сряда, 29 август 2012 г.

Словесни концентрати: Джак Керуак, "По пътя"



The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.

Somewhere along the line I knew there’d be girls, visions, everything; somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me.

And I looked at the cracked high ceiling and really didn’t know who I was for about fifteen strange seconds. I wasn’t scared; I was just somebody else, some stranger, and my whole life was a haunted life, the life of a ghost. I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future, and maybe that’s why it happened right there and then, that strange red afternoon.

There was nowhere to go but everywhere.

We were on the roof of America and all we could do was yell - across the night, eastward over the Plains, where somewhere an old man with white hair was probably walking toward us with the Word, and would arrive any minute and make us silent.

I was in California. Warm, palmy air – air you can kiss.

The sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries.

LA is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities; New York gets god-awful cold in the winter but there’s a feeling of wacky comradeship somewhere in some streets. LA is a jungle.

We turned at a dozen paces, for love is a duel, and looked at each other for the last time.

She understood Dean; she stroked his hair; she knew he was mad.

Dean had to drive with his scarf-wrapped head stuck out the window, with snowglasses that made him look like a monk peering into the manuscripts of the snow.

Southerners don’t like madness the least bit, not Dean’s kind. The madness of Dean had bloomed into a weird flower.

My aunt once said the world would never find peace until men fell at their women’s feet and asked for forgiveness.

I had a dream about a strange Arabian figure that was pursuing me across the desert, that finally overtook me just before I reached the Protective City. I proposed it was myself, wearing a shroud. That wasn’t it. Some spirit was pursuing all of us across the desert of life and was bound to catch us before we reached heaven. Naturally, this is only death: death will overtake us before heaven. The one thing that we yearn for in our living days, is the remembrance of some lost bliss that was probably experienced in the womb and can only be reproduced in death.

Everything was about to arrive - the moment when you know all and everything is decided forever.

Prison is where you promise yourself the right to live.

We asked him what he was reading. He didn’t know. He didn’t bother to look at the title page. He was only looking at the words, as though he had found the real Torah where it belonged, in the wilderness.

On rails we leaned and looked at the great brown father of waters rolling down from mid-America like the torrent of broken souls - bearing Montana logs and Dakota muds and Iowa vales and things that had drowned in Three Forks, where the secret began in ice.

Old Bull Lee was a teacher, and it may be said that he had every right to teach because he spent all his time learning.

When you start separating the people from their rivers what have you got?

We know time.

We wanted to get out of this mansion of the snake, this mireful drooping dark, and zoom on back to familiar American ground and cowtowns. There was a smell of oil and dead water in the air. This was a manuscript of the night we couldn’t read.

One morning Dean stood naked, looking at all San Francisco out the window as the sun came up. He looked like someday he’d be the pagan mayor of San Francisco.

I suddenly realized that all these women were spending months of loneliness and womanliness together, chatting about the madness of the men.

And so we rolled down the hill, two broken-down heroes of the Western night.

I suddenly realized that Dean, by virtue of his enormous series of sins, was becoming the Idiot, the Imbecile, the Saint of the lot.

Dean’s got the secret that we’re all busting to find and it’s splitting his head wide open.

Holy flowers floating in the air, were all these tired faces in the dawn of Jazz America.

That alto man has IT and he holds it once he finds it. Somewhere in the middle of the chorus he gets it; he picks it up and carries. Time stops. He’s filling empty space with the substance of our lives, confessions of his bellybottom strain, remembrance of ideas, rehashes of old blowing. He has to blow across bridges and come back and do it with such infinite feeling soul-exploratory for the tune of the moment that everybody knows it’s not the tune that counts but IT.

Dean was happy again. All he needed was a wheel in his hand and four on the road.

Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.

You never cry. You don’t die enough to cry.

He’s mad. And yes, he’s my brother.

His soul, I think, is wrapped up in a fast car, a coast to reach, and a woman at the end of the road.

«Where we going, man?»
«I don’t know but we gotta go.»

No matter where I live, my trunk’s always sticking out from under the bed, I’m ready to leave or get thrown out.

The whole world opened up before me because I had no dreams.

Suddenly I had a vision of Dean, a burning shuddering frightful Angel, palpitating toward me across the road, approaching like a cloud, pursuing me like the Shrouded Traveler on the plain, bearing down on me. I saw his huge face over the plains with the mad, bony purpose and the gleaming eyes; I saw his wings; I saw his old jalopy chariot with thousands of sparking flames shooting out from it; I saw the path it burned over the road; it even made its own road and went over the corn, through cities, destroying bridges, drying rivers. It came like wrath to the West. I knew Dean had gone mad again.

