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Khuharenko

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В.А. Кухаренко

ПРАКТИКУМ
ПО ИНТЕРПРЕТАЦИИ
ТЕКСТА

Допущено
Министерством просвещения СССР в качестве учебного пособия для студентов педагогических институтов по специальности № 2103 «Иностранные языки»

МОСКВА «ПРОСВЕЩЕНИЕ» 1987

ББК 81.2 Англ К95

Рецензенты: кафедра английской филологии ЛГПИ им. А. И. Герцена; кандидат филологических наук, доцент МГПИИЯ им. Мориса Тореза О. Л. Каменская

Кухаренко В. А.
КЯ5 Практикум по интерпретации текста: Учеб. пособие для студентов пед. ин-тов по спец. № 2103 «Иностр. яз.».— Просвещение. 1987.—176 с.
4309000000—608 103(03)—87 Пособие предназначено для студентов старших курсов факультетов английского языка педагогических институтов. Оно написано в соответствии с программой по данному курсу и состоит из двух частей. Первая часть пособия включает 6 рассказов и образцы их интерпретации. Во второй части даны 16 рассказов, представляющих различные жанры короткой прозы писателей США, Великобритании, Австралии и Новой Зеландии, предназначенные для самостоятельной работы студентов.

ББК 81.2Англ

© Издательство сПросвещение», 1987 ПРЕДИСЛОВИЕ

Настоящее издание представляет собой практическое пособие по интерпретации текста. Оно предназначено для студентов факультетов английского языка педагогических институтов и написано в соответствии с Программой МП СССР по курсу языкознания. Цель пособия — научить студентов не только умению глубоко проникать в художественный текст, но и уметь передавать усвоенные навыки, методы и приемы своим будущим ученикам: без повышения культуры чтения подрастающего поколения не может быть повышения культуры общества в целом. Это означает, что методико-педагогическая направленность обучения интерпретации текста является непременным условием занятий по данному курсу. Пособие состоит из двух частей. Первая включает 6 рассказов англоязычных писателей XX в. и образцы их возможной интерпретации. В связи с тем, что постижение глубинной художественной информации невозможно без абсолютного понимания линейно выраженного смысла текста, к первым двум рассказам даны русские переводы и их интерпретация тоже проводится на русском языке, чтобы по возможности облегчить восприятие анализа текста не начальном этапе. Следующие два рассказа даны без переводов, но интерпретация их проведена также на русском языке. Последние два рассказа интерпретируются на английском языке. Таким образом, пособие построено по принципу нарастающей дидактической трудности. Вторая часть пособия включает 18 рассказов англоязычных авторов XX века, представляющих разные жанры и индивидуальные стили короткой прозы США, Великобритании, Австралии и Новой Зеландии. Всем рассказам предшествует небольшое вступление, в котором содержатся биографические и библиографические сведения о пи- з сателе, а также указания читателю-интерпретатору, направляющие его внимание на наиболее важные, текстовые элементы, формирующие концепт (идею) произведения, свидетельствующие об авторской позиции и передающие, помимо основной, дополнительную информацию разных типов: логическую, эмоциональную, оценочную, эстетическую. Собственно интерпретацию — раскрытие содержания произведения во всей полноте его семантического, прагматического, эстетического потенциала — проводят сами студенты, а преподаватель корректирует возможные смещения. Основное требование, которое должно быть поставлено во главу угла при обучении интерпретации текста, сводится к неукоснительному и скрупулезному вниманию к тексту как материальной первооснове любой интерпретации, ибо именно в нем заложены все сигналы, помогающие наиболее адекватно раскрыть авторский замысел. Знаки препинания в текстах, подлежащих интерпретации, и правописание сохранены по оригиналам.

От автора

Часть I

Ernest Hemingway (1899—1961)

CAT IN THE RAIN

Ernest Hemingway's importance as a creator of a unique style, as a speaker for the "lost generation", as humanitarian and antifascist cannot be overestimated. "Cat in the Rain", published in the first collection of his short prose (1925) remains one of the stories most often reprinted, translated and admired by the readers. It is also highly characteristic of his individual manner. Following below is the story and its translation, done by L. Kislova for the first Russian language edition of Hemingway's Complete Works in four volumes (1968).

There were only two Americans at the hotel. They did not know any of the people they passed on the stairs to their room. Their room was on the second floor facing the sea. It also faced the public garden and the war monument. There were big palms and green benches in the public garden. In the good weather there was always an artist with his easel. Artists liked the way the palms grew and the bright colours of the hotels facing the gardens and the sea. Italians came from a long way off to look up at the war monument. It was made of bronze and glistened in the rain. It was raining. The rain dripped from the palm trees. Water stood in pools on the gravel paths. The sea broke in a long line in the rain and slipped back down the beach to come up and break again in a long line in the rain. В отеле было только двое американцев. Они не знали никого из тех, с кем встречались на лестнице, поднимаясь в свою комнату. Их комната была на втором этаже, из окон было видно море. Из окон были видны также общественный сад и памятник жертвам войны. В саду были высокие пальмы и зеленые скамейки. В хорошую погоду там всегда сидел какой-нибудь художник с мольбертом. Художникам нравились пальмы и яркие фасады гостиниц с окнами на море и сад. Итальянцы приезжали издалека, чтобы посмотреть на памятник жертвам войны. Он был бронзовый и блестел под дождем. Шел дождь. Капли дождя падали с пальмовых листьев. На посыпанных гравием дорожках стояли лужи. Волны под дождем длинной полосой разбивались о берег, откатывались
The motor-cars were gone from the square by the war monument. Across the square in the doorway of the cafe a waiter stood looking out at the empty square.

The American wife stood at the window looking out. Outside right under their window a cat was crouched under one of the dripping green tables. The cat was trying to make herself so compact that she would not be dripped on. T'm going down and get that kitty/ the American wife said. 'I'll do it/ her husband offered from the bed. 4No, 141 get it. The poor kitty out trying to keep dry under a table/ The husband went on reading, lying propped up with the two pillows at the foot of the bed. 'Don* t get wet,' he said.

The wife went downstairs and the hotel owner stood up and bowed to her as she passed the office. He was an old man and very tall.

'II piove,' the wife said. She liked the hotel-keeper.

'Si, si, Signora, brutto tempo. It's very bad weather/

He stood behind his desk in the far end of the dim room. The wife liked him. She liked the назад и снова набегали и разбивались под дождем длинной полосой. На площади у памятника не осталось ни одного автомобиля. Напротив, в дверях кафе, стоял официант и глядел на опустевшую площадь.

Американка стояла у окна и смотрела в сад. Под самыми окнами их комнаты, под зеленым столом, с которого капана вода, спряталась кошка. Она старалась сжаться в комок, чтобы на нее не попадали капли.

Я пойду вниз и принесу киску,— сказала американка.
Давай я пойду,— отозвался с кровати ее муж.
Нет, я сама. Бедная киска! Прячется от дождя под столом. Муж продолжал читать, полулежа на кровати, подложив под голову обе подушки. — Смотри не промокни,— сказал он. Американка спустилась по лестнице, и, когда она проходила через вестибюль, хозяин отеля встал и поклонился ей. Его конторка стояла в дальнем углу вестибюля. Хозяин отеля был высокий старик.
II piove1, — сказала американка. Ей нравился хозяин отеля.
Si, si, Signora, brutto tempo 2. Сегодня очень плохая погода.

Он стоял у конторки в дальнем углу полутемной комнаты. Он нравился американке

deadly serious way he received any complaints. She liked his dignity. She liked the way he wanted to serve her. She liked the way he felt about being a hotel-keeper. She liked his old, heavy face and big hands.

Liking him she opened the door and looked out. It was raining harder. A man in a rubber cape was crossing the empty square to the cafe. The cat would be around to the right. Perhaps she could go along under the eaves. As she stood in the doorway an umbrella opened behind her. It was the maid who looked after their room.

'You must not get wet/ she smiled, speaking Italian. Of course, the hotel-keeper had sent her. With the maid holding the umbrella over her, she walked along the gravel path until she was under their window. The table was there, washed bright green in the rain, but the cat was gone. She was suddenly disappointed. The maid looked up at her. 'Ha perduto qualque cosa, Signora?' There was a cat,' said the American girl. 'A cat?1 'Si, il gatto.' 'A cat?' the maid laughed. 'A cat in the rain?'
Ей нравилась необычайная серьезность, с которой он выслушивал все жалобы. Ей нравился его почтенный вид. Ей нравилось, как он старался услужить ей. Ей нравилось, как- он относился к своему положению хозяина отеля. Ей нравилось его старое массивное лицо и большие руки. Думая о том, что он ей нравится, она открыла дверь и выглянула наружу. Дождь лил еще сильнее. По пустой площади, направляясь в кафе, шел мужчина в резиновом пальто. Кошка должна быть где-то тут, направо. Может быть, удастся пройти под карнизом. Когда она стояла на пороге, над ней вдруг раскрылся зонтик. За спиной стояла служанка, которая всегда убирала их комнату. — Чтобы вы не промокли,— улыбаясь, сказала она по-итальянски. Конечно, это хозяин послал ее. Вместе со служанкой, которая держала над ней зонтик, она пошла по дорожке под окно своей комнаты. Стол был тут, ярко-зеленый, вымытый дождем, но кошки не было. Американка вдруг почувствовала разочарование. Служанка взглянула на нее.
На perduto qualque cosa, Signora?1
Здесь была кошка,— сказала молодая американка.

* Кошка? * Si, il gatto 2. — Кошка? — служанка засмеялась.— Кошка под дождем?

'Yes/ she said, 'under the table/ Then, 'Oh, I wanted it so much. I wanted a kitty/

When she talked English the maid's face tightened.

'Come, Signora/ she said. 'We must get back inside. You will be wet/ 'I suppose so,' said the American girl. They went back along the gravel path and passed in the door. The maid stayed outside to close the umbrella. As the American girl passed the office, the padrone bowed from his desk. Something felt very small and tight inside the girl. The padrone made her feel very small and at the same time really important. She had a momentary feeling of being of supreme importance. She went on up the stairs. She opened the door of the room. George was on the bed, reading. 'Did you get the cat?' he asked, putting the book down. it was gone.' 'Wonder where it went to?' he said, resting his eyes from reading. She sat down on the bed. 'I wanted it so much/ she said, i don't know why I wanted it so much. I wanted that poor kitty. It isn't any fun to be a poor kitty out in the rain!' George was reading again. She went over and sat in front of the mirror of the dressing-table looking at herself with the hand glass. She studied her profile, first one side and — Да, — сказала она,— здесь под столиком. И потом: А мне так хотелось ее, так хотелось киску... Когда она говорила по-английски, лицо служанки становилось напряженным.
Пойдемте, синьора,— сказала она,— лучше вернемся. Вы промокнете.
Ну что же, пойдем,— сказала американка. Они пошли обратно по усыпанной гравием дорожке и вошли в дом. Служанка остановилась у входа, чтобы закрыть зонтик. Когда американка проходила через вестибюль, padrone1 поклонился ей из-за своей конторки. Что-то в ней судорожно сжалось в комок. В присутствии padrone она чувствовала себя очень маленькой и в то же время значительной. Она поднялась по лестнице. Открыла дверь в комнату. Джордж лежал на кровати и читал.

Ну, принесла кошку? — спросил он, опуская книгу. * Ее уже нет.
Куда же она девалась? — сказал он, на секунду отрываясь от книги. Она села на край кровати. — Мне так хотелось ее,— сказала она.— Не знаю почему, но мне так хотелось эту бедную киску. Плохо такой бедной киске под дождем.
Джордж уже снова читал, Она подошла к туалетному столу, села перед зеркалом и, взяв ручное зеркальце, стала себя разглядывать. Она внимательно рассматривала свой

then the other. Then she studied the back of her head and her neck. 'Don't you think it would be a good idea if I let my hair grow out?' she asked, looking at her profile again. George looked up and saw the back of her neck, clipped close like a boy's.

'1 like it the way it is/

'I get so tired of it,' she said. I get so tired of looking like a boy.' George shifted his position in the bed. He hadn't looked away from her since she started to speak. 'You look pretty darn nice,' he said. She laid the mirror down on the dresser and went over to the window and looked out. It was getting dark. T want to pull my hair back tight and smooth and make a big knot at the back that I can feel,' she said. T want to have a kitty to sit on my lap and purr when I stroke her.'

'Yeah?' George said from the bed. 'And I want to eat at a table with my own silver and I want candles. And I want it to be spring and I want to brush my hair out in front of a mirror and I want a kitty and I want some new clothes.' 'Oh, shut up and get something to read,' George said. He was reading again. His wife was looking out of the window. It was quite dark профиль сначала с одной стороны, потом с другой. Потом стала рассматривать затылок и шею. — Как ты думаешь, не отпустить ли мне волосы? — спросила она, снова глядя на свой профиль. Джордж поднял глаза и увидел ее затылок с коротко остриженными, как у мальчика, волосами.
Мне нравится так, как сейчас.
Мне надоело,— сказала она.— Мне так надоело быть похожей на мальчика. Джордж переменил позу. С тех пор как она заговорила, он не сводил с нее глаз.

— Ты сегодня очень хорошенькая,— сказал он. Она положила зеркало на стол, подошла к окну и стала смотреть в сад. Становилось темно.
Хочу крепко стянуть волосы, и чтобы они были гладкие, и чтобы был большой узел на затылке, и чтобы можно было его потрогать,— сказала она.— Хочу кошку, чтобы она сидела у меня на коленях и мурлыкала, когда я ее глажу.
Мм,— сказал Джордж с кровати.
И хочу есть за своим столом, и чтоб были свои ножи и вилки, и хочу, чтоб горели свечи. И хочу, чтоб была весна, и хочу расчесывать волосы перед зеркалом, и хочу кошку, и хочу новое платье...
Замолчи. Возьми почитай книжку,— сказал Джордж. Он уже снова читал. Американка смотрела в окно. Уже совсем стемнело, и в now and still raining in the palm trees. 'Anyway, I want a cat,' she said. 'I want a cat. I want a cat now. If I can't have long hair or any fun, I can have a cat.'

George was not listening. He was reading his book. His wife looked out of the window where the light had come on in the square.
Someone knocked at the door. 'Avanti,' George said. He looked up from his book.

In the doorway stood the maid. She held a big tortoise-shell cat pressed tight against her and swung down against her body. 'Excuse me,' she said, 'the padrone asked me to bring this for the Signora.' пальмах шумел дождь.

— А все-таки я хочу кошку,— сказала она.— Хочу кошку сейчас же. Если уж нельзя длинные волосы и чтобы было весело, так хоть кошку-то можно? Джордж не слушал. Он читал книгу. Она смотрела в окно, на площадь, где зажигались огни.

В дверь постучали. — Avanti1, — сказал Джордж. Он поднял глаза от книги. В дверях стояла служанка. Она крепко прижимала к себе большую пятнистую кошку, которая тяжело свешивалась у нее на руках. — Простите, — сказала она.— Padrone посылает это синьоре.

Рассказ Э. Хемингуэя «Кошка под дождем» занимает четыре неполных страницы текста, но при этом он в высшей степени насыщен содержательно. Здесь каждая языковая единица, включая и синсемантичные слова, не просто несет «квант информации», но включается в сложную систему контактных и дистантных семантических, эмоциональных, оценочных связей, организующих основной — подтекстный, имплицитный — смысл повествования. Этот рассказ — образец удивительно плотной прозы как в формальном, так и в содержательном отношении. 1 Войдите (итал.). 2 И. Р. Гальперин называет ее содержательно-концептуальной информацией (СКИ). См. его книгу: «Текст как объект лингвистического исследования». — М., 1981. В линейном развертывании текста читатель знакомится с молодой парой, которой нечем заняться в дождливый день на модном курорте. Это, в терминологии И. Р. Гальперина, содержательно-фактуальная информация (СФИ) рассказа. Однако не она формирует концепт — идею, основную мысль произведения2, которую автор проводит в своем рассказе, хотя именно СФИ располагает сигналами, осуществляющими передачу глубинной — содержательно-подтекстной — информации (СПИ).

Русский термин «подтекст» сохранил свою внутреннюю форму и адекватно отражает явление: подтекст — это глубина текста. Следовательно, мы должны найти в языковой материи произведения те сигналы, которые несут дополнительную информацию, формирующую подтекст. Читать рассказ следует медленно, останавливаясь на каждом таком сигнале, чтобы окончательные выводы базировались не столько на интуитивно-эмоциональном отношении к происходящему (что тоже очень важно, но подвержено резким индивидуальным смещениям), сколько на объективных, явных для всех материальных знаках. Рассказ открывается предложением "There were only two Americans at the hotel". Слово "only" нормативно предполагает наличие предыдущего высказывания: «обычно... много американцев, а сейчас — только двое». Определенный артикль, вводящий место действия, подкрепляет создавшуюся импликацию предшествования — рассказ начинается с середины, что характерно для Хемингуэя вообще, как и для многих его современников и последователей. Затем следует очень важное для дальнейшего повествования упоминание, что они никого здесь не знали: "They did not know any of the people they passed..." Эта фраза объясняет одну из причин настроения героев. В самом деле, если бы у них были здесь знакомые, все могло бы быть иначе. Далее следует излишне подробное на первый взгляд описание номера. Но и оно очень важно: "second floor facing the sea", "faced the public garden" — все это говорит о том, что номер дорогой, да и отель не из дешевых, раз он расположен в столь удачном месте и принимает помногу американцев. Описание вида, открывающегося из окон, подтверждает фешенебельность отеля: сад с высокими пальмами, знаменитый памятник (итальянцы приезжали издалека, чтобы увидеть его), художники здесь пишут пейзажи. Несколько ниже упоминается, что здесь всегда много автомобилей. Автор намеренно употребляет определенный артикль: "The motorcars..." — «те, которые...». В этом же абзаце вводится слово "rain", входящее в заголовок рассказа. Повтор заглавных слов всегда несет их семантическое осложнение. Здесь пока разные формы слова реализуют его основное номинативное значение — «дождь». За счет переключения грамматического времени — т. е. за счет изменения грамматического значения, не нарушая повтор, автор от общего описания переходит к сиюминутному сюжетному настоящему: от past indefinite "...glistened in the rain" к past continuous — "It was raining". О монотонности происходящего, о том, что дождь идет долго, становится известно из косвенных деталей: на площади не осталось ни одного автомобиля; хотя дорожки посыпаны гравием и, следовательно, хорошо впитывают воду, на них стоят лужи; широколиственные пальмы уже не защищают от дождя: "The rain dripped from the palm-trees". Глагол "dripped" передает и характер дождя (далее будет корневой повтор "dripping green tables'1): это не летняя гроза, а назойливый осенний сеющий дождь. И соединение «дождя» с «морем» в одном ритмизованном предложении, при синтаксическом параллелизме и лексическом повторе, и аллитерации — все это подчеркивает, укрепляет ощущение нудного дня и включается в систему причинно-следственных отношений рассказа. Действительно, знакомых нет, погулять нельзя, остается сидеть в номере, довольствуясь общением друг с другом. Общение же носит чрезвычайно ограниченный характер. Из первой фразы второго абзаца мы узнаем, что эти двое американцев — супружеская пара. Эта информация вводится не специально, а мимоходом: "The American wife stood... looking out". Наличие глагола восприятия позволяет отнести описания, которые его обрамляют, к так называемым авторизованным высказываниям Описание площади в начале рассказа и далее стола, с которого капает вода, авторизованы: они имеют автора, конкретное лицо, воспринимающее картину, а слово "outside", начинающее второе предложение второго абзаца, подчеркивает наличие наблюдающего лица, имплицитно предполагая антитезу "inside" 2. В этом же предложении вводится второе заглавное слово — "cat". Оно будет повторено на протяжении рассказа 13 раз. Следует также учесть, что молодая американка использует это слово в речи, только когда объясняется по-итальянски и в самой последней своей реплике. Во всех остальных случаях она называет кошку киской — сначала это просто "kitty", потом еще трижды "poor kitty", и снова "kitty" — в общей сложности 7 раз. Следовательно, на протяжении маленького рассказа, насчитывающего всего 1142 словоупотребления, из которых 495 — автосемантичные слова, 20 единиц, или 4%, отданы лексеме «кошка». Повторы Хемингуэя знамениты. О них неоднократно писали и у нас, и за рубежом. Даже в маленькой «Кошке под дождем» их несколько. Это "cat", "rain", "I want", которое повторяется 11 раз в конце рассказа в пределах одной трети страницы, и глагол "to read" (Fa—6), и обязательная авторская ремарка "he (she) said", которой вводится даже последняя отчаянная реплика героини. Зачем нужны эти повторы? Возможно, они используются автором потому, что «он не знает других слов», как сказал один рассерженный критик? Конечно, нет. В таком случае они несут дополнительную информацию, ибо каждое последующее употребление слова сознательно или бессознательно присоединяется читателем к предыдущему.

