The figurative language of Etgar Keret

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I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a series of images from Etgar Keret…

Etgar Keret is an Israeli writer known for his short stories, graphic novels, and scriptwriting for film and television. I was completely unfamiliar with him until a good friend gave me a copy of his memoir The Seven Good Years as a gift.

I loved this book! And it made me decide that Etgar Keret is an Israeli David Sedaris. Here are my favourite examples of his figurative language (and many of them are funny, to boot!)

  • Sometimes when I wake up at night and see [my son’s] little figure shaking next to me in the bed like a toy burning through its batteries, producing strange guttural noises, I can’t help comparing him in my imagination to Chucky in the horror movie Child’s Play.
  • It’s the middle [part of flying] I love, that part when you’re closed up in a tin box that’s floating between heaven and earth.
  • The in-flight “I” is addicted to tomato juice, a drink I wouldn’t think of touching when my feet are on the ground, In the air, that “I” avidly watches mind-numbing Hollywood comedies on a screen the size of a hemorrhoid and delves into the pages of the product catalog kept in the pocket of the seat in front of me as if it were an updated, upgraded version of the Old Testament.
  • The air here is so damp that you can actually drink it with a straw.
  • There was something accusing in her tone, as if the fact that my wife and I haven’t discussed our baby’s military future is on the same scale as skipping his measles vaccination.
  • My wife came home one day to find me lying on my back like a dead cockroach.
  • Today I feel that I have to get home as early as I can. Like a melting Popsicle that has to get back to the freezer, like a cell phone that urgently needs to be charged.
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