“Yashim clapped his book shut with an exclamation of surprise. ‘Everything that is useful,’ Gautier had written, ‘is ugly.’
Yashim shook his head. What sad world did this Gautier inhabit, that everything useful could be described as ugly? It was a fault of the Franks to make their slightest opinions sound like revealed laws, of course. He contemplated the nutcracker in his hand, with its chased brass handles and polished iron jaws. He let his eyes wander around the apartment, from the shelf beside the divan, with its collection of porcelain and books, to the stack of crocks and pans in the far corner where he cooked.