Man Booker Prize voor Anna Burns
De Man Booker Prize, de belangrijkste prijs voor Engelstalige literatuur, gaat dit jaar naar de Noord-Ierse schrijfster Anna Burns. Ze krijgt de onderscheiding voor haar roman “Milkman”, die speelt in het Noord-Ierland van de jaren 70. Zie ook alle tags voor Anna Burns op dit blog.
“Third time of the millanan was when he appeared not long after my adult evening French class. This dass was downtown and it had surprising things. Often these would not be French things. Often too, there would be more of Litern than would be the French things. At this latest lesson, which took place on Wednes-day evening, teacher was reading from a book. This was a French book, a proper French book — one that native speakers cottld read without considering it beneath them — and wacher said she was reading from it to get us used to what authentic French sounded like when strung together in Full-on passages — in this rase, a lit-erary passage. Thing was though, the sky in this passage she was reading from wasn’t blue. Eventually she got interrupted because someone in the dass — spokesperson for the test of us — naturally couldn’t stand it. Something was wrong and he had a need, for the sake of all things generic, to point it out. ‘1’m confused,’ he said. ‘1s that passage akut the sky? lf it is about the sky then why doesn’t the writer just say so? Why is he complicating things with fang footwork when all he need say is that the sky is blue?’ ‘Hear! Hear!’ cried us oti if some of us, like me, didn’t cry it, certainly we agreed in sentiment. ‘Le ciel est bleu! Le ciel est bleu!’ shouted many of the others. ‘That would have deared matten. Why didn’t he just put that?’ We were disturbed, and not a little, but wacher, she laughed which was something she did a lot. She did this because she had an unnerving amount of humour — another thing which ruffled us as well. Whenever she laughed, we weren’t sure whether to laugh along with her to be curious and engaged and to ask why she was laughing, or to be sulky and offended and seriously up in ums. This time, as usual, we opted for up in arms. ‘What a waste of time and a confusion of subjects; complained a woman. ‘That writer ought not to be featuring in a French lesson even if he is French if he’s not doing anything about teaching it. This is”learning a foreign language” dass, not a dass on burdening us with taking things apart which are in the saure language to find out if they’re a poem or something. If we wanted figttres of speech and rhetorical flourishes, with one thing representing another thing when the represented thing could easily have been itself in the first place, then we’d have gone to English Literature with Chose weirdos down the hall.”Yeah!’ cried us and also we cried, ‘A spade’s a spade!’, also the popular ‘JA ciel est Neurand ‘What’s ihe point? There’s no point!’ continued to come out of us. Everyone was nodding and slapping desks and murmuring and acclaiming. And now it was time, we thought, to give our spokespeople and ourselves a jolly good round of applause. ‘So, dass,’ said wacher after this applause had diel down, ‘is it that you think the sky can only be blue?’ The sky is blue,’ warne us. ‘What colour eise can it be?’
Anna Burns (Belfast, 1962)
Onafhankelijk van geboortedata
De Noord-Ierse schrijfster Anna Burns werd geboren in Belfast in 1962. Zij groeide op in de katholieke arbeiderswijk Ardoyne in Belfast. In 1987 verhuisde ze naar Londen. Ten tijde van het schrijven van haar novelle “Mostly Hero” (2014) woonde ze in East Sussex, aan de Engelse zuidoostkust. Haar eerste roman, “No Bones” (2001), is een verslag van het leven van een meisje dat opgroeit in het Belfast van The Troubles. Onder de Ierse literatuur over de Troubles wordt “No Bones” als een belangrijk werk gezien, dat om het vastleggen van de alledaagse spreektaal van de mensen in Belfast wel is vergeleken met Dubliners van James Joyce. De roman won in 2001 de Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize van de Royal Society of Literature voor de beste regioroman in het Verenigd Koninkrijk en Ierland van dat jaar. Een jaar later werd de roman genomineerd voor de Orange Prize for Fiction.
Uit: Mostly Hero
“The villains from downtown eastside put a magic spell on femme fatale so that she would kill superhero whilst under the influence of this magic spell. She would be totally insensible of doing so. The villains considered this plan delicious and foolproof, but it wasn’t entirely foolproof because the evil wizards from whom they had purchased it said it was a new spell, not as yet perfected, therefore not entirely reliable. They could guarantee that whosoever was under it would experience an irresistible urge to kill the person they were programmed to kill. It was just they might not try to kill this person all the time. The villains did calculations and decided there was a good enough percentage of chances that she might kill him more than a percentage of chances that she might forget to kill him. So yes, delicious and almost foolproof. What made it especially exquisite for the villains was that immediately this woman killed her lover she would come to and realise what she’d done. She would scream, be maddened, be heart-broken, be broken – then she’d be arrested and have to go to the jail. Even this though, wasn’t the main deliciousness. This femme fatale was small fry in the eyes of these villains. What would be truly massively orgasmic was that hero would be taken by surprise. Ordinarily it was very hard to take him by that – owing to his training and superpowers and so forth. But in this case he’d be off guard, perhaps at home, perhaps partially undressed, perhaps doing something domestic, making coffee perhaps in his kitchen, all the while pondering the magnificence of his woman with his underbelly receptive and exposed. Dumbfounded, he’d be astonished that here, after all these years, he’d managed at last to let someone get close to him. He’d turn to say as much to his very own femme fatale who at that moment would be tiptoeing up behind him. Then he’d look dumbfounded in a completely different way because it would be at that moment she’d plunge the daggers in. That would be the end of him, laughed the villains, and effectively it would be the end of her also, at least as a happy woman – so far as femmes fatales could be said to be happy women. So they rubbed their hands in glee, these villains, and purchased the spell and brought it home to their downtown eastside residence where, in the rarefied atmosphere required for spells, they performed the ritual by doing exactly what it said on the tin.”
Anna Burns (Belfast, 1962)