I want to get on and on - this road drives me!

I realized the jungle takes you over and you become it.

They had come down from the back mountains and higher places to hold forth their hands for something they thought civilization could offer, and they never dreamed the sadness and the poor broken delusion of it.

Dean took out other pictures. I realized these were all the snapshots which our children would look at someday with wonder, thinking their parents had lived smooth, well-ordered, stabilized-within-the-photo lives and got up in the morning to walk proudly on the sidewalks of life, never dreaming the raggedy madness and riot of our actual lives, our actual night, the hell of it, the senseless nightmare road. All of it inside endless and beginningless emptiness. Pitiful forms of ignorance.

петък, 24 август 2012 г.

Забавно преведено стихче


Поредното преводче на стихотворение на Една Сейнт Винсънт Милей.

Каещата се

Имах малка Мъка
дете на малък Грях.
Открих сумрачна стая
и трима ни вътре запрях.
„Мъко, плачи“, заповядах без време.
„Грях, моли Бог да те вземе,
а аз ще падна на колене
и ще мисля колко лоша бях“.

Уви, планът набожен
не чини и петак.
Уж стаята беше сумрачна,
а я изпълни светлик.
Мъката сълзи не проля,
Грехът кротко заспа,
а аз за бедната си душа
не помислих и за миг.

Затуй се изправих вбесена,
книга взех под ръка
и в косата си панделка вързах,
един младеж да впечатля.

Няма смисъл да отричам,
че бях много лошо момиче.
Но щом не изпитвам вина,
защо да не се повеселя?


THE PENITENT

I HAD a little Sorrow,
Born of a little Sin,
I found a room all damp with gloom
And shut us all within;
And, "Little Sorrow, weep," said I,
"And, Little Sin, pray God to die,
And I upon the floor will lie
And think how bad I've been!"

Alas for pious planning–
It mattered not a whit!
As far as gloom went in that room,
The lamp might have been lit!
My little Sorrow would not weep,
My little Sin would go to sleep–
To save my soul I could not keep
My graceless mind on it!

So up I got in anger,
And took a book I had,
And put a ribbon on my hair
To please a passing lad.

And, "One thing there's no getting by–
I've been a wicked girl," said I;
"But if I can't be sorry, why,
I might as well be glad!" 




понеделник, 13 август 2012 г.

Словесни концентрати: Уилям Стайрон, "Да лежиш в мрак"



He drank not only because whisky made him drunk but because, away from his father, he found the sudden freedom oppressive.

The suffering hasn’t come quite yet. Not yet. It will take a while longer. He doesn’t quite believe it, feeling with that certainty of selfish men that he will never come by misfortune. The suffering will come suddenly, though. And soon.

The grief is coming now, she said to herself: He’s beginning to know what suffering is. Perhaps that’s good in a way. Perhaps that’s good for a man finally to know what suffering is, to know what a woman somehow knows almost from the day she’s born.

Maybe that’s the key to happiness being sort of dumb, not wanting to know any of the answers.

The hearse came up with sleek, privileged gravity.

During the last few years he had relied upon her steadfast gaze of love and longing, perhaps unconsciously enough, as one among the assortment of props and crutches, which supported him against the unthinkable notion that life was not rich and purposeful and full of rewards.

Haunting him still, his father’s ghost, words said years ago: an old man in whom obscurity resembled solemnity often enough, and solemnity wisdom, but who nonetheless through a stew of dogmatism and misinformation, in mild, uncomprehending protest at a world that long ago had passed him by managed to say things which, if not precisely wise, were at least durable truisms, self-tested.

Being a Southerner and a Virginian and of course a Democrat you will find yourself in the unique position of choosing between a) those ideals implanted as right and proper in every man since Jesus Christ and no doubt before and especially in Virginians and (b) ideals inherent in you through a socio-economic culture over which you have no power to prevail; consequently I strongly urge you my son always to be a good Democrat but to be a good man too if you possibly can.

A Sunday school choir commenced a falsetto chirping. Jesus loves me. Methodists, probably. He could almost see it: a row of maple chairs, young women with bad breath and half-moons of sweat beneath their armpits, a basement somewhere smelling of stale leaking water and moldy religion.

