Uit; The Procedure (Vertaald door Paul Vincent)
yes, of course I can come straight to the point and start with a sentence like: The telephone rang. Who’s ringing whom? Why? It must be something important, otherwise the file wouldn’t open with it. Suspense! Action! But I can’t do it that way this time. On the contrary. Before anything can come to life here, we must both prepare ourselves through introspection and prayer. Anyone who wants to be swept along immediately, in order to kill time, would do better to close this book at once, put the television on, and sink back on the settee as one does in a hot foam bath. So before writing and reading any further we’re going to fast for a day, and then bathe in cool, pure water, after which we will shroud ourselves in robes of the finest white linen.
I’ve switched the telephone and the front doorbell off and turned the clock on my desk away from me; everything in my study is waiting for the events to come. The first luminous words have appeared in the ultramarine of the computer screen, while outside the dazzling, setting autumn sun shines over the square. From the blazing western sky tram rails stream like molten gold from a blast furnace; between the black trees cars appear from the chaos, disappear into it, people walk at the tips of shadows that are yards long. From the position of the sun in my room I can see what time it is: the light is falling diagonally, it’s six o’clock, rush hour, for most people the day’s work is over.
The origin of man was a complicated affair. Much of it is still obscure, not only in biological, but also in theological circles. In the Bible, indeed, this creature is actually created twice, and to a certain extent three times. Genesis 1:27 tells us that on the sixth and last day of creation the following happened: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” So there were two of them; immediately afterward God says: “Be fruitful, and multiply.” So the man was Adam, but the woman wasn’t Eve, because the primeval mother of us all saw the light of day only later, when the week of creation was long since over; she wasn’t created separately, but came forth from a rib of Adam’s.“
Harry Mulisch (29 juli 1927 – 30 oktober 2010)