1 См.: Золотое а Г. А. Очерк функционального синтаксиса русского языка.— М., 1973. 2 В конце первого абзаца есть аналогичная структура: "...a waiter stood, looking out...". Но о том, что обсуждаемое восприятие картины принадлежит не официанту, а американке, свидетельствует обстоятельственный оборот — "Across the square...", который подчеркивает, что теперь точка наблюдения находится на стороне отеля.

Семантический объем слова растет, оно приобретает новые значения, которые в языке — в словаре — не существуют. Этой же цели служат и повторы в данном рассказе. «Кошка под дождем» — это не рассказ о любви к животным. За незначительной ситуацией скрываются значительные обобщения. Так ли это? Правильно ли, т. е. в соответствии ли с авторским замыслом, мы раскрываем истинный, концептуальный, смысл рассказа? Справедливо ли широко распространенное мнение о том, что «Кошка под дождем» — это символ одинокой, мятущейся тонкой натуры, непонятой и страдающей представительницы потерянного поколения? Ответы на интересующие нас вопросы следует искать в тексте.

Во-первых, следует выяснить, для чего состоятельная американская пара находится на фешенебельном курорте. Туристы? Нет, туристический сезон закончен. Дела? Судя по месту действия и поведению мужа, тоже нет. Американские экспатрианты типа тех, которые позже появятся в романе Э. Хемингуэя «Фиеста»? Тоже нет. Те жались друг к другу и не удалялись от привычных кафе и баров крупных городов. Учитывая возраст героев, тираду молодой женщины перед зеркалом, ее несомненную физическую привлекательность для мужа ("Не hadn't looked away from her..."; "'You look pretty darn nice/ he said..."), можно заключить, что это ™ молодожены, совершающие свадебное путешествие. Как же ведет себя молодой муж? Постоянный повтор слова "read (ing)" и тематически связанного с ним слова "book", взятый вне макроконтекста, может навести на мысль, что Джордж — интеллектуал, который не может оторваться от книги. Однако — и здесь читатель еще раз убеждается, что каждое явление в художественном тексте следует рассматривать не изолированно, а в текстовой систем е,— условия повтора заставляют его прийти к диаметрально противоположному мнению. Книга в руках Джорджа становится показателем его невоспитанности, низкой культуры. Он не слушает жену, когда она произносит свой монолог, не вникает в содержание ее отдельных реплик и предлагает свои услуги принести кошку только формально, не изменяя положения в кровати: " Til do it', her husband offered from the bed", и далее, в ответ на ее реплику "(he)... went on reading". Учитывая глагольные времена и лексическое значение глаголов, читатель понимает, что он предложил помощь жене, не отрываясь от чтения, и, читая, продолжал разговаривать. Не случайно глагол "to read" употребляется преимущественно в past continuous tense — чтение служит постоянным фоном: "The husband went on reading", "George was on the bed reading", "George was reading again", "George was not listening" (все время ее монолога), "Не. was reading his book". Даже когда жена входит в комнату и он наконец поднимает от книги глаза — это не проявление к ней интереса и внимания — он отдыхает от чтения: "...he said, resting his eyes from reading". Его речевая партия состоит всего из 8

крошечных реплик в 3—5 слов. Самая короткая — "Yeah?" — откровенное проявление невнимания к речи жены, самая длинная — 8 слов — начинается с оскорбительного "Shut up". Искусству общения он действительно не обучен. Оказавшись вдвоем с молодой женой, ее привлекательность оценить он может, а говорить не о чем. Ну, а она? Ее речевая партия гораздо более развернута. Что же доминирует в ее речи? Во-первых, обращает на себя внимание очень характерное мещански-жеманное слово «киска». Не «кошка», не «котенок», а «киска». Далее, повтор "I want" с весьма неожиданным набором желаемого: у нас на глазах разворачивается ассоциативный ряд, происходит одновременный процесс мысли — речи, высказывается вслух не заранее продуманное, а спонтанно, по ассоциации, пришедшее в голову. Случайность и неравнозначность упоминаемых рядом объектов заставляет воспринимать их не как серьезные, выношенные претензии и переживания, а как каприз, обусловленный и тем, что ее капризы, наверное, ранее всеми выполнялись (молода, хороша, богата), и тем, что сейчас тоскливо, скучно, повеселиться не с кем, делать нечего. Общение с мужем не получается не только оттого, что он сам этого не умеет и от отсутствия этого не страдает, но и потому, что ее речь — это не общение в полном смысле слова (обмен мыслями, эмоциями, суждениями), а только рамочное развитие одного настойчивого мотива «хочу». Молодой героине можно посочувствовать, но вряд ли можно определить ее как натуру изысканную и непонятую. Эта богатая пара в равной степени убога духовно, и вынужденное длительное пребывание наедине друг с другом развенчивает обоих. В рассказе рассыпаны косвенные детали, подчеркивающие причины их случайной изоляции: других американцев не было, с прочими постояльцами отеля не знакомы (обратите внимание на незначительную степень владения героев итальянским языком, что тоже ограничивает контакты, и на то, как автор передает иностранный язык диалога), кафе пусто (официант стоит в дверях и смотрит на улицу) — идти в него нет смысла, погоды тоже нет. Есть в рассказе еще один персонаж, очень важный для развития основной мысли произведения — хозяин отеля. Его поведение — полная противоположность Джорджу. Он снисходителен к капризу американки, ибо понимает его истоки. Не случайно в присутствии этого старика молодая женщина чувствует одновременно и свою женскую силу и свою женскую слабость — то понимание, которого она безуспешно ждет от мужа. Итак, рассмотрев рассказ, безусловно, следует говорить о семантическом расширении заглавных слов, о приобретении ими нового — текстового — значения «неуютно, неприятно, нехорошо». При этом «Кошка под дождем» сохраняет и свое исходное прямое значение и выражает тот повод, который послужил отправным пунктом для формирования содержательно-концептуальной информации произведения (СКИ) — идеи о духовной глухоте внешне благополучных, социально и финансово преуспевающих молодых американцев 20-х годов. Специальных языковых средств, эксплицитно выражающих авторскую идею, в тексте нет. СКИ накапливается постепенно — через акценты (выраженные повторами), делаемые на определенные черты поведения и речи персонажей, через со- и противопоставление их характеристик, через широко и разнообразно используемую художественную деталь. Можно сказать, что проза Хемингуэя плотно спаяна — так тесно связаны в ней соседствующие предложения. Рассмотрите первый абзац рассказа, и вы увидите, как разворачивается цепочка повторов, обеспечивающая жесткую текстовую когезию. Следует также обратить внимание на то, как вводится внутренняя речь героини: открыв дверь, она выглянула на улицу — "looked out". Далее — авторизованное описание того, что она увидела: "...raining... a man... crossing". И в следующем предложении — неожиданная смена грамматического времени и появление future in the past: "The cat would be around... she could go along..." — будто бы глагольные времена сменились потому, что есть вводящая фраза "She thought the cat would be... and she couid go...". Вообще появление future in the past в авторском тексте без кавычек — сигнал введения голоса персонажа, передачи изложения этому персонажу, свидетельство перехода к внутренней или несобственно-прямой речи.

Katherine Mansfield (1888—1923)

THE STRANGER

Katherine Mansfield (pseudonym of Katherine Middleton Murry), in her brief lifetime, has published only four collections of short stories, but they have set her among the internationally renowned masters of psychological prose. An admirer of the art of Chekhov and de Maupassant she prefers subdued tones and colours and leaves her main message in implication. "The Stanger", first published in 1922 in "The Garden Party" collection, is a perfect example of her style. Translation was made by P. Okhrimenko as far back as 1926, which explains certain discrepancies (additions to the original text and omissions from it,' the specificity of name-rendering). The Russian title of the story is «Чужая».

It seemed to the little crowd on the wharf that she was never going to move again. There she lay, immense, motionless on the grey crinkled water, a loop of smoke above her, an immense flock of gulls screaming and

Небольшой толпе в порту казалось, что пароход никогда больше не двинется. Вот лежит он, огромный, неподвижный, на серой, слегка волнующейся воде, столб дыма из труб вьется над ним, огромная стая чаек

diving after the galley droppings in the stern. You could just see little couples parading — little flies walking up and down the dish on the grey wrinkled tablecloth. Other flies clustered and swarmed at the edge. Now there was a gleam of white on the lower deck — the cook's apron or the stewardess perhaps. Now a tiny black spider raced up the ladder on to the bridge. In the front of the crowd a strong-looking, middle-aged man, dressed very well, very snugly in a grey overcoat, grey silk scarf, thick gloves and dark felt-hat, marched up and down, twirling his folded umbrella. He seemed to be the leader of the little crowd on the wharf and at the same time to keep them together. He was something between the sheep-dog and the shepherd. But what a fool — what a fool he had been not to bring any glasses! There wasn't a pair of glasses between the whole lot of them. 'Curious thing, Mr Scott, that none of us thought of glasses. We might have been able to stir'em up, eh? We might have managed a little signalling. Don't hesitate to land, Natives harmless. Or: A welcome awaits you. All is forgiven. What? Eh?'

Mr Hammond's quick, eager glance, so nervous and yet so friendly and confiding, took in everybody on the wharf, roped in even those old chaps lounging against the gangways. They knew, every manjack of them, that Mrs Hammond was

кричит и ныряет у кормы, хватая кухонные отбросы. На палубе чуть видны расхаживающие пары — маленькие мушки лазят взад и вперед по тарелке на серой смятой скатерти. Другие мушки сбились в кучу у краев. Вот на нижней палубе блеснуло что-то белое — вероятно, халат повара. Вот маленький черный паук полез по лестнице на мостик.

Впереди толпы, размахивая свернутым зонтиком, расхаживает крупный мужчина средних лет, очень изящно одетый. Он как бы является предводителем этой небольшой толпы и в то же время объединяет ее. Он представляет собой нечто среднее между пастухом и пастушьей собакой.

Но какой он дурак, какой дурак, что не захватил с собой бинокля! Во всей толпе не нашлось ни одного бинокля.

— Странно, мистер Скотт, что никто из нас не подумал о бинокле. Мы могли бы их немножко подтолкнуть. Можно было бы устроить им сигнализацию. «Не бойтесь сходить на берег. Туземцы мирные». Или же: «Ожидаем с радостью. Все забыто». А? Что? Быстрый взгляд м-ра Гам-монда, такой нервный и в то же время такой дружеский и доверчивый, привлекает к себе всех, даже тех стариков, что стоят у сходней. Все, несомненно, знают, что жена м-ра Гам-монда находится на борту этого

on that boat, and he was so tremendously excited it never entered his head not to believe that this marvellous fact meant something to them too. It warmed his heart towards them. They were, he decided, as decent a crowd of people — those old chaps over by the gangways, too — fine, solid old chaps. What chests — by Jove! And he squared his own, plunged his thick-gloved hands into his pockets, rocked from heel to toe. 'Yes, my wife's been in Europe for the last ten months. On a visit to our eldest girl, who was married last year. I brought her up here, as far as Crawford, myself. So I thought I'd better come and fetch her back. Yes, yes, yes.' The shrewd eyes narrowed again and searched anxiously, quickly, the motionless liner. Again his overcoat was unbuttoned. Out came the thin, butter-yellow watch pin, and for the twentieth' — fiftieth — hundredth time he made the calculation. 'Let me see, now, it was two fifteen when the doctor's launch went off. Two fifteen. It is now exactly, twenty-eight minutes past four. That is to say, the doctor's been gone two hours and thirteen minutes. Two hours and thirteen minutes! Wheeooh!' He gave a queer little half-whistle and snapped his watch to again. 'But I think we should have been told if there was anything up — don't you, Mr Ga-ven?'

'Oh, yes, Mr Hammond! I don't think there's anything

парохода, и м-р Гаммонд был настолько возбужден, что вполне верил, что этот чудесный факт имеет для всех огромное значение. Это наполняло теплотой его сердце ко всем людям в порту. «Все они очень милые люди,— думал он.— Вон те старые моряки, какие все они добрые, солидные! А какие у них груди!»

«Да, вот уже десять месяцев, как моя жена уехала в Европу, чтобы навестить старшую дочь, которая вышла замуж в прошлом году. Я сам провожал ее до самого Крофорда, а теперь вот выехал ей настречу. Да, да, да!» Острые серые глаза сузились опять и быстро, озабоченно ощупывали стоявший неподвижно пароход. Опять Гаммонд расстегнул пальто. Опять достал тонкие золотые часы и в двадцатый, пятидесятый, сотый раз принялся за вычисление.

Ну-ка, посмотрим! Было четверть третьего, когда отошел баркас с доктором. Четверть третьего. Теперь ровно двадцать восемь минут пятого. Значит, доктор уже на борту два часа и тринадцать минут. Два часа и тринадцать минут! Фюить! — Он как-то странно свистнул и опять схватился за часы.
Но, я полагаю, нам должны передать, если там что-нибудь случится. Не так ли, м-р Гейвен?
Несомненно, несомненно, м-р Гаммонд. Я не думаю, что

to — anything to worry about,' said Mr Gaven, knocking out his pipe against the heel of his shoe. 'At the same time —' 'Quite so! Quite so!' cried Mr Hammond. 'Dashed annoying!' He paced quickly up and down and came back again to his stand between Mr and Mrs Scott and Mr Gaven.

'It's getting quite dark, too,' and he waved his folded umbrella as though the dusk at least might have had the decency to keep off for a bit. But the dusk came slowly, spreading like a slow train over the water. Little Jean Scott dragged at mother's hand. 'I wan' my tea, mammy!' she wailed. 'I expect you do,' said Mr Hammond. 'I expect all these ladies want their tea.' And his kind, flushed, almost pitiful glance roped them all in again. He wondered whether Janey was having a final cup of tea in the saloon out there. He hoped so; he thought not. It would be just like her not to leave the deck. In that case perhaps the deck steward would bring her up a cup. If he'd been there he'd have got it for her — somehow. And for a moment he was on deck, standing over her, watching her little hand fold round the cup in the way she had, while she drank the only cup of tea to be got on board... But now he was back here, and the Lord only knew when that cursed Captain would stop hanging about in the stream. He took another turn, up and down, up and down. He walked as far бы там что-нибудь... что-нибудь произошло,— сказал м-р Гей-вен, выбивая трубку о каблук своего башмака.— Однако...
Вот именно! Вот именно! — вскричал м-р Гаммонд.— Просто нет никакого терпения! — Он быстро прошелся, взад и вперед и опять остановился около м-ра и миссис Скотт и м-ра Гейвена.
И уже начинает темнеть.— Он помахал зонтиком, как будто хотел остановить наступавшую темноту. Но сумерки медленно ползли, темной тенью расплываясь по воде. Маленькая Джен Скотт тянула свою мать за руку.

Хочу чаю!.. — плакала она.
Да, да, как не захотеть? — подхватил м-р Гаммонд.— Я думаю, все уже хотят чаю.— И добрым, быстрым, почти сострадательным взглядом он опять окинул своих соседей. Он подумал, выпила ли чашку чаю его Дженни на пароходе. Наверно, выпила — а может быть, и нет. Вряд ли она из-за чаю покинет палубу. Но, в таком случае, может быть, прислуга принесет ей чашку чаю на палубу. Если бы он был там, то он во что бы то ни стало постарался достать для нее чашку чаю. И на одну минуту он перенесся на палубу и следил, как она, изогнув, как всегда, свою маленькую ручку, пила чай из чашки, которую только ему одному удалось достать... Но он опять был здесь, на берегу, и... «Черт знает, когда этот проклятый капитан!» Он опять зашагал as the cabstand to make sure his driver hadn't disappeared; back he swerved again to the little flock huddled in the shelter of the banana crates. Little Jean Scott was still wanting her tea. Poor little beggar! He wished he had a bit of chocolate on him.

'Here, Jean!' he said. 'Like a lift up?' And easily, gently, he swung the little girl on to a higher barrel. The movement of holding her, steadying her, relieved him, wonderfully, lightened his heart. 'Hold on,' he said, keeping an arm round her. 'Oh, don't worry about Jean, Mr Hammond!' said Mrs Scott.

'That's all right, Mrs Scott. No trouble. It's a pleasure. Jean's a little pal of mine, aren't you, Jean?'