It had been so simple at that age to be cruel, since eighteen has no heart.

She was beautiful, she was young, and these two things together caused Helen the bitterest anguish.

Only poets and thieves can exercise free will, and most of them die young.

Both crucifix and river, in their different ways, sometimes offered contentment and poignant, fugitive hints of another world.

From isolated branches the last leaves were falling in endless spirals of loneliness.

The cowardly Puritan, he had always thought, or the cowardly fundamentalist, unwilling to partake of free religious inquiry, uses the devil as a scapegoat to rid himself of the need for positive action: “The devil forced me,” he says, instead of, “I turned my eyes from Christ’s example,” and by this process of negativism is enabled to perform any crime under the sun against humanity and reason.

Because he was never sure of the worth of his judgments he often quoted imaginary sources to lend an air of authority.

Wherever you walk I’ll think of you because there are miles more for both of us before we go to sleep.

For a man to arise in me, that the man I am should cease to be.

People who want a king nowadays want one with an aluminum scepter, preferably collapsible, homespun robes and a big, broad smile.

Grandmother, who suffered from arthritis and an excess of the Bible.

Those people back in the Lost Generation. They thought they were lost. They were crazy. They weren’t lost. What they were doing was losing us.

A song of measureless innocence that echoed among lost ruined temples of peace and brought to their dreams an impossible vision: of a love that outlasted time and dwelt even in the night, beyond reach of death and all the immemorial, descending dusks.

The sense of horror and failure had clutched his spine like the wet, wrinkled hand of a drowned woman.

She’s lost love and grief maybe, he thought, but not hate. Not hate.

The simple touch of a hand redeems us, and who knows, when fingers clasp each other and press to the white, invisible bones, what chemistry then? There is a decency in us that prevails and this touch, perhaps, only reaffirms it.

He had had to cure something in her, and because she was a reluctant patient, who had taken pains to nourish her suffering, his cure had been forcible, abrupt and highly emotional.

He was an old man, suspicious of progress.

The bay was filled like a bowl with silence, and upon its surface, as if scraped off from the moon, lay a litter of careless silver.

How, having committed so much wrong, would he ever get out of life alive?

You look sad, my dear you need wine and poesy.

Maybe I did cause all this. I killed with kindness the only thing I ever cared for, really. Maybe we’re all just too highstrung. They should have never put the idea of love in the mind of an animal.

You can’t even suffer properly, you’re like all the rest of the sad neurotics everywhere who huddle over their misery and take their vile, mean little hatreds out on anybody they envy.

I know I’m not perfect but I’m free and young and if I’m not happy I at least know that someday I can be happy if I work at it long enough. I’m free. If I’d hung around in Port Warwick you’d have your claws in me then. I’d be obeying your precious code of Christian morality, which is phony anyway. But it’s not that way. I’m free and you can’t stand it.

The dead do not remain long dead in big cities, or perhaps they become deader.

If you stand here on the hill beneath a dead, wind-twisted cedar, the island’s only tree, you can get a good view of the land the sewage plant and the prison and the burial ground, each recipient, in its fashion, of waste and decay.

I’m communing with the spirits of the dead.

I refuse to be needed unless I’m loved too and so to hell with you.

It is symptomatic of that society that it should produce the dissolving family. I know you say symptomatic not of that society, but of our society, the machine culture, yet so archetypical is this South with its cancerous religiosity, its exhausting need to put manners before morals, to negate all ethos... Call it a husk of a culture.

It was a landscape dead and forlorn yet retentive of some glowing, vagrant majesty, and against it the old man’s eyes looked proudly upward, toward God perhaps, or perhaps just the dying sun.

Who knows our last end, thrown from the hub of the universe into the dark, into everlasting space.

Undivorced from guilt, I must divorce myself from life, in this setting part of time.

Not out of vengeance have I accomplished all my sins but because something has always been close to dying in my soul, and I’ve sinned only in order to lie down in darkness and find, somewhere in the net of dreams, a new father, a new home.

Perhaps I shall rise at another time, though I lie down in darkness and have my light in ashes.


понеделник, 6 август 2012 г.

Словесни концентрати: Дон Делило, "Космополис"



He wanted such a car [limousine] because he thought it was a platonic replica, weightless for all its size, less an object than an idea. But he knew this wasn't true. This was something he said for effect and he didn't believe it for an instant. He believed it for an instant but only just. He wanted the car because it was not only oversized but aggressively and contemptuously so, metastasizingly so, a tremendous mutant thing that stood astride every argument against it.

