Scrap/Book2010.03.21 19:05

The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun. Close against the side of the station there was the warm shadow of the building and a curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads, hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies. The American and the girl with him sat at a table in the shade, outside the building. It was very hot and the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes. It stopped at this junction for two minutes and went on to Madrid.

“What should we drink?” the girl asked. She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.
“It’s pretty hot,” the man said.
“Let’s drink beer.”
“Dos cervezas,” the man said into the curtain.
“Big ones?” a woman asked from the doorway.
“Yes. Two big ones.”

The woman brought two glasses of beer and two felt pads. She put the felt pads and the beer glass on the table and looked at the man and the girl. The girl was looking off at the line of hills. They were white in the sun and the country was brown and dry.

“They look like white elephants,” she said.
“I’ve never seen one,” the man drank his beer.
“No, you wouldn’t have.”
“I might have,” the man said. “Just because you say I wouldn’t have doesn’t prove anything.”
The girl looked at the bead curtain. “They’ve painted something on it,” she said. “What does it say?”
“Anis del Toro. It’s a drink.”
“Could we try it?”
The man called “Listen” through the curtain. The woman came out from the bar.
“Four reales.”
“We want two Anis del Toro.”
“With water?”
“Do you want it with water?”
“I don’t know,” the girl said. “Is it good with water?”
“It’s all right.”
“You want them with water?” asked the woman.
“Yes, with water.”
“It tastes like licorice,” the girl said and put the glass down.
“That’s the way with everything.”
“Yes,” said the girl. “Everything tastes of licorice. Especially all the things you’ve waited so long for, like absinthe.”
“Oh, cut it out.”
“You started it,” the girl said. “I was being amused. I was having a fine time.”
“Well, let’s try and have a fine time.”
“All right. I was trying. I said the mountains looked like white elephants. Wasn’t that bright?”
“That was bright.”
“I wanted to try this new drink. That’s all we do, isn’t it - look at things and try new drinks?”
“I guess so.”
The girl looked across at the hills.
“They’re lovely hills,” she said. “They don’t really look like white elephants. I just meant the coloring of their skin through the trees.”
“Should we have another drink?”
“All right.”
The warm wind blew the bead curtain against the table.
“The beer’s nice and cool,” the man said.
“It’s lovely,” the girl said.
“It’s really an awfully simple operation, Jig,” the man said. “It’s not really an operation at all.”
The girl looked at the ground the table legs rested on.
“I know you wouldn’t mind it, Jig. It’s really not anything. It’s just to let the air in.”
The girl did not say anything.
“I’ll go with you and I’ll stay with you all the time. They just let the air in and then it’s all perfectly natural.”
“Then what will we do afterwards?”
“We’ll be fine afterwards. Just like we were before.”
“What makes you think so?”
“That’s the only thing that bothers us. It’s the only thing that’s made us unhappy.”
The girl looked at the bead curtain, put her hand out and took hold of two of the strings of beads.
“And you think then we’ll be all right and be happy.”
“I know we will. You don’t have to be afraid. I’ve known lots of people that have done it.”
“So have I,” said the girl. “And afterwards they were all so happy.”
“Well,” the man said, “if you don’t want to you don’t have to. I wouldn’t have you do it if you didn’t want to. But I know it’s perfectly simple.”
“And you really want to?”
“I think it’s the best thing to do. But I don’t want you to do it if you don’t really want to.”
“And if I do it you’ll be happy and things will be like they were and you’ll love me?”
“I love you now. You know I love you.”
“I know. But if I do it, then it will be nice again if I say things are like white elephants, and you’ll like it?”
“I’ll love it. I love it now but I just can’t think about it. You know how I get when I worry.”
“If I do it you won’t ever worry?”
“I won’t worry about that because it’s perfectly simple.”
“Then I’ll do it. Because I don’t care about me.”
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t care about me.”
“Well, I care about you.”
“Oh, yes. But I don’t care about me. And I’ll do it and then everything will be fine.”
“I don’t want you to do it if you feel that way.”

