mind. When we left he was whistling.