Torval, bald and no-necked, a man whose head seemed removable for maintenance.

They sat in the swell of blowing horns. There was something about the noise that he did not choose to wish away.

- I like taxis. I was never good at geography and I learn things by asking the drivers where they come from.
- They come from horror and despair.
- Yes, exactly. One learns about the countries where unrest is occurring by riding the taxis here.

You know things. I think this is what you do. I think you're dedicated to knowing. I think you acquire information and turn it into something stupendous and awful. You're a dangerous person. Do you agree? A visionary.

Do people still shoot at presidents? I thought there were more stimulating targets.

He knew what she would say to him, first line, word for word, and he looked forward to hearing it. He could hear it already in the nasal airstream of her vernacular. He liked knowing what was coming. It confirmed the presence of some hereditary script available to those who could decode it.

There's a rumor it seems involving the finance minister. He's supposed to resign any time now. Some kind of scandal about a misconstrued comment. He made a comment about the economy that may have been misconstrued. The whole country is analyzing the grammar and syntax of this comment. Or it wasn't even what he said. It was when he paused. They are trying to construe the meaning of the pause. It could be deeper, even, than grammar. It could be breathing.

There was a brief sound in his throat that I could spend weeks trying to describe. But how can you make words out of sounds? These are two separate systems that we miserably try to link.

Time is a thing that grows scarcer every day.

He began to understand that they'd invented her beauty together, conspiring to assemble a fiction that worked to their mutual maneuverability and delight. They'd married in the shroud of this unspoken accord. They needed the final term in the series. She was rich, he was rich; she was heir-apparent, he was self-made; she was cultured, he was ruthless; she was brittle, he was strong; she was gifted, he was brilliant; she was beautiful. This was the core of their understanding, the thing they needed to believe before they could be a couple.

Money makes time. It used to be the other way around.

If you know something and don't act upon it, then you didn't know it in the first place.

The future is always a wholeness, a sameness. We're all tall and happy there. This is why the future fails. It always fails. It can never be the cruel happy place we want to make it.

You know what anarchists have always believed? The urge to destroy is a creative urge. This is also the hallmark of capitalist thought. Enforced destruction. Old industries have to be harshly eliminated. New markets have to be forcibly claimed. Old markets have to be re-exploited. Destroy the past, make the future.

- It is the latest drug. Called novo. Makes pain go away. Look how good they feel. They are kids. What pain do they feel that they need to take pill? Music, okay, too loud, so what. It is beautiful how they dance. But what pain do they feel too young to buy beer?
- There's pain enough for everybody now.

Music that took you over, replacing your skin and brain with digital tissue.

The rain had stopped. This was good. This was clearly what it should have done.

Dying's a scandal. But we all do it.

It's hard for me to speak directly to people. I used to try to tell the truth. But it's hard not to lie. I lie to people because this is my language, how I talk. It's the temperature inside the head of who I am. I don't aim remarks at the person I'm speaking to but try to miss him, or glance a remark so to speak off his shoulder. 

He is always ahead, thinking past what is new, and I'm tempted to admire this, always arguing with things that you and I consider great and trusty additions to our lives. Things wear out impatiently in his hands. I know him in my mind. He wants to be one civilization ahead of this one.

His bathroom mirror had a readout telling him his temperature and blood pressure at that moment, his height, weight, heart rate, pulse, pending medication, whole health history from looking at his face, and I was his human sensor, reading his thoughts, knowing the man in his mind.

The river was only two blocks away, bearing its daily inventory of chemicals and incidental trash, floatable household objects, the odd body bludgeoned or shot, all ghosting prosaically south to the tip of the island and the seamouth beyond.

You know me, kid. I could tell you I can't complain. But I could definitely complain. The thing is I don't want to.

Chairs have arms and legs that ought to be called by other names.

Why do people interpret gunshots as firecrackers going off or as cars backfiring? Because they aren't being hunted by a killer.

I've never liked thinking back, going back in time, reviewing the day or the week or the life. To crush and gut. To eviscerate. Power works best when there's no memory attached. Power works best when it makes no distinctions.

What's the difference between the protector and the assassin if both men are armed and hate me?

Even when you self-destruct, you want to fail more, lose more, die more than others, stink more than others. In the old tribes the chief who destroyed more of his property than the other chiefs was the most powerful.

Violence needs a cause, a truth.
Violence needs a burden, a purpose.