BOLERO Перевод Е.А.Валентиновой)

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(перевод Е.П.Валентиновой)

An old friend once confessed to me – “when improvising I deliver the best on themes I don’t know the first thing about…” He had a peculiar sense of humor, but he wouldn’t lie. It was years ago, I hadn’t yet turned to drawing at the time. How do words you have forgotten get recalled to mind? A hint is required. A picture, a word, or a familiar sound… And they would surface at once. Some seemingly insignificant words, events… But, I think, they are important — why else would they emerge like this – at one go, in one piece. Like an image on a sheet of photographic paper. My friend and I, we would often print out photos together. Tense silence in the darkness, a hand torch with a red filter in the corner, and in the little bath before us is darkening, developing – a picture. In the picture some minute event is represented, or a tree, a part of the courtyard where he lived… Doesn’t matter much what it is that is emerging, the process itself matters more. We photographed a lot, developed films, printed out photographs… He grew up and started to improvise speaking on themes he didn’t know the first thing about. He wrote poetry. But he didn’t live long, just made it to forty, his theme was cut short. And I for a start went rambling about for twenty years maybe, trying different themes, till at last I had journeyed to those which were my own. Maybe that is why my life is longer, it is longer by the twenty five years that divide us. And the distance keeps increasing… Desire to possess things rarely earns sympathy, with time it is different, it is a special substance; one can understand greed for time. Time is paid out to us not in large denominations, but in small coins of minutes and days. There are pictures, scenes, words, faces, capable of mending torn threads, of knitting together loose ends. Processing photographs, that chemistry sacrament, proved to be of importance. When I started to write short stories, I at once recalled the darkness and the quiet in the bathroom. That house, as likely as not, is still to be found where it used to be, but go and look it up I will not. The entrance was through a semi-circular archway, a low passage leading into the yard that was paved with round stones hammered so very compactly into the earth… Mom used to say that nobody knows now how to hammer stones in real compactly, real securely. And I remember thinking, can it really be so, with such a simple job… And then the problem sort of resolved itself – people stopped paving streets with stones, for want of craftsmen, presumably. Though maybe it was something else again — like the smooth and undistinguished asphalt pavement suddenly finding favor with everybody, and the stones which were different as to their color and shape, falling out of favor as suddenly, become re-imagined as a nuisance…
Many a problem in our life is solved this way, by circumventing it and forgetting about it. But this way is sham, problems will emerge anew, though in another form, and will have to be solved anyway. We haven’t even started on our homework! Let’s look through the photos tomorrow morning… But more often than not we would have no time for looking through them, being late for school. I lived quite near by, in the next street, very close if you took the short cut through the courtyards, there were two fences each with a convenient gap. He always came late. We lived near the sea. The Baltic sea, wind is never warm in these parts. It was chilly, it was vexing, it was long waiting for him… And yet each time he would surprise me by appearing at last, he would take breath, and say – “I forgot to put the photos away once again… Mom will give me a scolding.” He was often in for a scolding, he detested school. He was very clever with his hands, had a knack for engineering kind of things, was quick witted, but he hated school, always got poor marks. And I never wondered whether I liked school or not… I knew I had to go there, and that was that. I guess I didn’t like it either, it was noisy, crowded there, you had to talk all the time, and beat off attacks… Though there were also games to be played at school, like “fantiks”, a game that was played with candy wrappers. I wonder where from all those fancy paper wrappers used to come… They obviously belonged to some very costly sweets! It makes me wonder now, but at that time I wouldn’t even think of wondering – though somebody must have eaten the candies! In the post-war years!.. To my friend and me our moms would bring sugar candies that looked like small cushions, they came naked, without any wrappers whatsoever, those little candies, sometimes they had shiny red and pink stripes, sometimes they were sprinkled with brownish powder which was coffee with sugar, and at times even cocoa. First we sucked those candies, letting them melt in the mouth, and only afterwards chewed them. To be more exact, he chewed his, and I – I went on sucking mine, letting it melt, melt, for a long, long time… I never chewed my candies. Guess that’s why he turned out a poet, and I hardly managed picking my way out of my thicket… and I never wrote any poems, never… And now – it’s too late… old men don’t write poetry, it’s known for a fact.
We were walking to school, and there was music, it was almost continuously about. In the morning they would broadcast classical music via the horn loud-speakers of the public address system, music played by orchestras. It was not like it is now, when anyone will sing, whether knowing how to do it — or not… We were walking, and there was that one melody that kept our company. Almost daily. Or does it only seem so to me now? Never mind, when you are painting or writing something, you always exaggerate, you can’t do without exaggerations!… I asked Mom, what it was, she said – that’s Boléro, there once lived a composer, his name was Ravel, he wrote it. But why does it repeat itself, why does it instead of moving on stay in one and the same place? Mom chuckled, not exactly in one and the same place, but, now you mention it, I indeed do not know why he wrote it in such a way, with one melody to stretch for a hundred years. Well, not a hundred years maybe, but it did continue throughout the whole of our walk to school. And know what – I remember all those houses, fences, round stones of the road, sidewalks, little gardens, little courtyards hardly visible in the dusk, I remember them even now. Though we were not actually looking at them – we were thinking, scares ever talking. Kids were different at that time… they were the post-war kids. And maybe it only seems so now, you never know what things really are. But I still hear it – the Boléro, and we are going, going, going to school … Boléro is like life. The theme is one and the same, and the growth, the development is just the orchestration becoming more complicate. And life is like Boléro, though with some vagueness as to the ending. Whether it is suddenly to stop short at some turn of the orchestration development, or once again to become very simple – and end just the way it began…