'Yes, Mr Hammond,' said Jean, and she'ran her finger down the dent of his felt hat. But suddenly she caught him by the ear and gave a loud scream. 'Lo-ok, Mr Hammond! She's moving! Look, she's coming in!' By Jove! So she was. At last! She was slowly, slowly turning round. A bell sounded far over the water and a great spout of stream gushed into the air. The guils rose; they fluttered away like bits of white paper. And whether that deep throbbing was her engines or his heart Mr Hammond couldn't say. He had to nerve himself to bear it, whatever it was. At that moment old Captain Johnson, the harbour-master, came striding

взад и вперед, взад и вперед. Он прошелся до самого места стоянки извозчиков, чтобы убедиться, что его эпипаж на месте, и опять вернулся к толпе. Маленькая Джен Скотт все еще просила чаю. Бедная девочка! Он пожалел, что не захватил с собой плитки шоколада. — Ну-ка, Джен, давай-ка я тебя подниму,—сказал м-р Гам-монд.— Держись! — воскликнул он, обнимая девочку и ставя ее на опрокинутую бочку.

Не беспокойтесь, не беспокойтесь, м-р Гаммонд,— сказала миссис Скотт.
Ничего, ничего, миссис Скотт. Никакого беспокойства. Одно удовольствие. Мы с Джен — друзья. Не правда ли, Джен?
Да,— сказала Джен и провела пальцем по полям его шляпы. Но вдруг она схватила его за ухо и пронзительно завизжала: — Смотри-те, смот-рите! Движется! Движется!

Боже мой! Наконец-то! Пароход медленно, медленно поворачивался. Зазвонил колокол, огромные клубы дыма повалили из труб. Чайки, поднявшись в воздух, рассыпались, как листки белой бумаги. Но билось ли то его сердце или стучала машина на пароходе — м-р Гаммонд не мог точно сказать. Во всяком случае, ему пришлось сделать усилие, чтобы выдержать этот стук. В эту минуту к ним подходил старый

down the wharf, a leather portfolio under his arm.

'Jean'U be all right/ said Mr Scott. Til hold her/ He was just in time. Mr Hammond had forgotten about Jean. He sprang away to greet old Captain Johnson. 'Well, Captain,' the eager, nervous voice rang out again, 'you've,taken pity on us at last.'

'It's no good blaming me, Mr Hammond,' wheezed old Captain Johnson staring at the liner. 'You got Mrs Hammond on board, ain't yer?'

'Yes, yes!' said Hammond, and he kept by the harbourmaster's side. 'Mrs Hammond's there. Hullo! We shan't be long now!' With her telephone ring-ringing, the thrum of her crew filling the air, the big liner bore down on them, cutting sharp through the dark water so that big white shavings curled to the either side. Hammond and the harbour-master kept in front of the rest. Hammond took off his hat; he raked the decks — they were crammed with passengers; he waved his hat and bawled a loud, strange 'Hul-lo!' across the water, and then turned round and burst out laughing and said something — nothing — to old Captain Johnson. 'Seen her?' asked the harbour-master. 'No, not yet. Steady — wait a bit!' And suddenly, between two great clumsy idiots — 'Get out of the way there!' he signed with his umbrella — he saw a

капитан Джонсон, начальник порта, держа портфель под мышкой.
Я подержу Джен,— сказал м-р Скотт и как раз; вовремя схватил девочку за руку: м-р Гаммонд, совершенно забыв о Джен, побежал навстречу капитану.
Ах, капитан! — прозвучал его резкий, нервный голос.— Наконец-то вы нас пожалели!
Я не виноват, м-р Гаммонд, — прорычал капитан Джонсон, впиваясь взглядом в пароход.— А разве миссис Гаммонд приезжает с этим пароходом? — спросил кто-то.
Конечно, конечно! — воскликнул м-р Гаммонд, стоя рядом с начальником порта.— Она на борту. Алло! Скоро уже, скоро! Огромный пароход подходил к берегу. Он разрезал носом твердую воду,— белые брызги, как стружки, вздымались по бокам. Гаммонд и начальник порта стояли впереди. Гаммонд снял шляпу, его глаза бегали по палубам, он махал шляпой и кричал громким странным голосом: «Алло!» Затем обернулся, рассмеялся и что-то сказал, сам не зная что, старому капитану Джонсону.

Что — видите? — спросил капитан.
Нет, пока нет. Но сейчас, наверно, сейчас! Ах, эти пассажиры! Стоят как идиоты! С дороги, с дороги! — махал он зонтиком. Он уже видел подня

hand raised — a white glove shaking a handkerchief. Another moment, and — thank God, thank God! — there she was. There was Janey. There was Mrs Hammond, yes, yes, yes — standing by the rail and smiling and nodding arid waving her handkerchief. 'Well, that's first class — first class! Well, well, well!' He positively stamped. Like lightning he drew out his cigar-case and offered it to old Captain Johnson. 'Have a cigar, Captain! They're pretty good. Have a couple! Here' — and he pressed all the cigars in the case of the harbour-master — 'I've a couple of boxes up at the hotel.' Thanks, Mr Hammond!' wheezed old Captain Johnson.

Hammond stuffed the cigar-case back. His hands were shaking, but he'd got hold of himself again. He was able to face Janey. There she was, leaning on the rail, talking to some woman and at the same time watching him, ready for him. It struck him, as the gulf of water closed, how small she looked on that huge ship. His heart was wrung with such a spasm that he could have cried out. How little she looked to have come all that long way and back by herself! Just like her, though. Just like Janey. She had the courage of a—And now the crew had come forward and parted the passengers; they had lowered the rails for the gangways. The voices on shore and the voices on board flew to greet each other.

тую руку в белой перчатке с носовым платком. Еще немножко, еще немножко... Слава богу! Слава богу! Вот она! Вот стоит моя Дженни, вот стоит миссис Гаммонд — да, да, да! — стоит у перил и улыбается, и кивает головой, и машет платком.

Он не мог устоять на месте. С быстротой молнии он вынул портсигар и протянул его капитану Джонсону.— Сигару, капитан! Берите две! Нет, вот так! — Он сунул все свои сигары в портсигар капитана.— У меня еще две коробки в столе.

— Благодарю вас, м-р Гаммонд,— пробурчал старый капитан Джонсон. Гаммонд сунул пустой портсигар в карман. Его руки дрожали, но он уже владел собой. Теперь он уже ясно мог видеть Дженни. Вот стоит она у перил и разговаривает с какой-то дамой, но в то же время наблюдает за ним. Он поразился, когда разделявшее их водное пространство замкнулось, какой маленькой она казалась на этом огромном пароходе. И как могла она, такая маленькая, одна проехать такой длинный путь — из Австралии в Европу и обратно? Но она именно такая. Она обладает мужеством мужч... Вот к перилам подошли матросы, разделив пассажиров.

Зрители на берегу стали перекликаться с пассажирами на борту.

'All well?1 'All well/ 'How's mother?' 'Much better.' 'Hullo, Jean!' 'Hullo, Aun' Emily!* 'Had a good voyage?' 'Splendid!' 'Shan't be long now!' 'Not long now.' The engines stopped. Slowly she edged to the wharf side. 'Make way there — make way — make way!' And the wharf hands brought the heavy gangways along at a sweeping run. Hammond signed to Janey to stand where she was. The old harbour-master stepped for-ward; he followed. As to 'ladies first', or any row like that, it never entered his head. 'After you, Captain!' he cried genially. And treading on the old man's heels, he strode up the gangway on to the deck in a bee-line to Janey, and Janey was clasped in his arms. 'Well, well, well! Yes, yes! Here we are at last!' he stammered. It was all he could say. And Janey emerged, and her cool little voice — the only voice in the world for him — said, 'Well, darling! Have you been waiting long?' No; not long. Or, at any rate, it didn't matter. It was over now. But the point was, he had a cab waiting at the end of the wharf. Was she ready to go off? Was her luggage ready? In that case they could cut off with her cabin luggage and let the rest go hang until to-morrow. He bent over her and she looked up with her familiar

Машина остановилась. Пароход причалил.
Дорогу, дорогу, дорогу! — Матросы на берегу быстро подвигали сходни. Гаммонд подал знак Дженни, чтобы она стояла на месте. Старый начальник порта двинулся вперед. Гаммонд последовал за ним. Он совершенно забыл о том, что «женщины в первую очередь».

За вами, капитан! — радостно воскликнул он. И, следуя по пятам капитана, он быстро прошел сходни, взошел на палубу, и Дженни, наконец, очутилась в его объятиях.
Ну, ну, ну! Да, да, да! Наконец мы вместе,— бормотал он. Больше он ничего не мог сказать. Дженни, высвободившись из его объятий, спросила:

Долго пришлось ждать, милый? ...Нет, не долго. Или, во всяком случае, это не важно. Теперь это уже кончено. Главное — их в порту ожидает извозчик. Готова ли она? Как там ее багаж? Пока можно взять с собой только ручной багаж, а остальной оставить до завтра. Она смотрела на него с легкой улыбкой на губах, так хорошо знакомой ему. Она ни капельки

half-smile. She was just the same. Not a day changed. Just as he'd always known her. She laid her small hand on his sleeve. 'How are the children, John?' she asked. (Hang the children!) 'Perfectly well. Never better in their lives!' 'Haven't they sent me letters?' 'Yes, yes — of course! I've left them at the hotel for you to digest later on.' 'We can't go quite so fast,' said she. 'I've got people to say good-bye to — and then there's the Captain.' As his face fell she gave his arm a small understanding squeeze. 'If the Captain comes off the bridge I want you to thank him for having looked after your wife so beautifully.' Well, he'd got her. If she wanted another ten minutes — As he gave way she was surrounded. The whole first-class seemed to want to say good-bye to Janey.

'Good-bye, dear Mrs Hammond! And next time you are in Sydney I'll expect you.'

'Darling Mrs Hammond! You won't forget to write to me, will you?' 'Well, Mrs Hammond, what this boat would have been without you!' It was as plain as a pikestaff that she was by far the most popular woman on board. And she took it all just as usual. Absolutely composed. Just her little self — just Janey all over; standing there with her veil thrown back. Hammond never

не изменилась. Своей маленькой ручкой она коснулась его руки.

Как поживают дети, Джон? — спросила она.
(«К черту детей!») Великолепно — здоровы, как никогда!
А разве они ничего не написали мне?
Да, да, конечно! Я оставил их письма в отеле. Прочтешь потом.
Мы не можем сейчас уехать,— сказала Дженни. Мне нужно кое с кем попрощаться и, кроме того, капитан... ' Гаммонд насторожился. — Когда он сойдет с мостика, я хочу, чтобы ты поблагодарил его за заботу о твоей жене. Ах, теперь ему понятно! Если ей нужны еще десять минут... Ее начали окружать, и он отступил в сторону. Казалось, весь первый класс пришел попрощаться с Дженни.
До свидания, дорогая миссис Гаммонд! Когда будете в Сиднее, непременно заходите к нам.
Милая миссис Гаммонд! Надеюсь, вы не забудете писать мне? Не так ли?
Миссис Гаммонд! Ну что бы мы делали, если бы вас не было с нами на пароходе.

noticed what his wife had on. It was all the same to him whatever she wore. But to-day he did notice that she wore a black 'costume* — didn't they call it? — with white frills, trimmings he supposed they were, at the neck and sleeves. All this while Janey handed him round. 'John, dear!' And then: 'I want to introduce you to — ' Finally they did escape, and she led the way to her stateroom. To follow Janey down the passage that she knew so well — that was so strange to him; to part the green curtains after her and to step into the cabin that had been hers gave him exquisite happiness. But — confound it! — the stewardess was there on the floor, strapping up the rugs. 'That's the last, Mrs Hammond,' said the stewardess, rising and pulling down her cuffs. He was introduced again, and then Janey and the stewardess disappeared into the passage. He heard whisperings. She was getting the tipping business over, he supposed. He sat down on the striped sofa and took his hat off. There were the rugs she had taken with her; they looked good as new. All her luggage looked fresh, perfect. The labels were written in her beautiful little clear hand — 'Mrs John Hammond'. 'Mrs John Hammond!' He gave a long sigh of content and leaned back, crossing his arms. The strain was over. He felt he could have sat there forever sighing his relief at being rid of that horrible tug, pull, grip

Наконец она освободилась, и они направились в ее каюту. Для него было так странно следовать за ней по коридору, так хорошо знакомому ей. И как счастливо забилось его сердце, когда она, раздвинув зеленые портьеры, вошла в каюту, а он вслед за ней. Но... проклятие! в каюте была прислуга, связывавшая ее багаж.

— Все готово, миссис Гаммонд,— сказала прислуга, поднимаясь с пола и одергивая рукава. Миссис Гаммонд удалилась с ней за портьеру. Было слышно, как они о чем-то шептались. М-р Гаммонд решил, что она устраивает дело с «чаевыми». Он присел на диван и снял шляпу. На полу лежал багаж. Ярлыки были написаны ее красивым, ярким почерком: «Миссис Джон Гаммонд».

Он облегченно вздохнул, прислонился спиной к дивану и скрестил руки на животе. Напряженность его прошла. Он чувствовал, что он мог бы сидеть здесь вечно, наслаждаясь облегчением от той боли, кото

on his heart. The danger was over. That was the feeling. They were on dry land again. But at that moment Janey's head came round the corner. 'Darling—do you mind? I just want to go and say goodbye to the doctor.' Hammond started up. Til come with you.' 'No, no!' she said. 'Don't bother. I'd rather not. I'll not be a minute.'

And before he could answer she was gone. He had half a mind to run after her; but instead he sat down again. Would she really not be long? What was the time now? Out came the watch; he stared at nothing. That was rather queer of Janey, wasn't it? Why couldn't she have told the stewardess to say good-bye for her? Why did she have to go chasing after the ship's doctor? She could have sent a note from the hotel even if the affair had been urgent. Urgent? Did it — could it mean that she had been ill on the voyage — she was keeping something from him? That was it! He seized his hat. He was going off to find that fellow and to wring the truth out of him at all costs. He thought he'd noticed just something. She was just a touch too calm — too steady. From the very first moment — The curtain rang. Janey was back. He jumped to his feet.

'Janey, have you been ill on this voyage? You have!'

Til?' Her airy little voice

рая сжимала его сердце. Опасность миновала. Он это чувствовал. Дженни опять на суше. Из-за портьеры показалась голова Дженни. — Милый, я должна еще пойти проститься с доктором.

Гаммонд вскочил, как ужаленный.— Я тоже пойду с тобой. — Нет! Нет! — запротестовала она.— Не беспокойся. Мне нужно к нему одной. Только на минутку. И она ушла. Он чуть было не бросился вслед за ней, но потом опять присел на диван.

В самом ли деле она будет недолго? А который теперь час? Он вынул часы, но не посмотрел на них. Что-то странное с Дженни. Разве она не могла послать прислугу передать прощальный привет доктору? Она могла бы даже написать ему из отеля, если это уж так необходимо. Необходимо! Неужели она была больна в дороге, но скрыла от него?.. Так оно и есть! Гаммонд схватил шляпу. Он отыщет доктора и во что бы то ни стало узнает всю правду. Недаром он что-то заметил. Чересчур уж она казалась спокойной с самого начала...

Раздвинулись портьеры, и в каюту вошла Дженни. Гаммонд вскочил с дивана. — Дженни, ты была больна в дороге? Несомненно, ты была больна!
— Больна? — Она пересту

mocked him. She stepped over the rugs, came up close, touched his breast, and looked up at him. 'Darling/ she said, 'don't frighten me. Of course I haven't! Whatever makes you think I have? Do I look ill?' But Hammond didn't see her. He only felt that she was looking at him and that there was no need to worry about anything. She was here to look after things. It was all right. It was all right. Everything was. The gentle pressure of her hand was so calming that he put his over hers to hold it there. And she said: 'Stand still. I want to look at you. I haven't seen you yet. You've had your beard beautifully trimmed, and you look — younger, I think, and decidedly thinner! Bachelor life agrees with you.'

'Agrees with me!' He groaned for love and caught her close again. And again, as always, he had the feeling he was holding something that never was quite his — his. Something too delicate, too precious, that would fly away once he let go.

'For God's sake let's get off to the hotel so that we can be by ourselves.' And he rang the bell hard for some one to look sharp with the luggage. Walking down the wharf together she took his arm. He had her on his arm again. And the difference it made to get into the cab after Janey — to throw the red-and-yellow striped blan

пила через багаж, коснулась его руки и посмотрели ему в глаза.

— Милый, не пугай меня,— сказала она.— Совсем я не была больна. Почему ты так думаешь? У меня плохой вид? Но Гаммонд не видел ее. Он чувствовал только, что она смотрит на него, и сразу успокоился. Она опять здесь, с ним.

Нежное прикосновение ее руки так успокаивающе действовало на него, что он прижал ее руку к своей груди.
Стой спокойно,— сказала она.— Я хочу посмотреть на тебя. Как красиво ты подстриг свою бороду, теперь ты выглядишь гораздо моложе. К тому же ты немного похудел. Жизнь холостяка, как видно, на тебя действует хорошо...
Жизнь холостяка!..— Он изнывал от любви к ней и опять крепко прижал ее к себе. И опять — как всегда — он почувствовал, что держит в объятиях что-то такое, что никогда полностью не принадлежало ему — ему одному. Что-то слишком нежное, драгоценное, что может сразу улететь, стоит ему только выпустить.
Ради бога, едем в отель! Когда же мы наконец останемся одни? — И он сильно нажал кнопку, вызывая слугу взять багаж. Идя по набережной, она взяла его под руку. Опять их руки соединились. А как хорошо он почувствовал себя, когда наконец уселся вместе с ней в экипаж, закутал пледом ее и

ket round them both — to tell the driver to hurry because neither of them had had any tea. No more going without his tea or pouring out his own. She was back. He turned to her, squeezed her hand, and said gently, teasingly, in the 'special' voice he had for her: 'Glad to be home again, dearie?' She smiled; she didn't even bother to answer, but gently she drew his hand away as they came to the brighter streets.(...) 'We've got the best room in the hotel,' he said. 'I wouldn't be put off with another. And I asked the chambermaid to put in a bit of a fire in case you felt chilly. She's a nice, attentive girl. And I thought now we were here we wouldn't bother to go home tomorrow, but spend the day looking round and leave the morning after. Does that suit you? There's no hurry, is there? The children will have you soon enough... I thought a day's sightseeing might make a nice break in your journey — eh honey?' 'Have you taken the tickets for the day after?' she asked. T should think I have!' He unbuttoned his overcoat and took out his bulging pocket-book. 'Here we are! I reserved a first-class carriage to Salisbury. There it is —'Mr and Mrs John Hammond'. I thought we might as well do ourselves comfortably, and we don't want other people butting in, do we? But if you like to stop here a bit longer — ?' 'Oh, no!' said Janey quickly, 'not for the world! The day after tomorrow, then. And the children —

свои ноги и приказал кучеру спешить. Ведь они еще не пили чаю. Теперь он уже не будет уходить из дому без чаю, не будет сам наливать. Его Дженни опять дома. Он повернулся к ней, сжал ей руку и нежно сказал: —Ты рада, что вернулась домой, милая? Она улыбнулась, но ничего не сказала и только потихоньку отняла руку, когда они въехали на ярко освещенные улицы...

