I’ve Been Reading That Inscription Wrong For Five Years

I had the good fortune of getting to hear Etgar Keret read back at AWP when it was last in Denver. I saw him signing someone’s book before the reading and mistakenly, and unintentionally rudely, ran up to get my books signed. Turns out, he was just borrowing the guy’s book so he could use it as part of the reading. I was embarassed, but he was nice enough to sign my books anyway. I told him my name was David and he wrote in one of them: “Slay a king!”

Or, so I thought.

I went around jokingly telling people Etgar Keret told me to commit regicide. I told people I was keeping an eye on the Mattress King.

I was a little puzzled, but I figured it must be metaphorical or something. I thought it might have been a biblical reference. I remember David being a biblical king, and struggling to stay king, but didn’t remember him killing any king. I remember him killing Goliath, but no kings. I figured maybe it was just that everyone knew the bible better than me and maybe he was famous for killing some king, like Saul or something (though that ran counter to what I remembered).

I was lucky enough to communicate with Mr. Keret over email recently. He was nice enough to respond to a communication I sent someone to forward to him, in which I’d mentioned the inscription and included a pic.

IMG_0475

He explained that he actually hadn’t finished writing what he’d intended, perhaps because I rushed him right before a gigantic reading and flustered him. He hadn’t finished crossing the “t” he’d intended to. It was supposed to far less lethally say “Stay a king!” rather than “Slay a king!”

That made a lot more sense.

Funny that I’ve been reading this wrong for five years.

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About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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