|Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood
||[Aug. 17th, 2016|02:49 pm]
прикоснулась, наконец, к канадской художественной литературе. Margaret Atwood - очень известная и титулованная писательница, у которой уже немало произведений, так что я не знала, как подступиться даже, а друзья говорили, что крепость надо брать. ди мне и самой очень даже хотелось брать, особенно после того, как сходила на концерт Art of Time Ensemble, где она читала свои стихи-страшилки с музыкой (можно видео посмотреть даже). и вот коллега на работе просто впихнул мне книгу в руки, и оно свершилось. по-русски называется "Она же Грейс", издавалась в Эксмо, как и другие её произведения. в понедельник начались съёмки мини-сериала по этой книге, который будут показывать в 2017 году по CBC в Канаде, и по Netflix в других странах. плюс ко всему сценарием и продюссированием занимается Sarah Polley, а она - крутышка. снимает Mary Harron, которая тоже крутышка. в общем, жду. интересно будет посмотреть, как они будут интерпретировать текст и сюжет. лирическое отступление про маленький мир: я работаю с двоюродной сестрой Маргарет, хаха.
так вот Грейс. книга основана на реальном убийстве середины 19 века, которое будоражило умы несколько десятков лет и до сих пор будоражит. до сих пор несовсем ясно, виновна Грейс или нет, святая она или демон. меня сразу же увлёк язык книги, структура повествования и пунктуация, когда преднамеренно не всегда было сразу очевидно, говорит ли герой сам собой, с кем-то ещё или просто думает. виновность/невиновность, сознательное/бессознательное, гендерные отношение, класс и власть, Викторианские общество, быт, законы и отношение к преступлению и психическому здоровью.
The visitors wear afternoon dresses with rows of buttons up their fronts, and stiff wire crinolines beneath. It’s a wonder they can sit down at all, and when they walk, nothing touches their legs under the billowing skirts, except their shifts and stockings. They are like swans, drifting along on unseen feet; or else like the jellyfish in the waters of the rocky harbour near our house, when I was little, before I ever made the long sad journey across the ocean. They were bell-shaped and ruffled, gracefully waving and lovely under the sea; but if they washed up on the beach and dried out in the sun there was nothing left of them. And that is what the ladies are like: mostly water.
There were no wire crinolines when I was first brought here. They were horsehair then, as the wire ones were not thought of. I have looked at them hanging in the wardrobes, when I go in to tidy and empty the slops. They are like birdcages; but what is being caged in? Legs, the legs of ladies; legs penned in so they cannot get out and go rubbing up against the gentlemen’s trousers. The Governor’s wife never says legs, although the newspapers said legs when they were talking about Nancy, with her dead legs sticking out from under the washtub.
I never do such things, however. I only consider them. If I did them, they would be sure I had gone mad again. Gone mad is what they say, and sometimes Run mad, as if mad is a direction, like west; as if mad is a different house you could step into, or a separate country entirely. But when you go mad you don’t go any other place, you stay where you are. And somebody else comes in.
While he writes, I feel as if he is drawing me; or not drawing me, drawing on me–drawing on my skin–not with the pencil he is using, but with an old-fashioned goose pen, and not with the quill end but with the feather end. As if hundreds of butterflies have settled all over my face, and are softly opening and closing their wings.
But underneath that is another feeling, a feeling of being wide-eyed awake and watchful. It’s like being wakened suddenly in the middle of the night, by a hand over your face, and you sit up with your heart going fast, and no one is there. And underneath that is another feeling still, a feeling like being torn open; not like a body of flesh, it is not painful as such, but like a peach; and not even torn open, but too ripe and splitting open of its own accord.
And inside the peach there’s a stone.
...and I have seen a red and an orange that were like the brightness of those quilts; and when we’d hung a half-dozen of them up on the line, all in a row, I thought that they looked like flags, hung out by an army as it goes to war.
And since that time I have thought, why is it that women have chosen to sew such flags, and then to lay them on the tops of beds? For they make the bed the most noticeable thing in a room. And then I have thought, it’s for a warning. Because you may think a bed is a peaceful thing, Sir, and to you it may mean rest and comfort and a good night’s sleep. But it isn’t so for everyone; and there are many dangerous things that may take place in a bed. It is where we are born, and that is our first peril in life; and it is where the women give birth, which is often their last. And it is where the act takes place between men and women that I will not mention to you, Sir, but I suppose you know what it is; and some call it love, and others despair, or else merely an indignity which they must suffer through. And finally beds are what we sleep in, and where we dream, and often where we die.
And then everything went on very quietly for a fortnight, says Dr. Jordan. He is reading aloud from my Confession.
Yes Sir, it did, I say. More or less quietly.
What is everything? How did it go on?
I beg your pardon, Sir?
What did you do every day?
Oh, the usual, Sir, I say. I performed my duties.
You will forgive me, says Dr. Jordan. Of what did those duties consist?
I look at him. He is wearing a yellow cravat with small white squares. He is not making a joke. He really does not know. Men such as him do not have to clean up the messes they make, but we have to clean up our own messes, and theirs into the bargain. In that way they are like children, they do not have to think ahead, or worry about the consequences of what they do. But it is not their fault, it is only how they are brought up.
I stood for a moment admiring my handiwork; for there is a great deal of pleasure to be had in a wash all clean, and blowing in the wind, like pennants at a race, or the sails of a ship; and the sound of it is like the hands of the Heavenly Hosts applauding, though heard from far away. And they do say that cleanliness is next to Godliness; and sometimes, when I have seen the pure white clouds billowing in the sky after a rain, I used to think that it was as if the angels themselves were hanging out their washing; for I reasoned that someone must do it, as everything in Heaven must be very clean and fresh. But these were childish fancies, as children like to tell themselves stories about things that are not visible; and I was scarcely more than a child at the time, although I thought myself a grown woman, having my own money that I earned myself.
It is morning, and time to get up; and today I must go on with the story. Or the story must go on with me, carrying me inside it, along the track it must travel, straight to the end, weeping like a train and deaf and single-eyed and locked tight shut; although I hurl myself against the walls of it and scream and cry, and beg to God himself to let me out.
When you are in the middle of a story it isn't a story at all, but only a confusion; a dark roaring, a blindness, a wreckage of shattered glass and splintered wood; like a house in a whirlwind, or else a boat crushed by the icebergs or swept over the rapids, and all aboard powerless to stop it. It's only afterwards that it becomes anything like a story at all. When you are telling it, to yourself or to someone else.
I’ve thought a good deal about you and your apple, Sir, and the riddle you once made, the very first time that we met. I didn’t understand you then, but it must have been that you were trying to teach me something, and perhaps by now I have guessed it. The way I understand things, the Bible may have been thought out by God, but it was written down by men. And like everything men write down, such as the newspapers, they got the main story right but some of the details wrong.
The pattern of this quilt is called the Tree of Paradise, and whoever named that pattern said better than she knew, as the Bible does not say Tree. It says there were two different trees, the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge; but I believe there was only the one, and that the Fruit of Life and the Fruit of Good and Evil were the same. And if you ate of it you would die, but if you didn’t eat of it you would die also; although if you did eat of it, you would be less bone-ignorant by the time you got around to your death.
Such an arrangement would appear to be more the way life is.
I am telling this to no one but you, as I am aware it is not the approved reading.