But they had reached the hotel. The manager was standing in the broad, brilliantly-lighted porch. He came down to greet them. A porter ran from the hall for their boxes. 'Well, Mr Arnold, here's Mrs Hammond at last!* The manager led them through the hall himself and pressed the elevator-bell. Hammond knew there were business pals of his sitting at the little hall tables having a drink before dinner. But he wasn't going to risk interruption; he looked neither to the right nor the left. They could think what they pleased. If they didn't understand, the more fools they — and he stepped out of the lift, unlocked the door of their room, and shepherded Janey in. The door shut. Now, at last, they were alone together. He turned up the light. The curtains were drawn; the fire blazed. He flung his hat on to the huge bed and went towards her. But — would you believe it! — again they were interupt-ed. This time it was the porter with the luggage. He made two journeys of it, leaving the door open in between, taking his time, whistling through his teeth in the corridor. Hammond paced up and down the room, tearing off his gloves, tearing off his scarf. Finally he flung his overcoat on to the bedside. At last the fool was gone. The door clicked. Now they were alone. Said Hammond: 'I feel I'll never have you to myself again. These cursed people! Janey' — and he bent his flushed, eager gaze upon her — 'let's have

Они подъехали к отелю.

Подбежал швейцар и взял чемоданы.

Управляющий отелем сам проводил их через зал к лифту и нажал кнопку.

Гаммонд вышел из лифта, отпер дверь своей комнаты и пропустил в нее Дженни, как пропускает пастух скотину в стойло. Дверь за ними закрылась. Наконец они были вместе. Он зажег свет. Шторы были опущены, камин тихо потрескивал. Он швырнул свою шляпу на огромную кровать и направился к Дженни. Но — кто может этому поверить?— опять им помешали! Это был швейцар с багажом. Он внес только половину вещей, спокойно вернулся в коридор за остальными, оставив дверь открытой. Гаммонд возбужденно зашагал взад и вперед, срывая с себя перчатки и кашне. Сняв пальто, он и его швырнул на кровать. Швейцар, наконец, ушел. Щелкнул замок. Теперь они были одни.— Мы сегодня, как видно, никогда не останемся одни! — воскликнул он.— Этот проклятый нар-род! — и он устремил на нее пристальный, возбужденный взгляд.

dinner up here. If we go down to the restaurant we'll be interrupted, and then there's the confounded music' (the music he'd praised so highly, applauded so loudly last night!). We shan't be able to hear each other speak. Let's have something up here in front of the fire. It's too late for tea. I'll order a little supper, shall I? How does the idea strike you?' 'Do, darling!' said Janey. 'And while you're away — the children's letters —'

'Oh, later on will do!' said Hammond. 'But then we'd get it over,' said Janey. 'And I'd first have time to — 'Oh, I needn't go down!' explained Hammond. 'I'll just ring and give* the order... you don't want to send me away, do you?'

Janey shook her head and smiled. 'But you're thinking of something else. You're worrying about something,' said Hammond. 'What is it? Come and sit here — come and sit on my knee before the fire.' Til just unpin my hat,' said Janey, and she went over to the dressing-table. 'A-ah!' She gave a little cry.

'What is it?' 'Nothing, darling. I've just found the children's letters. That's all right! They will keep. No hurry now!' She turned to him clasping them. She tucked them into her frilled blouse... She cried quickly, gaily: 'Oh, how

Давай пообедаем здесь вдвоем. Если мы пойдем в ресторан, нам будут мешать, да, кроме того, эта проклятая музыка... (Та музыка, которую он любил и которой еще вчера аплодировал.) — Мы даже не сможем поговорить. Давай закусим здесь, у камина. Чай пить уже поздно. Я закажу ужин. Как тебе нравится моя идея, Дженни?
Пожалуйста, милый,— сказала она.— И пока ты пойдешь заказывать, я хотела бы... письма от детей...
Это потом, потом! — нетерпеливо сказал Гаммонд.
Но дай мне уж покончить с этим,— сказала Дженни.— И еще мне нужно...
Ах, да ведь мне совсем не надо куда-то ходить, чтобы заказать ужин! — воскликнул Гаммонд. Я закажу по телефону... Ты ведь не хочешь, чтобы я уходил, милая. Дженни кивнула головой и улыбнулась.
Но ты, как видно, думаешь о чем-то другом. Ты как будто о чем-то беспокоишься,— сказал Гаммонд.— Скажи мне, что с тобой? Подойди и сядь ко мне на колени. У камина.
Я только сниму шляпу,— сказала Дженни и направилась к туалетному столику.— А-ах! — вдруг вскрикнула она.

* Что, что такое?
Ничего, милый. Я только увидела вот здесь на столике письма от детей. Но они могут подождать.— Она сунула письма за пазуху и уселась к нему на колени.

typical, this dressing-table is of you!1 'Why? What's the matter with it?' said Hammond. 'If it were floating in eternity I should siy "John!"; laughed Janey, staring at the big bottle of hair tonic, the wicker bottle of eau-de-Cologne, the two hair-brushes, and a dozen new collars tied with pink tape. 'Is this all your luggage?' 'Hang my luggage!' said Hammond; but all the same he liked being laughed at by Janey. 'Let's talk. Let's get down to things. Tell me'— and as Janey perched on his knees he leaned back and drew her into the deep, ugly chair — 'Tell me you're really glad to be back, Janey.' 'Yes, darling, I am glad,' she said. But just as when he embraced her he felt she would fly away, so Hammond never knew — never knew for dead certain that she was as glad as he was. How could he know? Would he ever know? Would he always have this craving — this pang like hunger, somehow, to make Janey so much part of him that there wasn't any of her to escape? He wanted to blot out everybody, everything. He wished now he'd turned off the light. That might have brought her nearer. And now those letters from the children rustled in her blouse. He could have chucked them into the fire. 'Janey,' he whispered. 'Yes, dear?' She lay on his breast, but so lightly, so remotely. Their breathing rose and fell together.

Он подвинулся дальше в в глубокое безобразное кресло.
Скажи мне, Дженни, действительно ли ты рада, что вернулась домой?
Да, милый, очень рада,— сказала она. Но как только он обнял ее, он опять почувствовал, что она как будто хочет улететь. Неужели в нем вечно будет жить эта боль, это желание сделать Дженни настолько частью себя самого, чтобы для нее не осталось никакой возможности жить отдельной жизнью? Он уже хотел потушить свет. Может быть, тогда он почувствует ее близость. Вот шуршат у нее на груди письма детей. Ему хотелось выхватить их и швырнуть в огонь.

— Дженни, — прошептал он. 'Janey!' 'What is it?' 'Turn to me,' he whispered. A slow, deep flush flowed into his forehead. 'Kiss me, Janey! You kiss me!' It seemed to him there was a tiny pause — but long enough for him to suffer torture — before her lips touched his, firmly, lightly — kissing them as she always kissed him, as though the kiss — how could he describe it? — confirmed what they were saying, signed the contract. But that wasn't what he wanted; that wasn't at all what he thirsted for. He felt suddenly, horribly tired.

'If you knew,' he said, opening his eyes, 'what it's been like waiting to-day. I thought the boat never would come in. There we were, hanging about. What kept you so long?'

She made no answer. She was looking away from him at the fire. The flames hurried — hurried over the coals, flickered, fell. 'Not asleep, are you?' said Hammond, and he jumped her up and down. 'No,' she said. And then: 'Don't do that, dear. No, I was thinking. As a matter of fact,' she said, 'one of the passengers died last night — a man. That's what held us up. We brought him in — I mean, he wasn't buried at sea. So, of course, the ship's doctor and the shore doctor —' 'What was it?' asked Hammond uneasily. He hated to hear of death. He hated this to

* Что, милый?
Повернись ко мне,— шептал он.— Поцелуй меня, Дженни! Поцелуй!

Ему показалось, что наступила небольшая пауза, но достаточно длинная, чтобы он мог испытать мучительное чувство, затем ее губы коснулись его губ,—легко, свободно поцеловала она его, как будто ее поцелуй подтверждал то, что говорили губы, как будто скрепляя договор. Но это было не то, чего он хотел: не то, из-за чего он горел, как в лихорадке. Внезапно он почувствовал страшную усталость. — Если бы ты знала,— тихо сказал он, открывая глаза,— как тяжело было ожидать тебя. Мне уже казалось, что ваш пароход никогда не пристанет к берегу. Что могло вас так долго задержать? Она не отвечала и задум- чиво глядела в огонь. Пламя дрожало, пробивалось сквозь угли, замирало.

Ты не спишь? — спросил Гаммонд, покачивая ее на коленях.
Нет,— сказала она. И вдруг: — Не надо этого, милый. Я думала... Вчера вечером на пароходе умер один пассажир — мужчина. Вот это собственно и задержало нас. Мы похоронили его в море. Пароходный врач и доктор из порта...

Что же это был за случай? — прервал ее муж. Ему было страшно неприятно слы

have happened. It was, in some queer way, as though he and Janey had met a funeral on their way to the hotel. 'Oh, it wasn't anything in the least infectious!' said Janey. She was speaking scarcely above her breath. 'It was heart.1 A pause. 'Poor fellow!' she said. 'Quite young.' And she watched the fire flicker and fall. 'He died in my arms,' said Janey. The blow was so sudden that Hammond thought he would faint. He couldn't move; he couldn't breathe. He felt all his strength flowing — flowing into the big dark chair, and the big dark chair held him fast, gripped him, forced him to bear it.

'What?' he said dully. 'What's that you say?' 'The end was quite peaceful,' said the small voice. 'He just'— and Hammond saw her lift her gentle hand — 'Breathed his life away at the end.' And her hand fell.

'Who else was there?' Hammond managed to ask. 'Nobody. I was alone with him.' Ah, my God, what was she saying! What was she doing to him! This would kill him. And all the while she spoke: T saw the change coming and I sent the steward for the doctor, but the doctor was too late. He couldn't have done anything, anyway.' 'But — why you, why you?'

At that Janey turned quickly, quickly searched his face. 'You don't mind, John, do

шать о смерти. Создавалось какое-то странное чувство, точно они повстречали похоронную процессию на пути в отель. — Не бойся — не от заразной болезни,— сказала Дженни. Она говорила с трудом, полушепотом.— Это был сердечный припадок.— Пауза.— Бедняга был совсем еще молодой человек... Он умер у меня на руках. Уда р был настолько не -ожиданный, что Гаммонд чуть не лишился чувств. Он не мог шевельнуть пальцем и затаил дыхание. Ему казалось, что последние его силы уходят от него — уходят в огромное черное кресло, которое захватило его и держит.
Что...— спросил он очумело.— Что ты с-ка-зала?
Кончина была такая мирная, — тихо произнесла она.— В последнюю минуту,— и Гаммонд увидел, как она подняла руку,— он только вздохнул, и его не стало. Ее рука упала.
Кто... кто был с вами? — с трудом выговорил муж.
Никого. Я была с ним одна. О, боже мой, что она говорит? Что она с ним делает! Этим она убьет его, убьет непременно. А она продолжала:
Когда я заметила в нем ухудшение, я послала за доктором, но было уже поздно. Доктор ничего не мог сделать.

Но почему ты, почему ты? — простонал Гаммонд. Дженни быстро повернулась и посмотрела на мужа. — А что такое, Джон? —

you?' she asked. 'You don't — It's nothing to do with you and me.' Somehow or other he managed to shake some sort of smile at her. Somehow or other he stammered: 'No — go — on, go on! I want you to tell me.' 'But, John darling —' 'Tell me, Janey!'

'There's nothing to tell,' she said, wondering. 'He was one of the first-class passengers.
1 saw he was very ill when j\e came on board... But he seemed to be much better until yesterday. He had a severe attack in the afternoon — excitement — nervousness, I think, about arriving. And after that he never recovered.' 'But why didn't the stewardess —' *Oh, my dear — the stewardess!' said Janey. 'What would you have felt? And besides... he might have wanted to leave a message... to—'

'Didn't he?' muttered Hammond. 'Didn't he say anything?' 'No, darling, not a word!' She shook her head softly. 'AH the time I was with him he was too weak... he was too weak even to move a finger...*

Janey was silent. But her words, so light, so soft, so chill, seemed to hover in the air, to rain into his breast like snow. The fire had gone red. Now it fell in with a sharp sound and the room was colder. Cold crept up his arms. The room was huge, immense, glittering. It filled his whole world. There

2 Заказ 187

спросила она.— Это не имеет никакого отношения ни к тебе, ни ко мне. Ему как-то еще удалось улыбнуться в ответ. Как-то удалось произнести: — Про... продолжай! Скажи мне все до конца. — Но, милый...
Расскажи мне все, Дженни!
Да тут нечего и рассказывать. Это был пассажир первого класса. Я как-то увидела его на палубе, он показался мне очень больным. Но до вчерашнего дня ему было гораздо лучше. Вчера же после обеда с ним случился сильный припадок. Может быть, волнение, нервность по случаю приезда. И он не выдержал припадка...
Но почему ж пароходная прислуга?..
Ах, милый, прислуга! — прервала Дженни.— Разве ему было легко в последнюю минуту? И, кроме того... он, может быть, хотел передать что-нибудь своим родным...
Ну, и что же? — пробормотал Гаммонд.— Что он сказал?
Он не мог произнести ни слова. Все время, пока я была с ним, он был настолько слаб... настолько слаб, что не мог шевельнуть пальцем... Дженни умолкла. Но ее слова,казалось, носились в воздухе и падали в его душу, как снег. Угли догорали. Вот они с треском обрушились. В комнате сделалось холоднее. Его руки начали зябнуть. Комната казалась большой и холодной. Вот стоит огромная кровать, на зз was the great blind bed, with his coat flung across it like some heartless man saying his prayers. There was the luggage, ready to be carried away again, anywhere, tossed into trains, carted on to boats. ...'He was too weak. He was too weak to move a finger/ And yet he died in Janey's arms. She — who'd never — never once in all these years — never on one single solitary occasion — No; he mustn't think of it. Madness lay in thinking of it. No, he wouldn't face it. He couldn't stand it. It was too much to bear! And now Janey touched his tie with her fingers. She pinched the edges of the tie together. 'You're not — sorry I told you, John darling? It hasn't made you sad? It hasn't spoilt our evening — our being alone together?'

But at that he had to hide his face. He put his face into her bosom and his arms enfolded her. Spoilt their evening! Spoilt their being alone together! They would never be alone together again.

ней, растянувшись, лежит брошенное им пальто, словно человек без головы. Вот узлы и чемоданы, готовые к отъезду...

...«И он был настолько слаб, что не мог шевельнуть пальцем». Он умер у нее на руках.

Нет! Он не должен так думать! Это сумасшествие. Он не мог бы этого перенести. Это было бы свыше его сил!

Дженни коснулась пальцем его галстука.

— Ты не жалеешь, что я рассказала тебе? Почему ты так вдруг опечалился? Неужели это может испортить нам вечер, отравить сознание того, что мы одни? Вместо ответа он обнял ее и спрятал свое лицо у нее на груди.

Испортить им вечер! Отравить сознание того, что они одни! Никогда больше они не будут одни!

* * * Доминирующими особенностями рассказа К. Мэнсфилд «Чужая» являются нарастание и контраст. Форма изложения постоянно меняется: внутренняя и несобственно-прямая речь (НПР) м-ра Гаммонда, авторские вкрапления, диалог взаимодополняют друг друга, взаимопроникают. Последнее отражено и в строении абзаца — все типы изложения могут быть представлены в одном абзаце, в связи с чем переход от одной точки зрения к другой совершается незаметно и осознается ретроспективно (см., например, абзацы в первой части рассказа, начинающиеся словами "I expect you do...", "No, not yet. Steady...", "Hammond stuffed the cigar case...", и др.). Помимо главного переключения от одного типа изложения к другому, из одного сознания в другое такая организация абзаца существенно способствует уплотнению текстовых связей (включая межабзацные) — все приведенные выше начала являются ответными репликами (действиями) и связаны поэтому с предыдущими абзацами в диалогические (повествовательные) единства. Главным средством связи и создания единства и цельности текста, однако, является нарастающее развитие ведущих характеристик героев, завершающееся антиклимаксом в конце произведения. Рассмотрим, как формируется эта ведущая линия рассказа, включающая и характеризацию самих персонажей, и создание общей тональности повествования. Атмосфера взволнованного ожидания задается уже в первом абзаце. Его создает конвергенция гипербол (never, immense), метафор (people — flies, spiders), изобразительных глаголов (scream, race up, cluster, swarm), парных эпитетов (tiny black, grey wrinkled, immense motionless), неоднократно повторяемых "little" и "tiny". С первых же слов читатель становится участником событий рассказа при помощи местоимения "you". Вводятся разговорные элементы — "you could just see". Создается впечатление непосредственного наблюдения, перемещения взгляда — "Now there was a gleam...", 'Now a tiny...", т. е., хотя автор и не передает повествование рассказчику, оно ведется «изнутри», из той «небольшой толпы», которая авторизует последующую картину — "It seemeed to the little crowd...". Ненормативное предшествование местоименного анафорического заместителя создает «начало с середины» — в данном случае передает информацию о длительности ожидания — люди ждали подхода корабля до начала рассказа. Слово "boat" появляется только на второй странице1. До этого есть лишь косвенные указания на объект ожидания — местоимение ("she was never going...") первого предложения еще очень расплывчато. Ука-. зательным минимумом для возможной расшифровки значения местоимения служит только "the wharf". Конкретизирующими указателями далее выступают обозначения частей корабля — "the stern", 'the deck", "the bridge". Собственно же обозначение "the boat" появляется вроде бы случайно, как может появиться неоднократно упоминавшийся и ситуативно определенный объект — в реплике персонажа. 1 Ср. с русским переводом, снимающим это впечатление общего предтекстового опыта наблюдателей-участников и читателей, которое в английском тексте укрепляется введением сигнала непосредственного читательского включения "you". В переводе сохранена позиция «изнутри», которая передана повтором «вот». Установив атмосферу доверительного контакта, автор вводит героя. Здесь все его действия, высказывания, реакция прочих персонажей направлены на то, чтобы показать его сильное волнение. Автор делает

