Τον ήξερα από αυτό εδώ το blog, το οποίο αναφέρεται στα 80α του γενέθλια, τον Απρίλιο που μας πέρασε. Είχα διαβάσει μερικά ποιήματά του, μεταφρασμένα στα αγγλικά, σκόρπια, από ‘δω κι από ΄κει. Ο λόγος ήταν η ολοένα και δυνατότερη αγάπη μου για τη Σκανδιναβία, δεν εξηγείται αλλιώς.
Χάρηκα που πριν λίγο ο Tomas Tranströmer κέρδισε το Νόμπελ Λογοτεχνίας, την υψηλότερη διάκριση που μπορεί να λάβει ένας λογοτέχνης. Μου αρέσει η πραότητα του προσώπου και των λίγων ποιημάτων του που έχω διαβάσει. Η οικονομία του. Η ανεπιτήδευτη περιγραφή του φυσικού τοπίου της πατρίδας του.
Ένα ποίημά του μεταφρασμένο στα αγγλικά:
From March 1979
Weary of all who come with words, words but no language
I make my way to the snow-covered island.
The untamed has no words.
The unwritten pages spread out on every side!
I come upon the tracks of deer’s hooves in the snow.
Language but no words.
[από το The Wild-Market Square, 1983]
Και ένα πεζογράφημά του. Το βρίσκω πολύ όμορφο:
During the winter when I was 15 I was afﬂicted by a severe form of anxiety. I was trapped by a searchlight which radiated not light but darkness. I was caught each afternoon as twilight fell and not released from that terrible grip until next day dawned. I slept very little, I sat up in bed, usually with a thick book before me. I read several thick books in that period but I can’t say I really read them for they left no trace in my memory. The books were a pretext for leaving the light on.
It began in late autumn. One evening I’d gone to the cinema and seen Squandered Days, a ﬁlm about an alcoholic. He ﬁnishes in a state of delirium – a harrowing sequence which today I would perhaps ﬁnd rather childish. But not then.
As I lay down to sleep I reran the ﬁlm in my mind’s eye, as one does after being at the cinema.
Suddenly the atmosphere in the room was tense with dread. Something took total possession of me. Suddenly my body started shaking, especially my legs. I was a clockwork toy which had been wound up and now rattled and jumped helplessly. The cramps were quite beyond the control of my will, I had never experienced anything like this. I screamed for help and Mother came through. Gradually the cramps ebbed out. And did not return. But my dread intensiﬁed and from dusk to dawn would not leave me alone. The feeling that dominated my nights was the terror which Fritz Lang came near to catching in certain scenes of Dr Mabuse’s Testament, especially the opening scene – a print works where someone hides while the machines and everything else vibrate. I recognised myself in this immediately, although my nights were quieter.
The most important element in my existence was Illness. The world was a vast hospital. I saw before me human beings deformed in body and in soul. The light burned and tried to hold off the terrible faces but sometimes I would doze off, my eyelids would close, and the terrible faces would suddenly be closing in on me.
It all happened in silence, yet within the silence voices were endlessly busy. The wallpaper pattern made faces. Now and then the silence would be broken by a ticking in the walls. Produced by what? By whom? By me? The walls crackled because my sick thoughts wanted them to. So much the worse… Was I insane? Almost.
I was afraid of drifting into madness but in general I did not feel threatened by any kind of illness – it was scarcely a case of hypochondria – but it was rather the total power of illness that aroused terror. As in a ﬁlm where an innocuous apartment interior changes its character entirely when ominous music is heard, I now experienced the outer world quite differently because it included my awareness of that domination wielded by sickness. A few years previously I had wanted to be an explorer. Now I had pushed my way into an unknown country where I had never wanted to be. I had discovered an evil power. Or rather, the evil power had discovered me.
I read recently about some teenagers who lost all their joy in living because they became obsessed with the idea that AIDS had taken over the world. They would have understood me.
Mother had witnessed the cramps I suffered that evening in late autumn as my crisis began. But after that she had to be held outside it all. Everyone had to be excluded, what was going on was just too terrible to be talked about. I was surrounded by ghosts. I myself was a ghost. A ghost that walked to school every morning and sat through the lessons without revealing its secret. School had become a breathing space, my dread wasn’t the same there. It was my private life that was haunted. Everything was upside down.
At that time I was sceptical towards all forms of religion and I certainly said no prayers. If the crisis had arisen a few years later I would have been able to experience it as a revelation, something that would rouse me, like Siddhartha’s four encounters (with an old person, with a sick person, with a corpse, and with a begging monk). I would have managed to feel a little more sympathy for and a little less dread of the deformed and the sick who invaded my nocturnal consciousness. But then, caught in my dread, religiously coloured explanations were not available to me. No prayers, but attempts at exorcism by way of music. It was during that period I began to hammer at the piano in earnest.
And all the time I was growing. At the beginning of that autumn term I was one of the smallest in the class, but by its end I was one of the tallest. As if the dread I lived in were a kind of fertiliser helping the plant to shoot up.
Winter moved towards its end and the days lengthened. Now, miraculously, the darkness in my own life withdrew. It happened gradually and I was slow in realising fully what was happening. One spring evening I discovered that all my terrors were now marginal. I sat with some friends philosophising and smoking cigars. It was time to walk home through the pale spring night and I had no feeling at all of terrors waiting for me at home.
Still, it is something I have taken part in. Possibly my most important experience. But it came to an end. I thought it was Inferno but it was Purgatory.
Εδώ, τα δύο βιβλία του Νομπελίστα που κυκλοφορούν στα ελληνικά.