Автор: DM

Дан Маркович родился 9 октября 1940 года в Таллине. По первой специальности — биохимик, энзимолог. С середины 70-х годов - художник, автор нескольких сот картин, множества рисунков. Около 20 персональных выставок живописи, графики и фотонатюрмортов. Активно работает в Интернете, создатель (в 1997 г.) литературно-художественного альманаха “Перископ” . Писать прозу начал в 80-е годы. Автор четырех сборников коротких рассказов, эссе, миниатюр (“Здравствуй, муха!”, 1991; “Мамзер”, 1994; “Махнуть хвостом!”, 2008; “Кукисы”, 2010), 11 повестей (“ЛЧК”, “Перебежчик”, “Ант”, “Паоло и Рем”, “Остров”, “Жасмин”, “Белый карлик”, “Предчувствие беды”, “Последний дом”, “Следы у моря”, “Немо”), романа “Vis vitalis”, автобиографического исследования “Монолог о пути”. Лауреат нескольких литературных конкурсов, номинант "Русского Букера 2007". Печатался в журналах "Новый мир", “Нева”, “Крещатик”, “Наша улица” и других. ...................................................................................... .......................................................................................................................................... Dan Markovich was born on the 9th of October 1940, in Tallinn. For many years his occupation was research in biochemistry, the enzyme studies. Since the middle of the 1970ies he turned to painting, and by now is the author of several hundreds of paintings, and a great number of drawings. He had about 20 solo exhibitions, displaying his paintings, drawings, and photo still-lifes. He is an active web-user, and in 1997 started his “Literature and Arts Almanac Periscope”. In the 1980ies he began to write. He has four books of short stories, essays and miniature sketches (“Hello, Fly!” 1991; “Mamzer” 1994; “By the Sweep of the Tail!” 2008; “The Cookies Book” 2010), he wrote eleven short novels (“LBC”, “The Turncoat”, “Ant”, “Paolo and Rem”, “White Dwarf”, “The Island”, “Jasmine”, “The Last Home”, “Footprints on the Seashore”, “Nemo”), one novel “Vis Vitalis”, and an autobiographical study “The Monologue”. He won several literary awards. Some of his works were published by literary magazines “Novy Mir”, “Neva”, “Kreshchatyk”, “Our Street”, and others.