The girl stood up and walked to the end of the station. Across, on the other side, were fields of grain and trees along the banks of the Ebro. Far away, beyond the river, were mountains. The shadow of a cloud moved across the field of grain and she saw the river through the trees.

“And we could have all this,” she said. “And we could have everything and every day we make it more impossible.”
“What did you say?”
“I said we could have everything.”
“We can have everything.”
“No, we can’t.”
“We can have the whole world.”
“No, we can’t.”
“We can go everywhere.”
“No, we can’t. It isn’t ours any more.”
“It’s ours.”
“No, it isn’t. And once they take it away, you never get it back.”
“But they haven’t taken it away.”
“We’ll wait and see.”
“Come on back in the shade,” he said. “You mustn’t feel that way.”
“I don’t feel any way,” the girl said. “I just know things.”
“I don’t want you to do anything that you don’t want to do------”
“Nor that isn’t good for me,” she said. “I know. Could we have another beer?”
“All right. But you’ve got to realize - “
“I realize,” the girl said. “Can’t we maybe stop talking?”
They sat down at the table and the girl looked across at the hills on the dry side of the valley and the man looked at her and at the table.
“You’ve got to realize,” he said, “that I don’t want you to do it if you don’t want to. I’m perfectly willing to go through with it if it means anything to you.”
“Doesn’t it mean anything to you? We could get along.”
“Of course it does. But I don’t want anybody but you. I don’t want anyone else. And I know it’s perfectly simple.”
“Yes, you know it’s perfectly simple.”
“It’s all right for you to say that, but I do know it.”
“Would you do something for me now?”
“I’d do anything for you.”
“Would you please please please please please please please stop talking?”

He did not say anything but looked at the bags against the wall of the station. There were labels on them from all the hotels where they had spent nights.

“But I don’t want you to,” he said, “I don’t care anything about it.”
“I’ll scream,” the girl said.

The woman came out through the curtains with two glasses of beer and put them down on the damp felt pads.

“The train comes in five minutes,” she said.
“What did she say?” asked the girl.
“That the train is coming in five minutes.”
The girl smiled brightly at the woman, to thank her.
“I’d better take the bags over to the other side of the station,” the man said. She smiled at him.
“All right. Then come back and we’ll finish the beer.”

He picked up the two heavy bags and carried them around the station to the other tracks. He looked up the tracks but could not see the train. Coming back, he walked through the barroom, where people waiting for the train were drinking. He drank an Anis at the bar and looked at the people. They were all waiting reasonably for the train. He went out through the bead curtain. She was sitting at the table and smiled at him.

“Do you feel better?” he asked.
“I feel fine,” she said. “There’s nothing wrong with me. I feel fine.”


 

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Posted by Lynn*
Scrap/Book2008.11.07 01:41
. . . what I find myself beginning to write is not the annals of an Imperial outpost or an account of how the people of that outpost spent their last year composing their souls as they waited for the barbarians.

'No one who paid a visit to this oasis,' I write, 'failed to be struck by the charm of life here. We lived in the time of the seasons, of the harvests, of the migrations of the waterbirds. We lived with nothing between us and the stars. We would have made any concession, had we only known what, to go on living here. This was paradise on earth.'

For a long while I stare at the plea I have written. It would be disappointing to know that the people slips I have spent so much time on contain a message as devious, as equivocal, as reprehensible as this.

'Perhaps by the end of the winter,' I think, 'when hunger truly bites us, when we are cold and starving, or when the barbarian is truly at the gate, perhaps then I will abandon the locutions of a civil servant with literary ambitions and begin to tell the truth.'

I think: 'I wanted to live outside history. I wanted to live outside the history that Empire imposes on its subjects, even its lost subjects. I never wished it for the barbarians that they should have the history of Empire laid upon them. How can I believe that that is cause for shame?'

I think: ' I have lived through an eventful year, yet understand no more of it than a babe in arms. Of all the people of this town I am the one least fitted to write a memorial. Better the blacksmith with his cries of rage and woe.'

I think: 'But when the barbarians taste bread, new bread and mulberry jam, bread and gooseberry jam, they will be won over to our ways. They will find that they are unable to live without the skills of men who know how to rear the pacific grains, without the arts of women who knows how to use the benign fruits.'

