sâmbătă, 14 aprilie 2012

José Saramago - Things

"The Lives of Things" este o colecție de povestiri experimentale semnată José Saramago, apărută pentru prima oară în 1978 și republicată luna aceasta, la aproape doi ani de la dispariția laureatului premiului Nobel pentru literatură. Guernica a publicat în două părți un prim extras,"Things", de fapt o alegorie politică a cărei spațiu de desfășurare este un oraș unde, în mod inexplicabil, ustensilele și mașinăriile încetează să mai funcționeze, pentru ca mai apoi obiectele - cutii poștale, autovehicule, clădiri întregi - să dispară fără urmă. Povestirea urmărește ciudatele evenimente din perspectiva unui funcționar public de categoria H cu o încredere nestrămutată în capacitatea Guvernului de a reinstaura ordinea. Personajul vrea să elucideze misterul, în speranța că faptele sale eroice îi vor aduce o creștere binemeritată a statutului său, poate chiar o promovare la categoria C.
"The owner was having a chat over the counter with two customers:
— … and all of them were killed. The Radio still hasn’t broadcast the news, but I heard it from a reliable source. A customer who was in here half-an-hour ago, at most, lives right beside the building and he saw what happened with his own eyes.
The civil servant from the DSR asked:
—What are you talking about?
And he opened his hand with a gesture meant to appear natural but calculated to put pressure on his audience: no one there appeared to be in a category higher than H. The tobacconist repeated his story:
—I was telling you what a customer told me. In the street where he lives, a whole block of flats has disappeared and all the residents were found lying dead on the ground, naked. Not so much as a ring on their fingers. The strangest thing of all is that the building should have vanished completely. Only a hole in the ground was left.
The news was serious. Faults in doors, the disappearance of pillar-boxes and jugs were bearable. One could even accept the façade of a building vanishing into thin air. But not that people should be killed. In a grave voice (the three men, with gestures intended to convey a certain nonchalance or distraction, had turned up the palms of their hands—the owner of the shop was in category L, one of the customers was fortunate enough to be in category I, while the other one tried not to flaunt his N), the civil servant confided his civic indignation:
—From now on, we’re at war. War without quarter. I feel certain the Government will not tolerate any such provocation, let alone deaths. There will be reprisals.
The customer in category I, who was only one grade below his own, was bold enough to express some doubt:
—Unfortunately, we’re the ones who will suffer the consequences of any reprisals.
—Yes, I agree. But only in the short term. Don’t forget, only in the short term."
Citiți întreaga povestire pe Guernica, partea întâi și partea a doua.


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