Uit: The Clothes They Stood Up In
“I mean,” said Mrs. Ransome, “it’s getting like a hotel.”
“I wish you wouldn’t keep saying ‘I mean,'” said Mr. Ransome. “It adds nothing to the sense.”
He got enough of what he called “this sloppy way of talking” at work; the least he could ask for at home, he felt, was correct English. So Mrs. Ransome, who normally had very little to say, now tended to say even less.
When the Ransomes had moved into Naseby Mansions the flats boasted a commissionaire in a plum-colored uniform that matched the color of the building. He had died one afternoon in 1982 as he was hailing a taxi for Mrs. Brabourne on the second floor, who had forgone it in order to let it take him to hospital. None of his successors had shown the same zeal in office or pride in the uniform and eventually the function of commissionaire had merged with that of the caretaker, who was never to be found on the door and seldom to be found anywhere, his lair a hot scullery behind the boiler room where he slept much of the day in an armchair that had been thrown out by one of the tenants.
On the night in question the caretaker was asleep, though unusually for him not in the armchair but at the theater. On the lookout for a classier type of girl he had decided to attend an adult education course where he had opted to study English; given the opportunity, he had told the lecturer, he would like to become a voracious reader. The lecturer had some exciting though not very well formulated ideas about art and the workplace, and learning he was a caretaker had got him tickets for the play of the same name, thinking the resultant insights would be a stimulant to group interaction. It was an evening the caretaker found no more satisfying than the Ransomes did Così and the insights he gleaned limited: “So far as your actual caretaking was concerned,” he reported to the class, “it was bollocks.” The lecturer consoled himself with the hope that, unknown to the caretaker, the evening might have opened doors. In this he was right: the doors in question belonged to the Ransomes’ flat“.
Such a deep silence surrounds me, that I think I hear
moonbeams striking on the windows.
In my chest,
a strange voice is awakens
and a song plays inside me
a longing that is not mine.
They say that ancestors, dead before their time,
with young blood still in their veins,
with great passion in their blood,
with the sun still burning in their blood
come to continue to live
their unfinished lives.
Such a deep silence surrounds me, that I think I hear
moonbeams striking on the windows.
O, who knows, soul of mine, in which chest you will sing
you also, after centuries,
in soft ropes of silence,
on harps of obscurity – the drowned longing
and the pleasure of living torn? Who knows?
Vertaald door Mari Goes
Setting the V.C.R. when we go to bed
to record a night owl movie, some charmer we missed
we always allow, for unprogrammed unforeseen,
an extra half hour. (Night gods of the small screen
are ruthless with watchers trapped in their piety.)
We watch next evening, and having slowly found
the start of the film, meet the minors and leads,
enter their time and place, their wills and needs,
hear in our chests the click of empathy’s padlock,
watch the forces gather, unyielding world
against the unyielding heart, one longing’s minefield
laid for another longing, which may yield.
Tears will salt the left-over salad I seize
during ads, or laughter slow my hurry to pee.
But as clot melts toward clearness a black fate
may fall on the screen; the movie started too late.
Torn from the backward-shining of an end
that lights up the meaning of the whole work,
disabled in mind and feeling, I flail and shout,
“I can’t bear it! I have to see how it comes out!”
For what is story if not relief from the pain
of the inconclusive, from dread of the meaningless?
Minds in their silent blast-offs search through space–
how often I’ve followed yours!–for a resting-place.
And I’ll follow, past each universe in its spangled
ballgown who waits for the slow-dance of life to start,
past vacancies of darkness who vainglory
is endless as death’s, to find the end of the story.