I think: 'When one day people come scratching around in the ruins, they will be more interested in the relics from the desert than in anything I may leave behind. And rightly so.' (Thus I spend an evening coating the slips one by one in linseed oil and wrapping them in an oilcloth. When the wind lets up, I promise myself, I will go out and bury them where I found them.)

I think: 'There has been something staring me in the face, and still I do not see it.'

J. M. Coetzee
Waiting for the Barbarians (168-170)
London: Vintage(2004)

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Posted by Lynn*
Scrap/Book2008.11.02 02:44
"Seventeen years is a long time," said Ashenden, because he could think of nothing else to say.
"Time passes very quickly. I like it here. At first, after a year or two, I went away in the summer, but I don't any more. It's my home now. I've got a brother and two sisters; but they're married and now they've got families; they don't want me. When you've been here a few years and you go back to ordinary life, you feel a bit out of it, you know. Your pals have gone their own ways and you've got nothing in common with them any more. It all seems an awful rush. Much ado about nothing, that's what it is. It's noisy and stuffy. No, one's better off here. I shan't stir again till they carry me out feet first in my coffin."
The specialist had told Ashenden that if he took care of himself for a reasonable time he would get well, and he looked at McLeod with curiosity.


"17년은 꽤 긴 세월이로군요." 라고 별달리 할 말을 찾지 못한 애쉬든이 말했다.
"시간은 굉장히 빨리 지나간다네. 나는 이 곳이 좋아. 처음에 약 1, 2년이 지났을 즈음 난 여름에 다른 곳으로 떠났었지만 지금은 그러지 않는다네. 여긴 이제 내 집일세. 난 형제 하나와 누이 둘이 있다네. 그렇지만 그들은 결혼을 했고 그들의 가정이 있지. 그들은 날 원하지 않네. 자네도 이 곳에서 몇 년 있다가 일상 생활로 돌아가면 뒤쳐진 듯한 느낌을 받을걸세. 있잖은가, 자네의 동료들은 그들의 길을 나아갔을 테고, 자네는 더 이상 그들과 공유할 만한 것이 없달까. 다들 지독하게 바빠 보이지. 놀랄 것도 없다네, 원래 다 그런 것이니. 세상은 시끄럽고 빡빡하지. 아이구, 여기에 머물러 있는게 훨씬 낫다네. 난 더 이상 신경쓰지 않기로 했다네. 내가 죽어 관에 실려 나갈 때 까지 말이야."
전문의는 애쉬든에게 만일 적당한 시기동안 요양을 한다면 건강을 회복할 수 있을거라고 말했기 때문에, 맥리어드를 의구심 어린 눈으로 바라보았다.



...?! 으옹...번역 뭔가 쫌 이상하다......ㅠㅠ 아웅 책 더 많이 읽어야겠다..
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Posted by Lynn*
Scrap/Book2008.10.29 06:01
Only weeks later Edgar Poe would be found at Ryan's, here in Baltimore, and rushed to the hospital, where he'd die.

"I had not seen Edgar for some years toward the end. It was a great shock, you will imagine, Mr. Clark, when I was told he was found at one of the places of election in Old Town in poor condition and carried to the college hospital. My relation, a Mr. Henry Herring, was called to the scene at Ryan's. At what time Edgar arrived in Baltimore, where he spent the time he was here, under what circumstances, all this I have been unable to ascertain."

I showed my surprise. "You mean you sought this information on your cousin's death, and could not find it?"

"I felt it my duty to try, relationships and so on," he said. "We were cousins, yes, but we were also friends. We were the same age, Edger and I, and he was not old enough to see the end of his life. I hope my own death is peaceful and in plain sight, somewhere surrounded by my family."

"You must have found something more?"

"I'm afraid that whatever happened to Edgar has accompanied Cousin into the grave. Is this not sometimes the course of a life, Mr. Clark, for death to swallow a man up so wholly there are no traces left? To leave not a shadow, not even the shadow of a shadow."

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