акцент на то, что м-р Гаммонд — не нервозный, не владеющий собой суетливый человек, но что его состояние вызвано переполняющими его в данный момент чувствами. Так создается первая оппозиция двух качеств героя. С одной стороны, его уверенность в себе, стабильность, высокое общественное и финансовое положение (ср. описание его одежды, форму обращения к нему начальника порта, более позднее описание торжественной встречи в отеле, упоминание о деловых партнерах и знакомых, сидевших в фешенебельном и дорогом баре, характеристики каюты м-с Гаммонд, их номера в отеле, длительное ожидание кэба, купе на двоих в поезде домой и пр.). С другой — происходит постоянное нагнетание признаков его волнения. Они всюду — в авторских описаниях его действий ("marching up and down"; "twirling..."; "his eyes searched..."; "Again his overcoat was unbuttoned" и далее "deep throbbing of his heart..."; "bawled a loud, strange Hullo"; "his heart was wrung with such a spasm..."; "he groaned for love..." и т. д.), в авторских квалификациях ("quick, eager glance", "so nervous and yet so friendly", "...searched anxiously", "...tremendously excited...", "quickly... made the calculations for the twentieth — fiftieth — nundredth time" и т. д.), в его несобственно-прямой речи, где несдержанно критикуется он сам ("what a fool..."), капитан ("that cursed Captain"), портовый врач ("dashed annoying") и далее — "the confounded stewardess...", "the porter at the hotel". Его действия по отношению к другим находятся в прямой зависимости от его отношения к м-с Гаммонд: заботливо поддержал девочку на берегу, но мгновенно забыл о ней, как только начал двигаться корабль; захваченный нахлынувшими чувствами при виде жены, изливает их на начальника порта и дарит ему все свои сигары; рискуя осложнить деловые контакты, проходит мимо знакомых, спеша остаться наедине с женой; воспитанный человек, он стремится поскорее увезти жену, не дав ей возможности проститься с капитаном и пассажирами; любящий отец, он сердится, что разговор о детях может помешать его единению с женой,— все это выдает его сильное и глубокое чувство. Однако отношения с другими — это опосредованный способ показа переживаний героя. Основным, непосредственным способом остается его внутренняя и несобственно-прямая речь. Примерно треть рассказа написана именно в этой форме. Не пересказывая, а показывая мысли и эмоции героя изнутри, с его собственной точки зрения, К- Мэнсфилд создает образ внешне сильного, уверенного в себе и преуспевающего, но внутренне очень неуверенного и легко ранимого человека, который любит и мучительно сомневается в силе ответного чувства. Этот контраст внешнего и внутреннего достигает кульминационной точки, когда герой, обнимая столь дорогую ему женщину, ощущает неполноту их отношений: "groaned for love...", "caught her close..." и "had the feeling he was holding something that never was quite his — his". Внимание читателя перемещается на вторую антитезу произведения — между героем и героиней. В отличие от мужа м-с Гаммонд много спокойнее после десятимесячной разлуки: "her cool little voice...", "the familiar half-smile...", "she drew his hand away" и т. д. Она помнит все мелочи протокола светского поведения. Она очень мила с мужем, называет его "John, dear" и "darling", что противостоит его ласкательному "Janey", но при этом никак не высказывает того нетерпения чувств, которое сквозит в его поведении. Может быть, она вообще менее эмоциональна? Ведь не случайно много раз подчеркивается неизменность ее внешности и манеры поведения: "she was just the same..."; "Just as he'd always known her..."; "as always, he had the feeling..."; "never knew — never knew for dead certain..."; "would he always have this craving...". Мы готовы поверить в ее мягкое, дружеское отношение к мужу как естественное выражение ее ровной, спокойной натуры, не способной на страсть и ее выражение (ср. ее безупречный по форме ответ на его пламенные реплики — "Yes, darling, I am glad"). Столь неожиданным в связи с этим оказывается ее взволнованное признание. В ее рассказе все важно: недоговоренность, самоперебивы (обратите внимание на частый обрыв фразы, который передается эмфатическим тире), повторы. Здесь появляется эмоциональная интонация, графически выраженная курсивом, эпитеты, свидетельствующие о ее откровенном участии в молодом человеке ("Poor fellow, too weak to move a finger"), сарказм в отношении к мнению мужа ("the stewardess!"), единственные в ее речи междометия ("Oh, my dear..."; "Oh it wasn't..."). Она теряет внешнее самообладание ("She was looking away from him..."; "She was speaking scarcely above her breath..."; "her hand fell..."). 1 Ср., как системные несоответствия двух языков, необходимость оформления грамматического рода, нарушают многомерность заголовка, снимают внутреннее напряжение, уменьшают эффект обманутого ожидания, заранее создают проспек-цию финала в русском'переводе заголовка. Только сейчас, ретроспективно, мы понимаем значимость детали — ее костюма: влюбленному м-ру Гаммонду не кажется странным, что любимая выбрала для встречи с ним после долгой разлуки черный цвет. Здесь, в конце, становится ясно, что. траур по случайному попутчику — чужому, по сути дела, человеку — для нее оказался важнее встречи с мужем. И-заглавие "The Stranger", которое сначала вроде бы реализуется как «чужой, незнакомец, случайный попутчик» и выполняет роль повода для развертывания имплицитного, глубинного смысла произведения, приобретает истинный, финальный смысл: чужая, далекая женщина1. Оказывается, она способна на сильные чувства, но они ни разу не были обращены к мужу. Можно сказать, что перед нами еще один контраст, который реализуется в эффекте обманутого ожидания.

Внутренней и несобственно-прямой речи героини в рассказе нет. Контраст ее образа создается за счет несоответствия той пресуппозиции, которая сформировалась на основе НПР мужа и ее поведения на корабле, т. е. за счет ожидаемого и истинно происшедшего. Так разные средства создают взаимодействие и нарастающий конфликт двух образов, каждый из которых выстроен по принципу контраста внешнего и внутреннего, ожидаемого и реализуемого, проспекции и ретроспекции.

Erskine Caldwell (b. J903)

DAUGHTER

The literary career of Erskine Caldwell has been closely connected with the themes and scenes of the American South, where he was born. He became the author who has been observing and writing about the South longer than any other great writer in the region. His numerous books, in his own words, form "a cyclorama of the South", always keenly feeling and responding to the most urgent social issues of the region and the country. The "Daughter" was first published in late 30-s and was often placed into various collections and anthologies ever since.

At sunrise a Negro on his way to the big house to feed the mules had taken the word to Colonel Henry Maxwell, and Colonel Henry phoned the sheriff. The sheriff had hustled Jim into town and locked him up in the jail, and then he went home and ate breakfast. Jim walked around the empty cellroom while he was buttoning his shirt, and after that he sat down on the bunk and tied his shoelaces. Everything that morning had taken place so quickly that he had not even had time to get a drink of water. He got up and went to the water bucket near the door, but the sheriff had forgotten to put water into it. By that time there were several men standing in the jailyard. Jim went to the window and looked out when he heard them talking. Just then another automobile drove up, and six or seven men got out. Other men were coming towards the jail from both directions of the street. "What was the trouble out at your place this morning, Jim?" somebody said. Jim stuck his chin between the bars and looked at the faces in the crowd. He knew everyone there. While he was trying to figure out how everybody in town had heard about his being there, somebody else spoke to him. "It must have been an accident, wasn't it? Jim?" A colored boy hauling a load of cotton to the gin drove up the street. When the wagon got in front of the jail, the boy whipped to the mules with the ends of the reins and made them trot. "I hate to see the State have a grudge against you, Jim," somebody said. The sheriff came down the street swinging a tin dinner-pail in his hand. He pushed through the crowd, unlocked the door, and set the pail inside. Several men came up behind the sheriff and looked over his shoulder into the jail. "Here's your breakfast my wife fixed up for you, Jim. You'd better eat a little, Jim boy." Jim looked at the pail, at the sheriff, at the open jail door, and he shook his head. "I don't feel hungry," he said. "Daughter's been hungry, though — awful hungry." The sheriff backed out the door, his hand going to the handle of his pistol. He backed out sa quickly that he stepped on the toes of the men behind him. "Now, don't you get careless, Jim boy," he said. "Just sit and calm yourself." He shut the door and locked it. After he had gone a few steps towards the street, he stopped and looked into the chamber of his pistol to make sure it had been loaded. The crowd outside the window pressed in closer. Some of the men rapped on the bars until Jim came and looked out. When he saw them, he stuck his chin between the iron and gripped his hands around it. "How come it to happen, Jim?" somebody asked. "It must have been an accident, wasn't it?" Jim's long thin face looked as if it would come through the bars. The sheriff came up to the window to see if everything was all "right. ; "Now, just take it easy, Jim boy," he said. The man who.had asked Jim to tell what had happened, elbowed the sheriff out of the way. The other men crowded closer. "How come, Jim?" the man said. "Was it an accident?" "No," Jim said, his fingers twisting about the bars. "I picked up my shotgun and done it." The sheriff pushed towards the window again. "Go on, Jim, and tell us what it's all about." Jim's face squeezed between the bars until it looked as though only his ears kept his head from coming through. '"Daughter said she was hungry, and I just couldn't stand it no longer. I just couldn't stand to hear her say it." "Don't get all excited now, Jim boy," the sheriff said, pushing forward one moment and being elbowed away the next. "She waked up in the middle of the night again and said she was hungry. I just couldn't stand to hear her say it." Somebody pushed all the way through the crowd until he got to the window. "Why, Jim, you could have come and asked me for something for her to eat, and you know I'd have given you all I got in the world." The sheriff pushed forward once more. "That wasn't the right thing to do," Jim said. "I've been working all year and I made enough for all of us to eat." He stopped and looked down into the faces on the other side of the bars. "I made enough working on shares, but they came and took it all away from me. I couldn't go around begging after I'd made enough to keep us. They just came and took it all off. Then Daughter woke up again this morning saying she was hungry, and I just couldn't stand it no longer." "You'd better go and get on the bunk now, Jim boy," the sheriff said. "It don't seem right that the little girl ought to be shot like that," somebody said. "Daughter said she was hungry," Jim said. "She'd been saying that for all of the past month. Daughter'd wake up in the middle of the night and say it. I just couldn't stand it no longer." "You ought to have sent her over to my house, Jim. Me and my wife could have fed her something, somehow. It don't look right to kill a little girl like her." "I'd made enough for all of us," Jim said. "I just couldn't stand it no longer. Daughter'd been hungry all the past month." "Take it easy, Jim boy," the sheriff said, trying to push forward. The crowd swayed from side to side. "And so you just picked up the gun this morning and shot her?" somebody asked. "When she woke up this morning saying she was hungry, I just couldn't stand it." The crowd pushed closer. Men were coming towards the jail from all directions, and those who were then arriving pushed forward to hear what Jim had to say. "The State has got a grudge against you now, Jim," somebody said, "but somehow it don't seem right." "I can't help it," Jim said. "Daughter woke up again this morning that way." The jailyard, the street, and the vacant lot on the other side were filled with men and boys. All of them were pushing forward to hear Jim. Word had spread all over town by that time that Jim Carlisle had shot and killed his eight-year-old daughter Clara. "Who does Jim share-crop for?" somebody asked. "Colonel Henry Maxwell," a man in the crowd said. "Colonel Henry has had Jim out there about nine or ten years." "Henry Maxwell didn't have no business coming and taking all the shares. He's got plenty of his own. It ain't right for Henry Maxwell to come and take Jim's too." The sheriff was pushing forward once more. "The State's got a grudge against Jim now," somebody said. "Somehow it don't seem right, though." The sheriff pushed his shoulder into the crowd of men and worked his way in closer. A man shoved the sheriff away. "Why did Henry Maxwell come and take your share of the crop, Jim?" "He said I owed it to him because one of his mules died about a month ago." The sheriff got in front of the barred window. "You ought to go to the bunk now and rest some, Jim boy," he said. "Take off your shoes and stretch out, Jim boy." He was elbowed out of the way. "You didn't kill the mule, did you, Jim?" "The mule dropped dead in the barn," Jim said. "I wasn't nowhere around. It just dropped dead." The crowd was pushing harder. The men in front were jammed against the jail, and the men behind were trying to get within earshot. Those in the middle were squeezed against each other so tightly they could not move in any direction. Everyone was talking louder. Jim's face pressed between the bars and his fingers gripped the iron until the knuckles were white. The milling crowd was moving across the street to the vacant lot. Someboby was shouting. He climbed up on an automobile and began swearing at the top of his lungs. A man in the middle of the crowd pushed his way out and went to his automobile. He got in and drove off alone. Jim stood holding to the bars and looking through the window. The sheriff had his back to the crowd, and he was saying something to Jim. Jim did not hear what he said. A man on his way to the gin with a load of cotton stopped to find out what the trouble was. He looked at the crowd in the vacant lot for a moment, and then he turned around and looked at Jim behind the bars. The shouting across the street was growing louder. "What's the trouble, Jim?" Somebody on the other side of the street came to the wagon. He put his foot on a spoke in the wagon wheel and looked up at the man on the cotton while he talked. "Daughter woke up this morning again saying she was hungry," Jim said.
The sheriff was the only person who heard him. The man on the load of cotton jumped to the ground, tied the reins to the wagon wheel, and pushed through the crowd to the car where all the shouting and swearing was being done. After listening for a while, he came back to the street, called a Negro who was standing with several other Negroes on the corner, and handed him the reins. The Negro drove off with the cotton towards the gin, and the man went back into the crowd. Just then the man who had driven off alone in his car came back. He sat for a moment behind the steering wheel, and then he jumped to the ground. He opened the rear door and took out a crowbar that was as long as he was tall. "Pry that jail door open and let Jim out," somebody said. "It ain't right for him to be in there." The crowd in the vacant lot was moving again. The man who had been standing on top of the automobile jumped to the ground and the men moved towards the street in the direction of the jail. The first man to reach it jerked six-foot crowbar out of the soft earth where it had been jabbed. The sheriff backed off. "Now, take it easy, Jim boy," he said. He turned and started walking rapidly up the street towards his house.

* * * "Daughter" — один из лучших рассказов Эрскина Колдуэлла признанного мастера американской новеллистики, умеющего через единичное событие вскрыть острый социальный конфликт. Проблемы, вскрытые в рассказе, и его стилистические особенности подтверждают это заключение, представляя типичный образец колдуэлловской короткой прозы. В рассказе имеет место экспозиция, предшествующая завязка сюжета, однако и экспозиция, и завязка, и даже начало развития действия не дают читателю представления о центральном событии. Действительно, первое сообщение о несчастье (как мы это понимаем в ретроспекции, возвращаясь к началу рассказа) вводится определенным артиклем: "had taken the word". Те действующие лица, которые обозначены именами,— полковник Максуэлл и Джим — включаются в повествование сразу, без экспликации своего положения и своих отношений. Последнее осуществляется мимоходом, в диалоге безымянных представителей толпы, во второй половине рассказа, после определения центрального события В действие включаются все новые лица. Уже достаточно полно охарактеризован треугольник: Джим — толпа — шериф, а читателю все еще неясно, что же произошло. И только когда треть рассказа позади, появляется первый намек на начало объяснения вводится слово accident, которое опять-таки дает лишь самое общее представление о происшествии. Вторичное его употребление в вопросе дает первое приближение к ответу: "I picked up my shotgun and done it". Что же такое «это» сделал Джим? Его объяснения раскрывают истину, но автор так и не называет, что именно. Констатация факта совершается в двух репликах из толпы — "to kill a little girl", "picked up the gun and shot her", и происходит это уже в начале второй половины рассказа. Во-первых, такая организация изложения постоянно нагнетает напряжение, а во-вторых — создает эффект рассказа очевидца, знакомящегося с происшествием в порядке его естественного развертывания для

Автор передает функции повествователя безымянному рассказчику, заинтересованно наблюдающему события или принимающему участие в них. Это является характерной стилистической чертой произведений Колдуэлла. Толпа явно на стороне Джима, о чем свидетельствуют косвенные показатели — предложения (увы, запоздавшие) взять голодного ребенка в свой дом, отсутствие брани, угроз, осуждения в его адрес, возмущение произволом полковника Максуэлла: и прямое — "it ain't right for Henry Maxwell", повторенные трижды, и финальное единодушное решение освободить Джима из тюрьмы. Соответственно, на стороне Джима и рассказчик — один из тех. кто собрался в тюремном дворе. А автор? Мы чувствуем, что Колдуэлл целиком разделяет точку зрения рассказчика. Но как, какими средствами создается это впечатление однонаправленного сказового повествования? Прежде всего за счет структуры образа центрального персонажа. Автор все время подчеркивает его растерянность, ошеломленность. Он даже не осознает в полной мере, что совершил. Поэтому-то в его речевой партии собственно рассказа о несчастье нет. Он вновь и вновь возвращается к причине несчастья. "I just couldn't stand it no longer" с незначительными вариациями повторяется 7 раз, т. е. присутствует в более чем половине всех реплик Джима. Большую часть из них составляет предыстория убийства — девочка проснулась, снова пожаловалась на голод: 8 реплик из общего количества (всего их в рассказе 13). Это настойчивое повторение отражает эмоционально-психическое состояние героя, доведенного до полного отчаяния. У него полностью смещены представления о причинно-следственных связях: он не убивал дочку, он просто заставил ее замолчать единственным доступным ему в создавшейся ситуации способом1. Поэтому он не говорит о дочери, как о покойнице. Даже по поводу принесенного шерифом завтрака он сообщает, что не он голоден, а дочка, что заставляет недалекого шерифа уверовать в сумасшествие арестованного и срочно ретироваться. Джим действительно не в себе. Но это состояние наступило у него не как следствие ужасного поступка, а значительно раньше. Он потрясен тем, что его ограбил хозяин. Эта вопиющая несправедливость—вторая, настойчиво повторяющаяся линия его речевой партии. Здесь причина случившегося, отсюда начинается отчаяние беспомощности,

1 Ср. с известным рассказом А. П. Чехова «Спать хочется».

