Conversation of the Three Wayfarers
Fiction by Peter Weiss
Translated by E.B. Garside
With a contribution by John Keene
They were men who did nothing but walk walk walk. They were big, they were bearded, they wore leather caps and long raincoats, they called themselves Abel, Babel, and Cabel, and while they walked they talked to each other.
Conversation of the Three Wayfarers is a three-sided first-person monologue told by the wayfarers: Abel, Babel, and Cabel. The men exchange fantastic tales—of a bridge, a bride, and the ferryman’s sons; of an island, a river, a wharf—but one never knows who is speaking or where one tale leaves off and the next begins. The effect is of a series of breathless capers: a steeplechase performed on a floating pontoon.