Cockpit (Kosinski, Jerzy) by Jerzy Kosinski

By Jerzy Kosinski

An agent identified merely as Tarden is a former operative of the mysterious protection corporation "the Service." He has erased himself from all dossiers and transcripts. Now a fugitive, he strikes around the panorama freed from id, looking for experience and intrigue. yet Tarden is a guy of many disguises, and he's alternately avenger and savior, pass judgement on and trickster, as he enters the lives of others, forcing them into the world of his judgement. In Cockpit, Kosinski is at his so much startling and strong, stripping away pretension and illusions of safeguard to bare the resource of genuine energy inside.

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Example text

The Director clenched his teeth. “Flower bed in the sky? ” he asked, looking at me intently. “I am positive, Comrade. ” “Good. ” I pretended to restrain my rage as I replied, “He did not apologize. ” The Director picked up my application and scanned the list of enclosures. ” he asked incredulously. ” I paused to emphasize the seriousness of my reply. “However, upon my emphatic request, the Comrade Deputy Chief confirmed in writing his receipt of the application and enclosures,” I continued. The Director studied the signature and stamp at the bottom of the page.

Even though I was still at the State’s mercy, I mentally projected myself to a time when I would be free of it. I had been fortunate enough to qualify for scientific training, an invaluable protective device which I planned to eventually turn to my own advantage. In the State’s eyes, I was its property. The State had even decided on the service I would perform to repay the cost of my education. According to the identity card I always carried, I was a researcher at one of the most important political and scientific institutes within the State Central Academy of Science.

A former girl friend spoke of my sexual obsessions, which seemed alien to the Party spirit; a current one listed unpredictability as my dominant character trait. A professor with whom I had studied warned I could be a camouflaged enemy of the State and if allowed to leave the country might never return. My parents’ neighbors wrote scathing denunciations, calling my father a reactionary who was openly contemptuous of the State, and my mother a cosmopolite, a remnant of the old regime. Some of the friends with whom I had studied, skied and spent summer vacations evaded the issue by claiming that I was too inaccessible to be evaluated.

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