крайней точкой которого явился ночной выстрел. Именно в этом определении подлинных истоков конфликта и проявляется авторская позиция. Он нигде прямо не называет вопиющее социальное неравенство истинным преступником, но логика развития образа центрального персонажа, его речевая самохарактеристика, развитие его контактов с толпой и эволюция взглядов последней — свидетельство однозначности авторских позиций. Толпа — коллективный образ. Ни речь, ни поведение, ни реплики, обращенные к Джиму и шерифу, не позволяют выделить из нее какие-либо индивидуальные лица. Этому способствует и анонимность наименования автором отдельных ее представителей. Толпа социально однородна, состоит из таких же издольщиков, как и сам Джим, так же невежественна, так же бесправна. Колдуэлл мастерски показывает эволюцию массового сознания: сначала смятение при сообщении о факте преступления, затем нелегкие попытки уложить ситуацию в испытанные практикой модели поведения, интуитивный вывод о невинности героя ("but somehow, it don't seem right") и, наконец, развязка, которая подчеркивает решительность и единство собравшихся. Джим не стал изгоем. Акт единения массы с ним, выражение коллективного мнения, завершающего эволюцию собирательного образа толпы, решительный тон развязки (jumped, jerked, jabbed) — это тоже выражение позиции автора. Шериф, замыкающий треугольник образов, также представляет собой чрезвычайно характерную для Колдуэлла фигуру и является действенным средством выражения авторской позиции. Толпа не испытывает ни уважения, ни страха по отношению к нему: "The man... elbowed the sheriff out of the way"; "A man shoved the sheriff away"; "He was elbowed out of the way". К нему никто не обращается, в возбужденное обсуждение вопроса его не включают, он даже сам толком не знает, что и как случилось, и проталкивается к окну камеры, как любой другой из присутствующих, а не как облеченное властью лицо: "...pushing forward one moment and being elbowed away the next"; "...trying to push forward". По-видимому, такое обращение его не возмущает, тон всех его восьми реплик в адрес Джима привычно доброжелателен, и все они содержат полезные, но неуместные в данной ситуации советы. Весьма возможно, что он даже внутренне согласен с антиюридическим вердиктом толпы, и последнюю фразу рассказа можно было бы рассматривать как свидетельство борьбы между чувством и долгом у блюстителя закона. Однако последовательность развития его образа не разрешает нам этого сделать. Борьба чувства и долга предполагает наличие моральных устоев. Она свойственна натуре сильной и глубокой. Шериф же всем своим незадачливым поведением в камере и затем в толпе проявляет себя как человек совершенно иного склада. И его финальный шаг — это трусливый уход от ответственности принимать решение. Препятствовать решению толпы он не может (неравны силы, и он отнюдь не борец) и не хочет: все-таки все эти люди — избиратели, от которых в какой-то степени зависит его судьба во время очередных выборов в шерифы, и портить с ними отношения нежелательно. Поддерживать же толпу еще более опасно, ибо это значит идти против полковника Максуэлла, что уж наверняка означает потерю теплого местечка. Так блюститель закона оказывается первым его нарушителем. Да и какой он блюститель закона, когда закон заменен беззаконием! К этому выводу Колдуэлл подводит читателя постепенно и неотвратимо. Помимо четкого и недвусмысленного выражения своих идейно-этических позиций, писатель демонстрирует в рассказе и свои основные эстетические принципы. Одним из них является характеристика социально-значимого явления через внешне незначительную деталь. Так, например, в начале завязки помещен небольшой абзац, в котором рассказывается о молодом негре, везущем хлопок мимо возбужденной толпы. В конце рассказа говорится о белом, тоже везущем хлопок на переработку. Ситуации обоих абзацев идеально параллельны, но выходы из них диаметрально противоположны: "the (coloured) boy whipped up the mules... and made them trot*'; "the man... pushed through the crowd to... where all the shouting and swearing was being done". Негр, увидев толпу белых, не зная, что происходит, бежит от возможной опасности, ибо весь предыдущий опыт многих поколений цветных учит, что от толпы белых добра ждать не следует. Белый же в аналогичной ситуации реагирует тоже естественным и привычным образом: он хочет выяснить, что случилось. Расовая проблема не находится в центре внимания писателя в данном рассказе. Но южанин Колдуэлл отлично знаком с положением дел в своей стране и часто пишет о нем. Здесь перед нами освещение самого больного вопроса Америки через деталь внешнего действия, занимающую лишь фоновую позицию в общей структуре рассказа. Через деталь охарактеризовано и бедственное материальное положение издольщиков, составляющих толпу. Эта деталь иного характера. Ее включение в систему художественных средств произведения осуществляется путем тщательного отбора языкового материала в речевую партию толпы. Действительно, размышляя вслух о возможности взять голодного ребенка в свой дом, каждый использует слово "something" — "something for her to eat", "could have fed her something, somehow". Таким образом Колдуэлл подчеркивает, что в каждом доме еле сводятся концы с концами и прокормить лишний рот очень трудно, разве что за счет собственных желудков. Так проблема обнищания мелкого фермера и издольщика, постоянно волнующая Колдуэлла, тоже находит здесь свое отражение. Рассказ очень невелик по размерам. Автор предельно скуп в своих квалификациях: в тексте всего 8 определений, из которых только три — "long, thin face" и "milling crowd" — имеют определенную субъективно-оценочную коннотацию. Это не мешает писателю затронуть ряд острейших проблем современной ему действительности, занять недвусмысленную позицию по каждой из них и довести ее до читателя в высоко художественной, яркой, индивидуальной форме.

William Faulkner (1897—1962)

CARCASSONNE1

William Faulkner, one of the greatest American writers, is the author of nearly forty books. For his literary accomplishments he was awarded a Nobel prize in 1950. In acceptance he made an important statement about his belief that man will not merely endure: he will prevail and the writer's duty and obligation before mankind is to portray it.

And me on a buckskin pony with eyes like blue electricity and a mane like tangled fire, galloping up the hill and right off into the high heaven of the world. His skeleton lay still. Perhaps it was thinking about this. Anyway, after a time it groaned. But it said nothing, which is certainly not like you he thought you are not like yourself, but I cant say that a little quiet is not pleasant. He lay beneath an unrolled strip of tarred roofing made of paper. All of him that is, save that part which suffered neither insects nor temperature and which galloped unflagging on the destinationless pony, up a piled silver hill of cumulae where no hoof echoed nor left print, toward the blue precipice never gained. This part was neither flesh nor unflesh and he tingled a little pleasantly with its lackful contemplation as he lay beneath the tarred paper bedclothing. So were the mechanics of sleeping, of denning up for the night, simplified. Each morning the entire bed rolled back into a spool and stood erect in the corner. It was like those glasses, reading glasses which old ladies used to wear, attached to a cord that rolls onto a spindle in a neat case of unmarked gold; a spindle, a case, attached to the deep bosom of the mother of sleep. He lay still, savoring this. Beneath him Rincon followed its fatal, secret, nightly pursuits, where upon the rich and inert darkness of the streets lighted windows and doors lay like oily strokes of broad and overladen brushes. From the docks a ship's siren un-sourced itself. For a moment it was sound, then it compassed silence, atmosphere, bringing upon the eardrums a vacuum in which nothing, not even silence, was. Then it ceased, ebbed; the silence breathed again with a clashing of palm fronds like sand hissing across a sheet of metal.
1 Carcassonne (Fr.) — skeleton.
Still his skeleton lay motionless. Perhaps it was thinking about this, and he

thought of his tarred paper bed as a pair of spectacles through which he nightly perused the fabric of dreams: Across the twin transparencies of the spectacles the horse still gallops with its tangled welter of tossing flames. Forward and back against the taut roundness of its belly its legs swing, rhythmically reaching and overreaching, each spurning overreach punctuated by a flicking limberness of shod hooves. He can see the saddle-girth and the soles of the rider's feet in the stirrups. The girth cuts the horse in two just back of the withers, yet it still gallops with rhythmic and unflagging fury and without progression, and he thinks of that riderless Norman steed which galloped against the Saracen Emir, who, so keen of eye, so delicate and strong the wrist which swung the blade, severed the galloping beast at a single blow, the several halves thundering on in the sacred dust where him of Bouillon and Tancred too clashed in sullen retreat; thundering on through the assembled foes of our meek Lord, wrapped still in the fury and the pride of the charge, not knowing that it was dead. The ceiling of the garret slanted in a ruined pitch to the low eaves. It was dark, and body consciousness, assuming the office of vision, shaped in his mind's eye his motionless body grown phosphorescent with that steady decay which had set up within his body on the day of his birth, the flesh is dead living on itself subsisting consuming itself thriftily in its own renewal wilt never die for I am the Resurrection and the Life Of a man, the worm should be lusty, lean, haired-over. Of women, of delicate girls briefly like heard music in tune, it should be suavely shaped, falling feeding into prettinesses, feeding. what though to Me but as a seething of new milk Who am the Resurrection and the Life. It was dark. The agony of wood was soothed by these latitudes; empty rooms did not creak and crack. Perhaps wood was like any other skeleton though, after a time, once reflexes of old compulsions had spent themselves. Bones might lie under seas, in the caverns of the sea, knocked together by the dying echoes of waves. Like bones of horses cursing the inferior riders who bestrode them, bragging to one another about what they would have done with a first-rate rider up. But somebody always crucified the first-rate riders. And then it's better to be bones knocking together to the spent motion of falling tides in the caverns and the grottoes of the sea. where him of Bouillon and Tancred too His skeleton groaned again. Across the twin transparencies of the glassy floor the horse still galloped, unflagging and without progress, its destination the barn where sleep was stabled. It was dark. Luis, who ran the cantina downstairs, allowed him to sleep in the garret. But the Standard Oil Company, who owned the garret and the roofing paper, owned the darkness too; it was Mrs Widdrington's, the Standard Oil Company's wife's, darkness

he was using to sleep in. She'd make a poet of you too, if you did not work anywhere. She believed that, if a reason for breathing were not acceptable to her, it was no reason. With her, if you were white and did not work, you were either a tramp or a poet. Maybe you were. Women are so wise. They have learned how to live unconfused by reality, impervious to it. It was dark. and knock my bones together and together It was dark, a darkness filled with a fairy pattering of small feet, stealthy and intent. Sometimes the cold patter of them on his face waked him in the night, and at his movement they scurried invisibly like an abrupt disintegration of dead leaves in a mind, in whispering arpeggios of minute sound, leaving a thin but definite effluvium of furtiveness and voracity. At times, lying so while daylight slanted grayly along the ruined pitch of the eaves, he watched their shadowy flickings from obscurity to obscurity, shadowy and huge as cats, leaving along the stagnant silences those whispering gusts of fairy feet. Mrs Widdrington owned the rats too. But wealthy people have to own so many things. Only she didn't expect the rats to pay for using her darkness and silence by writing poetry. Not that they could not have, and pretty fair verse probably. Something of the rat about Byron: allocutions of stealthful voracity: a fairy pattering of little feet behind a bloody arras where fell where fell where I was King of Kings but the woman with the woman with the dog's eyes to knock my bones together and together "I would like to perform something," he said, shaping his lips soundlessly in the darkness, and the galloping horse filled his mind again with soundless thunder. He could see the saddlegirth and the soles of the rider's stirruped feet, and he thought of that Norman steed, bred of many fathers to bear iron mail in the slow, damp, green valleys of England, maddened with heat and thirst and hopeless horizons filled with shimmering nothingness, thundering along in two halves and not knowing it, fused still in the rhythm of accrued momentum. Its head was mailed so that it could not see forward at all, and from the center of the plates projected a — projected a — "Chamfron," his skeleton said. "Chamfron." He mused for a time, while the beast that did not know that it was dead thundered on as the ranks of the Lamb's foes opened in the sacred dust and let it through. "Chamfron," he repeated. Living, as it did, a retired life, his skeleton could know next to nothing of the world. Yet it had an astonishing and exasperating way of supplying him with bits of trivial information that had temporarily escaped his mind. "All you know is what I tell you," he said. "Not always," the skeleton said. "I know that the end of life is lying still. You haven't learned that yet. Or you haven't mentioned it to me, anyway." "Oh, I've learned it," he said. "I've had it dinned into me enough. It isn't that. It's that I don't believe it's true." The skeleton groaned. "1 don't believe it, I say," he repeated. "All right, all right," the skeleton said testily. "I shan't dispute you. I never do. I only give you advice." "Somebody has to, I guess," he agreed sourly. "At least, it looks like it." He lay still beneath the tarred paper, in a silence filled with fairy patterings. Again his body slanted and slanted downward through opaline corridors groined with ribs of dying Sunlight upward dissolving dimly, and came to rest at last in the Windless gardens of the sea. About him the awaying caverns and the grottoes, and his body lay on the rippled floor, tumbling peacefully to the wavering echoes of the tides. / want to perform something bold and tragical and austere he repeated, sharing the soundless words in the pattering silence me on a buckskin pony with eyes tike blue electricity and a mane like tangled fire, galloping up the hill and right off into the high heaven of the world Still galloping, the horse soars outward; still galloping it thunders up the long blue hill of heaven, its tossing mane in golden swirls like fire. Steed and rider thunder on, thunder punily diminishing: a dying star upon the immensity of darkness and of silence within which, steadfast, fading, deepbreasted and grave of flank, muses the dark and tragic figure of the Earth, his mother.

* * *

Рассказ У. Фолкнера "Carcassonne" — последний, тринадцатый рассказ из первого сборника его рассказов, который вышел В 1931 г. под названием "These 13". Написанные в первые пять лет творческой деятельности автора, эти рассказы отражают тематические и стилистические искания У. Фолкнера. Они разделены на три части: часть первая (4 рассказа) посвящена военной теме, часть вторая (6 рассказов) — расовой дискриминации, часть третья, самая короткая, включает три очень различных по форме и содержанию рассказа. "Carcassonne" — сложный для восприятия рассказ, ибо в нем много внутренней речи, развивающейся по законам ассоциативного мышления и не рассчитанной на прием адресатом как обычная произнесенная речь. Мастерство Фолкнера проявляется в умелом чередовании реальных обстоятельств действия и потока сознания — то бодрствующего, то затухающего. Мгновения сна придают зыбкость и ирреальность описаниям, мечтам, воспоминаниям, даже тем из них, которые отчетливы и конкретны. Необычная пунктуация и графика — точка в середине предложения вместо запятой, двоеточие вместо точки в его конце, полное отсутствие знаков препинания в конце абзаца, начало предложения с маленькой буквы и, наоборот, неожиданное появление заглавных букв в середине фразы, постоянная смена шрифтов — все это играет очень важную роль в создании и усилении впечатления отсутствия строгой упорядоченности событий и мыслей, хаотичности и смешения их, ассоциативном, а не строго логическом развертывании высказывания. Внутренняя речь представлена курсивом или обрамлена им. Вначале автор графически отделяет собственные высказывания от размышлений персонажа настолько скрупулезно, что во втором абзаце даже интерпозитивная вводящая ремарка выделяется особым шрифтом. По мере развития повествования эта четкость разделения типов изложения уходит, и поток сознания героя свободно вливается в авторскую речь, переходит в несобственно-прямую речь, приобретает форму ауто-диалога: спор героя с самим собой представлен в виде голосов его духа и его оболочки. В тексте все время подчеркивается контраст духа ("which is neither flesh, nor unflesh"), свободно парящего с фантастическим огненно-рыжим конем, и плоти. Когда автор говорит об их единстве, он обозначает героя местоимением "he" (he lay, he said, he could see, he mused и т. д.). Когда же важно подчеркнуть свободу, вольнолюбие духа, его антагонизм со сковывающей плотью, тогда появляется многократно повторенные в тексте обозначения последней ("his skeleton lay", "his skeleton groaned", "the skeleton said", "bones might lie. knock my bones" и т. д.). Французский вариант слова "skeleton" и вынесен в заголовок. Последнее обстоятельство очень важно: есть в словах "carcas-sonne", "skeleton", "bones" презрение к плоти и ее требованиям. Все, что окружает ее, выписано очень точно и реалистически: южный портовый городок (palm fronds, ship's siren), чердак, рулоны толя, служащие постелью, темнота, крысы, нахально бегающие по лицу, большие, как кошки, и м-с Виддрингтон — олицетворение плотских забот, бизнеса, стяжательства ("the Standard Oil Company's wife"), облагающая податью даже темноту ("it was Mrs Widdrington's darkness"), не понимающая, что можно стремиться к иным целям, чем те, которыми живет она сама ("if a reason... were not acceptable to her, it was no reason"). Здесь нет нарушения привычной пунктуации, графики, синтаксиса, словоупотребления. Все это появляется при описании духа. Свободный от телесной оболочки, он рвется на своем скакуне ввысь, он — весь дерзание, весь стремление к свершению ("I would like to perform something", "I want to perform something"). В эти описания вводятся архаические конструкции и слова, придающие речи торжественность и величавость ("perused", "riderless Norman steed", "keen of eye", "him of Bouillon", "bestrode them"). Здесь много авторских новообразований, необходимых для сохранения заданного ритма и тона ("destinationless", "lackful", "overreach", "limber-ness", "chamfron"), неожиданных форм ("transparencies", "cumu-lae") и словоупотреблений ("fabric of dreams", "stable of sleep", "agony of wood"). Через весь рассказ проходит образ скакуна. Он то величав и могуч и называется особым поэтическим словом "steed", то близко знаком всаднику и называется ласковым "pony"; то он обозначается телескопическим образованием "chamfron", состоящим из осколков французского "chameau" — верблюд и "front" — Передний. Необычность наименования подчеркивает фантастичность, нереальность «скакуна». У него огненная грива ("a mane like tangled fire", "tossing mane in golden swirls like fire", "its tangled welter of tossing flames"), и он не знает усталости ("unflagging gallop", "gallops with rhythmic and unflagging fury", "galloping up the hill and right off into the high heaven of the World"). Образная система рассказа чрезвычайно щедра и может служить прекрасным образцом единства формы и содержания, замысла и воплощения: в сознании героя все наполнено особым Смыслом, неодушевленные предметы живут и разговаривают, все окружающее пропущено через призму поэтического восприятия главного персонажа. Отсюда и центральный образ всадника и Неутомимого скакуна, отсюда и метафора, развернутая из сравнения, где примитивная постель, на которой человек мечтает- и видит сны, становится огромными стеклами в мир: "the entire bed rolled back into a spool... was like those reading glasses, which old ladies used to wear, attached to a cord that rolls onto a spindle in a neat ease of unmarked gold; a spindle, a case, attached to the deep bosom of the mother of sleep". И далее: "...he thought of his tarred paper bed as a pair of spectacles through which he nightly perused the fabric of dreams: Across the twin transparencies of the spectacles the horse still gallops..." И еще далее: "Across the twin transparencies of the glassy floor the horse still galloped". Так же ярко представлены образы даано умерших мечтаний и мечтателей (останки на дне моря), и поглощающей тишину сирены, и былых подвигов скакуна на земле обетованной, и др. Мечты стремятся ввысь, к великим свершениям, но окружающая действительность жестоко расправляется со свободой таланта ("somebody always crucified the first-rate riders"). Автор проводит мысль, что жизнь скоротечна. Этому служит в рассказе диалог духа и оболочки. Так в рассказе звучит не только противопоставление высоких идеалов суетной действительности, но и конфликт поэта с обществом потребления. Многое в рассказе спрятано в подтекст, упоминается мимоходом, представлено деталью (например, ирония по отношению к м-с Виддрингтон, или горечь по поводу неуспеха талантливых, или картина города, где происходит действие). Подобная организация художественного произведения требует чрезвычайно внимательного его прочтения. Чтобы проникнуть в глубины замысла художника, реализованные в тексте, необходимо «уловить» и верно оценить все намеки, детали, недосказанности. Произведение такой структуры позволяет интерпретировать его по срезам. Первый, верхний, срез — это тот смысл, который лежит на поверхности, заложен в непосредственных значениях слов и их связях. Здесь определяется тема произведения. Следующий, более глубокий, рождается из дистантного сопоставления разных отрезков текста. Здесь выясняется его проблематика. И, наконец, определив место и удельный вес отдельных элементов в общей системе произведения, ретроспективно расставив акценты, можно прийти к выводу об общей идее произведения. На первый взгляд "Carcassonne" — рассказ о человеке в состоянии, пограничном между сном и бодрствованием. Сопоставив отдельные образы, можно понять, что речь идет об извечном конфликте между свободным духом и сковывающей его оболочкой. Приведя в систему разрозненные детали и высказывания, читатель видит, что основная идея произведения — конфликт творческой личности и обывательского общества и горечь автора в связи с обреченностью усилий поэта в этом обществе. Данная организация художественной структуры требует определенной подготовки читателя для полного восприятия всей заложенной в произведении информации и побуждает его к активной работе мысли.