Uit: Seini Barakat (Vertaald door Hartmut Fähndrich)
“Die Verhältnisse im Lande Ägypten sind in diesen Tagen sehr verworren. Kairo erscheint mir fremd, nicht so, wie es mir von früheren Reisen her vertraut ist. Die Unterhaltungen der Menschen sind irgendwie anders. Sprache und Dialekte des Landes sind mir inzwischen bekannt. Die Stadt macht einen kränklichen, verschüchterten Eindruck, als sei sie drauf und dran, in Tränen auszubrechen, wie eine verängstigte Frau, die sich in dunkler Nacht vor Gewalttaten fürchtet. Selbst der Himmel ist nur dünnlich blau, nicht so klar wie sonst, ja, trübe, bedeckt mit Nebeln, die aus fernen Ländern kommen. Die kleinen Dörfer Indiens fallen mir ein. Wenn die Pest sie heimsuchte, war nachts die Luft schwer und feucht, und die Häuser warteten auf etwas, was ein oder zwei Tage später schon eintreffen konnte. Ich lausche den Hufen, die auf dem Straßenpflaster klappern, sich immer weiter entfernen. Vorsichtig blicke ich durch das Gitterfenster des Hauses hinab, darauf bedacht, von niemandem gesehen zu werden. Die Dunkelheit umhüllt die Häuser. Das Minarett der neuen, erst vor ein paar Jahren errichteten Sultan-Ghauri-Moschee kann ich nicht erkennen. Bei meinem letzten Aufenthalt hier, vor meiner langen Reise in den Osten, habe ich es noch nicht gesehen; nur von den Bauvorbereitungen hatte ich vernommen, und von der Errichtung der gewaltigen Kuppel gegenüber.”
Uit Watership Down
“I’m sick and tired of it,” he said. “It’s the same all the time. These are my claws, so this is my cowslip.’ These are my teeth, so this is my burrow.’ I’ll tell you, if ever I get into the Owsla, I’ll treat outskirters with a bit of decency.”
“Well, you can at least expect to be in the Owsla one day,” answered Fiver.
“You’ve got some weight coming and that’s more than I shall ever have.”
“You don’t suppose I’ll leave you to look after yourself, do you?” said Hazel.
“But to tell you the truth, I sometimes feel like clearing out of this warren altogether. Still, let’s forget it now and try to enjoy the evening. I tell you what—shall we go across the brook? There’ll be fewer rabbits and we can have a bit of peace. Unless you feel it isn’t safe?” he added.
The way in which he asked suggested that he did in fact think that Fiver was likely to know better than himself, and it was clear from Fiver’s reply that this was accepted between them.
“No, it’s safe enough,” he answered. “If I start feeling there’s anything dangerous I’ll tell you. But it’s not exactly danger that I seem to feel about the place. It’s-oh, I don’t know-something oppressive, like thunder: I can’t tell what; but it worries me. All the same, I’ll come across with you.”
Uit: The Adventures of Peter Pan
Foolish Tootles was standing like a conqueror over Wendy’s body when the other boys sprang, armed, from their trees.
“You are too late,” he cried proudly, “I have shot the Wendy. Peter will be so pleased with me.”
Overhead Tinker Bell shouted “Silly ass!” and darted into hiding. The others did not hear her. They had crowded round Wendy, and as they looked a terrible silence fell upon the wood. If Wendy’s heart had been beating they would all have heard it.
Slightly was the first to speak. “This is no bird,” he said in a scared voice. “I think this must be a lady.”
“A lady?” said Tootles, and fell a-trembling.
“And we have killed her,” Nibs said hoarsely.
They all whipped off their caps.
“Now I see,” Curly said: “Peter was bringing her to us.” He threw himself sorrowfully on the ground.
“A lady to take care of us at last,” said one of the twins, “and you have killed her!”
They were sorry for him, but sorrier for themselves, and when he took a step nearer them they turned from him.
Tootles’ face was very white, but there was a dignity about him now that had never been there before.
“I did it,” he said, reflecting. “When ladies used to come to me in dreams, I said, `Pretty mother, pretty mother.’ But when at last she really came, I shot her.”
He moved slowly away.“
Uit: Kokain (Vertaald door Maria Gagliardi)
“Auf welche Weise Tito der Geliebte der Armenierin geworden ist, kann der Leser in ausführlichster Schilderung in jedem beliebigen anderen Roman nachlesen; ich empfehle insbesondere solche, die der Reihe nach alle Phasen der Verliebtheit projizieren und die mit tadelloser Keuschheit genau in den Augenblick enden, in dem er und sie, nachdem dreihundert Seiten mit nichtssagenden Mätzchen sterilisiert wurden, sich den ersten würdevollen Kuss geben.”
“Gott ist kein Künstler. Um die Menschen zu töten, nimmt er seine Zuflucht zu so unendlich kleinen Meuchelmördern, dass man nicht einmal weiß, ob sie vegetabilischer oder animalischer Natur sind.”