Sunday 19 August 2012

for you do not describe the past...

Nacre upon nacre upon nacre, bluish upon bluish upon bluish, each age and each house in which I have dwelled (if it was not all a hallucination of nothingness) is a filter deforming the previous one, blending itself with them, making them narrower and more heterogenous bands. For you do not describe the past by writing about old things, but the misty air between you and it.

Thinking about myself at different ages, as so many consumed previous lives, it is as though I spoke about a long, uninterrupted chain of corpses, a tunnel of bodies dying one within the other. A moment ago, the one who, reflected by the dark lacquer of the coffee cup, had written here the words “dying one within the other” collapsed off the stool, his skin cracked, the bones of his face became visible, his eyes leaked out oozing black blood. In a moment, the one who will write “the one who will write” will also collapse down upon the other’s dust. How could you penetrate this ossuary? And why would you do so? And what gauze mask, what surgical gloves would protect you from the infection emanated by memory?

from Mircea Cărtărescu's novel Orbitor, translated into English as  Glaring (vol. 1)


Saturday 11 August 2012