Dorothy Parker (1893—1967)

THE LAST TEA

Dorothy Parker, well known for her wry humour and witty satire in drama, poetry and criticism, in our country is appreciated mainly for short stories, which focus on certain dominant themes, such as frustrated love and cheated idealism in modern living. "The Last Tea" was first published in 1932 and was, since, repeatedly included into numerous collections of short stories and anthologies.

The young man in the chocolate-brown suit sat down at the table, where the girl with the artificial camellia had been sitting for forty minutes. "Guess I must be late," he said. "Sorry you been waiting." "Oh, goodness!" she said. "I just got here myself, just about a second ago. I simply went ahead and ordered because I was dying for a cup of tea. I was late, myself. I haven't been here more than a minute." "That's good," he said. "Hey, hey, easy on the sugar — one lump is fair enough. And take away those cakes. Terrible! Do I feel terrible!" "Ah," she said, "you do? Ah. Whadda matter?" "Oh, I'm ruined," he said. "I'm in terrible shape." "Ah, the poor boy," she said. "Was it feelin' mizzable? Ah, and it came way up here to meet me! You shouldn't have done that — I'd have understood. Ah, just think of it coming all the way up here when it's so sick!" "Oh, that's all right," he said. "I might as well be here as any place else. Any place is like any other place, the way I feel today. Oh, I'm all shot." "Why, that's just awful," she said. "Why, you poor sick thing. Goodness, I hope it isn't influenza. They say there's a lot of it around." "Influenza!".he said. "I wish that was all I had. Oh, I'm poisoned. I'm through. I'm off the stuff for life. Know what time I got to bed? Twenty minutes past five, A. M., this morning. What a night! What an evening!" "I thought," she said, "that you were going to stay at the office and work late. You said you'd be working every night this week." "Yeah, I know," he said. "But it gave me the jumps, thinking about going down there and sitting at that desk. I went up to May's — she was throwing a party. Say, there was somebody there said they knew you." "Honestly?" she said. "Man or woman?" "Dame," he said. "Name's Carol McCall. Say, why haven't I been told about her before? That's what I call a girl. What a looker she is!" "Oh, really?" she said. "That's funny — I never heard of anyone that thought that. I've heard people say she was sort of nice-looking, if she wouldn't make up so much. But I never heard of anyone that thought she was pretty." "Pretty is right," he said. "What a couple of eyes she's got on her!" "Really?" she said. "I never noticed them particularly. But I haven't seen her for a long time — sometimes people change, or something." "She says she used to go to school with you," he said. "Well, we went to the same school," she said. "I simply happened to go to public school because it happened to be right near us, and Mother hated to have me crossing streets. But she was three or four classes ahead of me. She's ages older than I am." "She's three or four classes ahead of them all," he said. "Dance! Can she step! 'Burn your clothes, baby,' I kept telling her. I must have been fried pretty." "I was out dancing myself, last night," she said. "Wally Dillon and I. He's just been pestering me to go out with him. He's the most wonderful dancer. Goodness! I didn't get home till I don't know what time. I must look just simply a wreck. Don't I?" "You look all right," he said. "Wally's crazy," she said. "The things he says! For some crazy reason or other, he's got it into his head that I've got beautiful eyes, and, well, he just kept talking about them till I didn't know where to look, I was so embarrassed. I got so red, I thought everybody in the place would be looking at me. I got just as red as a brick. Beautiful eyes! Isn't he crazy?" "He's all right," he said. "Say, this little McCall girl, she's had all kinds of offers to go into moving pictures. 'Why don't you go ahead and go?' I told her. But she says she doesn't feel like it." "There was a man up at the lake, two summers ago," she said. "He was a director or something with one of the big moving-picture people — oh, he had all kinds of influence! — and he used to keep insisting and insisting that I ought to be in the movies. Said I ought to be doing sort of Garbo parts. I used to just laugh at him. Imagine!" "She's had about a million offers," he said. "I told her to go ahead and go. She keeps getting these offers all the time."
"Oh, really?" she said. "Oh, listen, I knew I had something to ask you. Did you call me up last night, by any chance?" "Me?" he said. "No, I didn't call you." "While I was out, Mother said this man's voice kept calling up," she said. "I thought maybe it might be you, by some chance. I wonder who it could have been. Oh — 1 guess I know who it was. Yes, that's who it was!" "No, I didn't call you," he said. "I couldn't have seen a telephone, last night. What a head I had on me, this morning! I called Carol up, around ten, and she said she was feeling great. Can that girl hold her liquor!" "It's a funny thing about me," she said. "It just makes me feel sort of sick to see a girl drink. It's just something in me, 1 guess. I don't mind a man so much, but it makes me feel perfectly terrible to see a girl get intoxicated. It's just the way I am, I suppose." "Does she carry it!" he said. "And then feels great the next day. There's a girl! Hey, what are you doing there? I don't want any more tea, thanks. I'm not one of these tea boys. And these tea rooms give me the jumps. Look at all those old dames, will you? Enough to give you the jumps." "Of course, if you'd rather be some place, drinking, with I don't know what kinds of people," she said, "I'm sure I don't see how I can help that. Goodness, there are enough people that are glad enough to take me to tea. I don't know how many people keep calling me up and pestering me to take me to tea. Plenty of people!" "All right, all right, I'm here, aren't I?" he said. "Keep your hair on." "I could name them all day," she said. "All right," he said. "What's there to crab about?" "Goodness, it isn't any of my busjness what you do," she said.
"But I hate to see you wasting your time with people that aren't nearly good enough for you. That's all." "No need worrying over me," he said. "Г11 be all right. Listen. You don't have to worry." "It's just I don't like to see you wasting your time," she said, "staying up all night and then feeling terribly the next day. Ah, I was forgetting he was so sick. Ah, I was mean, wasn't I, scolding him when he was so mizzable. Poor boy. How's he feel now?" "Oh, I'm all right," he said. "I feel fine. You want anything else? How about getting a check? I got to make a telephone call before six." "Oh, really?" she said. "Calling up Carol?" "She said she might be in around now," he said. "Seeing her tonight?" she said. "She's going to let me know when I call up," he said. "She's probably got about a million dates. Why?" "I was just wondering," she said. "Goodness, I've got to fly! I'm having dinner with Wally, and he's so crazy, he's probably there now. He's called me up about a hundred times today." "Wait till I pay the check," he said, "and I'll put you on a bus." "Oh, don't bother," she said. "It's right at the corner. I've got to fly. I suppose you want to stay and call up your friend from here?" "It's an idea," he said. "Sure you'll be all right?" "Oh, sure," she said. Busily she gathered her gloves and purse, and left her chair. He rose, not quite fully, as she stopped beside him. "When'U I see you again?" she said. "I'll call you up," he said. "I'm all tied up, down at the office and everything. Tell you what I'll do. I'll give you a ring." "Honestly, I have more dates!" she said. "It's terrible. I don't know when I'll have a minute. But you call up, will you?" "I'll do that," he said. "Take care of yourself." "You take care of yourself," she said. "Hope you'll feel all right." "Oh, I'm fine," he said. "Just beginning to come back to life." "Be sure and let me know how you feel," she said. "Will you? Sure, now? Well, good-bye. Oh, have a good time tonight!" "Thanks," he said. "Hope you have a good time, too." "Oh, I will," she said. "I expect to. I've got to rush! Oh, I nearly forgot! Thanks ever so much for the tea. It was lovely." "Be yourself, will you?" he said.
"It was," she said. "Well. Now don't forget to call me up, will you? Sure? Well, good-by." "Solong," he said. She walked on down the little line between the blue-painted tables. * * *

The technique predominantly used by D. Parker makes her short stories into short plays, with the omniscient author's function narrowed to stage directions. 'The Last Tea" is no exception: it is framed by the introductory and closing sentences of the author, who is also given two more phrases at the close of the story. The introductory sentence-paragraph consists of 25 words only. But it gives two sketchy portraits of the protagonists and sets the scene showing, through the tense of the verb and the time indications, the disadvantage of the girl's position — she "had been waiting for forty minutes". Neither here, nor in the next remark the author offers any judgements. The characters of the boy and the girl and the relations between them become clear from their own pronouncements, on the one hand, and from the structural sequence of their remarks, on the other. The opening phrase about the forty minutes' wait almost immediately comes to clashes with the emphatic lie of the girl "I just got here myself, just about a second ago", reinforced by synonymous repetitions "I was late, myself. I haven't been here more than a minute". Opposed to the casual remark of the young man "Guess I must be late", the girl's and the author's initial words create the perspective of the story and establish the basic disparity between the characters. From this moment on their psychological and emotional inequality and their sharply contrasting attitudes towards their relationship are speedily gathering momentum. She is the suffering party, and though his long delay must have been a signal of alarm, she is happy with his arrival and solicitous about his indisposition, not knowing its cause yet. The word "hangover" is not used, and the idea is approached in an indirect way. First appears the young man's aversion to sugar and cakes. Take notice how subtly the author implies th,e action performed by the girl: the man's remark can appear only as his reaction to the girl's efforts to attend to his tea. Her performance is never mentioned but easily deduced from his phrase. Then come all-embracing, vague indications at his general indisposition. Their frequency and repetition, his interjections — all suggest that he is a self-indulgent and egoistic person, focusing on his own feelings and interests only. Cf: "...1 feel terrible... Oh, I'm ruined... I'm in terrible shape... Oh, I'm all shot". They cause her sympathetic response, and she starts with the emphatic exclamations — "Oh", "Ah", "Goodness", "why" — and endearing words "Ah, the poor boy", "you poor sick thing"; the hyperbole "coming all the way up here"; the mock-baby talk, addressing him in neuter gender "Was it feelin' mizzable", "it came... up here", "it's so sick"; and the final supposition of "influenza", which is "just awful". But then comes his enlightening "I'm off the stuff for life", and at last the explanation "I must have been fried pretty". This reference to the party and the Fabulous Carol McCall entirely and dramatically changes the dialogue. It loses its natural character of exchange of stimulus-response remarks and obtains the form of two parallel streams, when the speech of one interlocutor is replaced by that of the other only formally, while semantically they are disconnected. At the same time, several utterances of one protagonist are easily joined into a coherent unity. It happens so because each of the speakers is concerned not with listening but with active self-expression, developing one focal point: the young man untiringly praises the new object of his admiration. The girl, her feelings hurt, her pride wounded, manages to keep the brave front and is feverishly supplying details of her imaginary new escort Wally Dillon and his fancied passion. They both use exaggerated judgements and opinions, and their speech abounds in hyperboles, highly emotional epithets, expressive interjections (Cf: "crazy Wally", "the most wonderful dancer", "till I don't know what time", "everybody in the place", "a million offers", etc.). The young man is enraptured, and does not notice or pay attention to the girl's jealousy and anguish. Exclamatory sentences with emphatic inversion — "Can she step!", "Can that girl hold her liquor!", "Does she carry it!", etc., the taunting pun "She's three or four classes ahead of them all", the endearing "baby" and "little girl", expressions of utter fascination, like "There's a girl!", "What a looker she is!" — all these and similar simply pour out of him, and he is oblivious of the reaction of his date. When his praising of another becomes too hard to stand the girl voices her criticism of the rival in echo-sentences and tag-questions "Oh! Really?" and hopelessly tries to provoke his jealousy specifying her own advantages. The dialogue once again changes its style when she assumes that she had mastered the situation and returns to the silly baby-talk, once again addressing the young man in the third person singular, intentionally mispronouncing words: "Ah, I was forgetting he was so sick... so mizzable. Poor boy. How's he feel now?" But her confidence dies with his words "I got to make a telephone call" and from this sentence on the story inevitably moves to its termination. The desire not to betray her feelings — the return to the game of fancied dates — mingles with the flickering hope, and she actually begs him to call her: "you call up, will you" is repeated three times, though concealed under the pretext of her anxiety about his sickness. Their departure seems to be final. As it was said above, the story, like most works of Dorothy Parker, is written in the form of dialogue interrupted only by the author's "he said", "she said", two framing sentences and two more, marking .the beginning of the end ("Busily she gathered..."). Yet both the boy and the girl are fully characterized. Their actions are implicitly embedded into their utterances. Take, for example the young man's remark: "There's a girl! Hey, what are you doing there? I don't want any more tea, thanks..." The last two sentences reflect his response not to her words or his own thoughts, but to her actions. Though unmentioned, they are obviously implied: His callousness, boasting, his ill manners stand out against the girl's desperate but futile attempts to save her face if not their relations. "The Last Tea", thus, unfolding the sad story of betrayed affection, is another master stroke of the author on her major theme — that of disillusionment, chagrin, frustration.

Joyce Carol Oates (b. 1932)

THE MAN THAT TURNED INTO A STATUE

Joyce Carol Oates, a well-known and prolific American author, combines her creative activities with teaching at a Canadian university. The winner of numerous literary awards since her debut in 1963, she has published over forty books in diverse genres. Her admirers and critics alike claim that she is the strongest as a short story writer. The story presented below was first published in 1966, in the collection "Upon the Sweeping Flood" — and, among others, serves an illustration of the author's creative credo: "I am concerned," she says, "with only one thing: the moral and social conditions of my generation." When reading the story pay attention to the repetitions of "bad luck", "gone wrong", "hate"; also to the significance of tense changes (esp. the appearance of past perfect, future in the past); to the signals of viewpoint shifts.

They emerged from the bushes at the side of the road. The girl, who was really a child, had a sardonic dazed look that seemed frozen into her face; she wore an orange sweater with an orange cord that tied at her waist and white pedal pushers that were soiled. Each step she took drew wrinkles sharply across these pedal pushers. Her clothes were too tight for her, she had grown out of them in this past year, her body pushing up and out like a vegetable swelling patiently in the earth. Her face was round and hard, with small pursed lips and eyes that seemed to slant in her face like almonds; her brown hair was reckless about her face, snarled from the wind. The man, grunting as he climbed up to the road, was over forty: his dark hair was thin, receding back sharply from his forehead but leaving a patch there right in the center; his face was pale and surprised-looking, this look, too, frozen into him. It was Octpber and chilly; in the bluish light that came at sundown in this part of the country, the narrow road with its cracked pavement and snakelike strips of tar seemed to glow and rise slightly up above the dirt shoulders. "Now whatcha going to do, you're so smart?" the girl said. Something had caught across the man's chest, a vine that was entangled in the bush. He paused to tug at it — a slender green vine with tiny ruined flowers — and when he could not get it off at once he tore viciously at it. The girl, watching him with her arms folded and her legs set apart in a pretence of confidence, saw a ripple of fear cross his face. The man muttered something. He had a long nervous nose; his lips were always loose, always about to mutter something, perhaps because his teeth protruded slightly and he could not quite close his mouth. "Now it's dark so if anybody comes we can see them first. See the headlights," he said. "Yeah, you're so goddamn smart," the girl said. She wiped her eyes. "Smart enough to get us out of this, I guarantee that" But he stood on the road, looking back and forth in both directions and robbing his hands, and did not seem to know what to do after all.
"Spost to be in Canada by now," the girl said. "That map you showed me "Just bad luck," he muttered. The girl watched his hands and felt something prod at her brain: fear, like the touch of a bat's wing. But she hardened her face again and looked down at her shoes, which were new, red-and-white-striped sneakers she had been seeing in the shoe store window for weeks. But this shoe store had been too near home, it was a mistake to think of it. She wiped her eyes again and her mouth turned into a bitter line. *i had bad luck all my life," the man said. She had heard this before. The first time she had seen him, when he was sitting on the steps that led down to his basement apartment, he had started to talk about this out of nowhere, angrily and mournfully, as if his bad luck were something he expected to get hold of with his hands. "Some people get born with it and others don't. Those bastards you see on the expressway, driving out of the city, they don't have it. Got jobs downtown and then drive home out of the city; got born without it. Nobody that gets born without bad luck can understand or give a damn about somebody that has it ..." His words ended in a murmur, as if he were no longer paying attention to them. "Okay, come on. This way." "You're sure, this way?" she said sarcastically. "Come on." They walked. It was getting dark and this long day was coming to an end at last, but the end did not mean anything because nothing had been settled. So much had happened, had gone wrong, they were still on foot. ...The girl remembered suddenly, without wanting to, the door opening and the woman rushing in: the back of the fruit store, smelly and grubby, with empty fruit baskets piled all over, and she standing beside this man as he rifled desperately through a tin box that was supposed to have hundreds of dollars in it but had only a few bills scattered among papers that made no sense. Why had the woman come in just then? She and her old husband had been carrying strips of canvas back along the side of the building, as they did every morning, opening the store up. They lived in two or three rooms on the second floor. But something had gone wrong with the man's plans, though he and the girl had watched the dilapidated back door of the building from the man's basement window across the alley for days. Yet the man had acted like someone in a movie, whirling around and striking the woman without even thinking, he was so fast; the girl's mind was dazzled still at the spectacle of his fist and the woman's surprised face, an image isolated out of the dim jumble of junk behind it; something she would remember all her life. Thinking of it now, she glanced at the man fondly. If only his teeth did not protrude like that and make his jaw slant up to meet them. ...All his life, he had told her, he had tried to fight his way up and had been pushed back down. His bad luck was like a sickness. The girl, though only thirteen, understood vaguely the difference between her world and the world promised her in movies and in movie magazines, and felt bitterness side by side with her infatuation for this other world. Sitting in the movie house, seeing a movie over for the second or third time, she had often been startled at the way her love for the people on the screen had jerked away, suddenly, to leave her sullen and hateful. When she went home the feeling would get worse, and only in sleep would it vanish; but then she would have to wake up the next morning, another school day, and lying in bed staring at the gritty windowpane, she could feel the waiting familiar world discharge itself into her mouth and down her throat, into her heart and stomach, turning her heavy and inert with hate as if something had caught there, some seed, and had begun to grow. "If we try for a ride we'll get picked up," the man said, cracking his knuckles. "That bitch got a good look at me and you both, should of hit her harder. ...Hell of a chance, hitching for a ride, because some bastard driving by would go and call the cops from a garage or some-place. That's how they are. Nobody asks why you do something or if something made you do it, they don't give a damn. You slip off the road and can't get back on again. They might as well take your name from you and slice off your face, because you can't make it back up again, they don't give a damn, they never think how easy it might be to trade places with you. ..." The girl was not listening but dreaming of a field somewhere, of a morning in warm weather, and of herself walking slowly toward this man, who stood leaning against a fence waiting for her. From this distance he looked young and not really familiar. She began to hurry through the grass — which was green and vivid, like grass in a magazine picture — with her arms outstretched to him, her heart racing — "Here comes a car!" the man said. He grabbed at her and they ran clumsily through the bushes and into the ditch. The bottom of the ditch was wet. The girl did not watch the car but stood rubbing her arm. It was not really dark and yet everywhere objects were losing their shapes. The wild field ran back in a tumult to a wood some distance away where trees were dissolved into one another like water in water. The car's headlights seized upon the leaves of the bush and then swept past. "Wonder who's riding in there, lucky bastards," the man muttered.
"I should hitch for a ride myself, I'm tired as hell of walking and hiding," the girl said. "I said, I should get a ride by myself." The man turned to her. She saw in his expression the queer tense bafflement she had seen when the woman had walked into the back room of the store and when the vine had caught across his chest. "You wouldn't be safe by yourself," he said. "Yeah?" "You need somebody to take care of you, a little girl like you —" "Yeah, sure." She was ready to step away if he came toward her; he knew this and did not move. The girl followed rules that had come to her out of nowhere — she did not know where — and told her always what to do, when to do it, when it was not right to do anything: in the daylight or when other people were around. She would have been sick to her. stomach if he had forced her to break these rules, though she did not know where she had learned them. The man, who had often cringed before her and pressed his wet cheeks against her knees, iriurmuring things to her she did not hear and after a while did not pay attention to, now stared at her and cracked his knuckles. "Гт going to take good care of you, get some food in you. You're hungry, that's all. You believe all I told you, don't you?" "Sure I believe you." "I was married one time and I took care of her too," he said. "Begun all over from a beginning but hit a snag. Three times already I begun over and this is the fourth and last. Going to begin over again up in Canada. Don't you believe me?" "Sure." The girl ran through the bushes and back up onto the road. A branch had swept across her eye and made it smart, but instead of getting angry she made herself laugh. This was only the second time that she had run away from home. The first time had been a mistake, she had been too young, hadn't any money; she had tried to keep going just on her hatred for her mother and father. But it was different now. She knew what she was doing now. She would keep her hatred for them safe, as if it were a tiny seed she carried greedily inside her, and once away from them and across the shadowy border that separated her from the real world she would let this hatred blossom and so get rid of it. And they would yearn for her across this border, they would keep waiting for her to come home, her mother would be stuffed with baby after baby and yet they would keep waiting for her to come home. ... "Something wrong?" the man said. The girl turned away. She had begun to cry and was ashamed. "Yeah, it's cold," the man said nervously, "I got to get you someplace warm and safe. Get some food into you. Don't you worry." He slid his arm about her shoulders and they walked along the edge of the road. The girl stared down at the rigid strips of tar in the pavement, one after another across the road like flattened snakes. "I'll change how we are now, don't you worry. Nothing stays the same but has to change. Change is a fact of our life. I read you that part in my book about the laws, didn't I? How they change every place you go and every different person you are?" The girl had forced herself to think of that warm sunlit field again and she resented his question. "Why are you writing that crazy old book anyway," she said. "How the laws change before you even have time to learn them," the man said. He was. excited now and could talk to himself as if she were not even there. "Everything changes, won't stay fixed. When my grandmother died I was ten, ten years old, a boy. I was a boy. I went in the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror for half an hour, maybe. 1 made faces and looked at my teeth. ...Do you believe that? I was a boy but I can't remember it, I can remember only a boy in the mirror that I couldn't possibly have been, that was somebody else, a boy who's still a boy... not me... And when that boy that was supposed to be me came out of the bathroom he had to think about his grandmother again, because she was dead and the fiouse smelled of it and there was no way to forget. Everybody smelled of it. All this is in my book too. The Man That Turned into a Statue, that's what it's called." He touched his coat gently; he must have been carrying the notebook there. "Remember why it's called that?" "Cause that's what you're trying to do," the girl sneered. "Turn into a statue!" "My wife too, she's in there. ...She was a small woman with hair your color, she had pierced ears. Bluish hands, as if she could never get them warm. She put a crucifix up on the wall that I could feel watching me, tiny little blind eyes in the crucified man, no eyes at all, really, but I could feel them watching me even in the dark. ...I didn't want to hate her," he said angrily. "I didn't want to hate anyone. Never. Not once. 1 was always pushed into it, like being pushed into a fire from other people crowding up close. It was like a big whirlpool in the ocean, the deepest part, where everything spins round and round and gets sucked in, and you can't get away from it. If you ran your whole life in the opposite direction you'd get sucked there anyhow, so what the hell? But I never wanted to hate." He hugged her clumsily and she felt a surge of gratitude. He would take care of her. She did not understand much of what he said, did not even listen to it, but she knew he would take care of her. These shoes she wore, right now, he had paid for; he had not even asked for the change. He had seemed not to know there was any change. "Another incident in my book," he said in a different voice, a chatty voice, "a man and woman were fighting in a bar. I was there. The man knocked her down right by the juke box, that was all lit up different colors and playing some song. Then he started kicking her and I went over. I said, what the hell are you doing? I told him to stop. But he never paid any attention, and when I pulled his arm he just pushed me away. He never paid any attention. So I went back and sat down. That incident is in there too, with a lot of description. I'm particularly good at description —"

Somewhere close, a dog had begun to bark. The man froze. They could hear the dog running but in the dusk could see only the vague jumbled field beside them. The girl began trembling. "Don't worry," the man muttered. "Bad comes to worst I got this knife." The dog appeared.before them: not a large dog but nervous and wiry, with a dull black coat and dancing paws and ears cringing back alongside its head. "Here, here boy," the man said. "It's okay, boy. We don't want no trouble. It's okay." The dog snarled. It leaped toward them and froze; crouched low, with its mouth twisted up into what looked like a grin. The girl stood behind the man, shivering. She was frightened, not so much by the dog itself as by the way the dog seemed to hate them, as if there were something wrong with them, people the dog had never encountered before. She could feel her own face twisting into a painful mirroring of the dog's look. "Here, boy. Nice boy. Here, here," the man pleaded. He even extended his hand. The dog eyed them suspiciously. For a moment it hesitated, as if thinking; then it leaped at the man's hand. They heard its teeth click. "Bastard," the man said. The dog fell away as if yanked to one side. The man turned to face it, cracking his knuckles. He began again, murmuring to the dog, bending with his hand out, his shoulders hunched and obsequious. The dog crouched snarling against the road. For some seconds it did not move and the man straightened a little. "Maybe if we just keep on walking," he said. "Show him we got somewhere to go. Sometimes they let you go, then." They walked on. The dog followed them. At first it kept some distance away but then it came nearer; just as the girl glanced around it lunged at the man's leg, its snarls breaking out into harsh barks that sounded like coughs.. The man cried out and kicked it away. "The bastard, why don't it let us alone! The bastard!" he said. His voice was profoundly sad. The dog retreated and watched them. After a moment the man put his arm around the girl'sshoulders again, to" protect her, and they turned to walk on. The girl kept looking back. That dog. she thought, was the kind of dog she had always seen whining at screen doors or looking out car windows, its ears flapping in the wind; it never barked viciously or leaped at anyone. She had been seeing dogs like this all her life but now something was wrong. Then the dog leaped again. Suddenly it was close behind them and against the man's legs, its muzzle darting from place to place and its teeth flashing. The man kicked it away but it lunged back at once. Something seemed to enliven it, some inexplicable energy that drove it on, snarling maliciously and desperately. The man cried out in pain. He stooped and picked something up — a tree branch — and slashed at the dog. The dog pranced and leaped. "Get back or I'll kill you," the man sobbed. He tried to flick the branch across the dog's face but the dog always ducked away. "I'll kill you, kill you," he said. He threw the branch at the dog and took out of his pocket the knife he used to clean his fingernails and" to pick mud off his shoes. The girl could not tell if he threw himself down on the dog or if his knees suddenly collapsed, jerking and terrified. When the man got to his feet he was panting violently. He stumbled backward. The dog lay writhing; it was bleeding from a wound in its stomach. The man stared as if he could not remember where he was, what had happened. "Well, you got him," the girl said hollowly. She touched the man and he did not seem to notice. "He shouldn't of come after us," she said. She saw that the front of the man's pants was speckled with blood. They would get him, then, she thought, and when they did she would say he had kidnapped her. He had forced her to come with.him. And they would believe her, and she would wait for another man to come to her just as she had waited for this one... "Let's go. Got to keep going," the man said. He began walking fast. The girl hurried to keep up with him. In a while they saw a house ahead, with its porch light on. "That was their dog. I spose," the man said. "Think they heard him bark?" But no one was out on the porch. The light was an ugly yellow light that fell upon the porch roof and slashed the floor in half, lighting up an old sofa and some junk but leaving the rest in shadow, and lighting up the driveway and a car parked there on a small incline. The girl felt terror rising stupidly within her at the sight of this house. Each window was lit, even the attic window. Someone lived up there — a child, probably. A little bedroom. She knew they would not go past the house but would go in, and this knowledge pressed down upon her like a giant palm on the top of her head. Her legs were suddenly exhausted under the strain. "We had better hurry on past here," she said. "But we got to get some food," the man said. He was still trembling and his voice too was trembling. She had known he would say this. "It's not like I don't have the money to pay for it. I do. I'll pay for it. If I just didn't have this bad luck always behind me... somebody else would be up in Canada now, all safe, and not make you walk around at night, chased by dogs..." "I don't want to go in that house," the girl said. "I never asked for no dog to come, that's for sure," the man said. They were at the end of the driveway now. The girl had stopped shivering. She saw, brushing beriino" one of the windows, a woman's figure, a flash of color drawing back a curtain and almost immediately releasing it. "You think they might know about us, those people in there?" the man said. "Heard about it on the radio or something?" "How the hell do I know," said the girl. "I got to take care of you. I guarantee that. ..." He took a step forward. She wanted to pull him back but instead stared at the side of his face in fascination. What was there about him that enchanted her, what was it in his humble malicious face that seemed to show

how he was enchanted as well? "I bet they're eating in there. Smell it? That's food. Do you smell it?" "No, nothing." She smelled something else — an odor of blood and earth and night. "Sure you smell it. Potatoes or something. Meat. ..." He put the knife away and went up the driveway. His feet crunched in the gravel. Tediously the girl followed; as he approached the light she saw the bloodstains on his pants, dark wet clots. She was too exhausted to say anything. It did not matter anyway. "We can pay for anything we eat, that's not the trouble. I pay as I go. Always have always will. My word is always been good, you can ask anybody that. ..." Before he got to the porch someone was at the door, a fat man in just an undershirt and pants. "Yeah, what do you want?" he said. He loomed up close against the screen door so that his face was dim. "What do you two want?" "Hello, mister," said the man in a new voice. He waited for the girl to come up beside him; her legs had begun to ache. "We had a accident up the road and had to walk. Had some trouble. Was wondering if we could —" "Car trouble?" "Car trouble, yes, and had to walk, and haven't eaten for a long time —" A child appeared behind the man, a girl with long dark hair. The man turned and said something to her; she went away. The girl's eyes narrowed, seeing her. "Mister, we had a lot of bad luck and sure would appreciate some help." The man hesitated. He had a big stomach that strained against his white undershirt and bulged a little over his belt. Then he said, "We got no telephone here." "If we could have something to eat — I — I'll pay for it — " "No."
"I got money, look here. Look, that's a fact. I'll pay for it, anything you want. My little girl here — " "No." The girl wondered if that fat man had seen the blood. He had begun shaking his head, but the man continued up the driveway and went right up to the porch just the same. He muttered all the way, right through the fat man's angry voice, as if he did not hear it. "I don't run no roadside restaurant here," the fat man said, "I don't have no open house for tramps! What the hell are you doing? What do you think you're — " Still with his shoulders bent apologetically, the man opened the screen door and plunged the knife into the fat man's chest. The girl's eyes seemed to pinch, jerking her head forward. The fat man

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had been talking and was now silent. He fell back into the light, his body turning, his arms outstretched, and the girl could see now a brilliant stream of blood emerging out of him as if his words had turned into this. Inside the house, someone screamed. The man went right in the house, as if he were coming home, and with the knife still in his hand ran through to the next room. He might have known all the rooms in the house, nothing would surprise him. The girl, leaning against the door frame, caught the screen door as it swung idly back to her and stared at the dying man; he stared at her. Coldness enveloped her body like a flame. The dying man gazed at her with a look of angry curiosity over the heaving blossom of blood on his chest. From the other room there were screams; something overturned. Crashing. Glass, dishes broken. Every sound was another weight added to her body, making her heavy and old, so that she did not think she would ever be able to move again. After a minute or so the man returned, still hurrying. "Come on,'" he said. "It's okay. I fixed it." He pulled at the girl's arm and she saw that he was trying to smile. "Okay. Everything okay. I'll take care of you."
She stared at him. She had forgotten how to talk. "Come on," he said. "In here, I got them dragged out back. They won't bother you now, come on. We better hurry."

She allowed him to lead her into the kitchen. There things were knocked about — chairs, plates, silverware on the floor, a mess of potatoes down by her feet. They had been eating supper, apparently. Most of the dishes were still on the table. "Come on. Sit. Sit down," the man said nervously. Blood had splashed up onto his chest and throat, but he did not notice. There was blood smeared faintly on his forehead. The girl, sitting at the table, looked about and saw blood gleaming on the linoleum, by the sink. A screen door led out back into the darknees; there was blood in great sweep strokes, like angels' wings, to this door and out it, into nothing. The girl sat, slowly. She felt the chair hard beneath her and the table against her cold arms, elbows. "Here, there's this," the man said. He pushed a plate toward her: on it were a piece of meat and some mashed potatoes with gravy on them. The gravy was greasy. She looked up to see the man shaking salt on his food. He tried to smile, nervously, brightly, like a host uncertain of his charm. "Okay, come on. We better hurry. Got us a car now but we better hurry anyway. You know how it is." The girl's gaze fell back down to the plate before her, as if it were suddenly overcome. Her hand groped for something — a fork. She found one and picked it up. Out of the corner of her eye she could see the man eating, his head lowered toward the plate, like a dog, and turned also a little to the side so that he chewed with a look of precise, methodical concentration. The girl tried to remember something but could not. She could not remember what it was that eluded her, just as she could not get hold of the dreams that pleased her so at night when she woke: everything vanished, brushed away. Was something lost or had she simply passed over into the real world, so that now old things were dismissed and new things had names yet to be learned? She could hear the man chewing. She poked at the rhashed potatoes with the fork. The man, raising his head suddenly, said through a mouthful of food, "Here, it needs this," and pushed the salt shaker at her. The salt shaker was in the form of a baby chick, bright lacquered yellow. The girl picked it up and shook salt onto the half-eaten food. She watched the tiny white granules fall; they were not lost but remained there, waiting to be eaten. She set the salt shaker down and her fingers brushed against the man's arm, reaching out for something else across the table. "Got to be always in a hurry, sorry for it," he muttered, stuffing bread into his mouth, "but it ain't always going to be like this. I guarantee that. Got us a new life coming up." She could see the faint pale gleam of his skin beneath his hair, blank and white, something she had never been able to see before. She felt like a bride awakened to a body strange and new.

* * * Joyce Carol Oates is well-known for the depth and subtlety of her psychological portraits. Unlike most representatives of psychological prose, she seemingly offers explicit characterization of personages: the past of her protagonists which had shaped them into what they are in the story, their preferences and desires motivating their behaviour ^re given alongside their actions. "The Man That Turned into a Statue" is a good example of what has just been pointed out: the age of the man and the girl, their appearance, their changing moods, their relations, their past stories, their plans for the future — all is neatly laid out before the reader, so that the task of the interpreter seems deceptively simple, almost primitive. Indeed, if all is said what is there that demands interpreter's special attention and sophisticated analysis? While reading a book our first priority is to reveal the author's point of view, his evaluative perspective, the so-called "idea" of the book, its moral, ethical and aesthetic messa-ge which explains why and what for the book was written, in the first place. What underlies the facts of the plot, what is the conceptual information of the book? Approaching the story with this task in mind we realize that to give answers to these and similar questions is not all that simple, because the author describes the characters in detail but does not pass judgement on them. To reveal the writer's standpoint, thus, we shall have to carefully collect and consider elements of various levels of the text structure that might be expressive in this respect. t

Though the story is told by the effaced author, it often shifts into the girl's psyche. In fact, the initial accident that had set the characters on their doomed journey is given as a piece of her recollection. It is not undesignedly that such verbs as "to think", "to feel", "to recollect", "to remember", "to know" are repeatedly used as predicates for the subject "she". Cf: "The girl remembered suddenly...", "...she could feel the waiting familiar world...", "She knew what she was doing now", "She could feel her own face twisting...", "They would get him, she thought...", and many other cases. The girl's viewpoint dominates most descriptions. Besides such explicit signals as "she saw...", "she could hear...", "she could see...", "she could not tell...", which introduce the girl as the observer, participant and narrator, in many cases there are qualifications of events, which betray her presence in a subtler way: "The girl felt terror rising stupidly within her...", "Someone lived up there — a child, probably", "It was getting dark, and this long day was coming to an end, at last". The man is watched and judged by her. The complicated mixture of his attitudes — false self-assuredness, even bravado, alienation and resentment against the whole world, nervousness and desperate viciousness, fright and recklessness, tenderness and cruelty — all these conflicting moods and feelings are censored by the girl. She does not speak much, and when she does, it is either the monosyllabic "Sure", or the non-grammatical, sullen and harsh retorts, so that her character is shaped by the author mainly through various forms of the girl's interior speech, and the blended forms of represented speech, or entrusted narrative. Her outward pose is juxtaposed to her real inner self: clinging to the man for care and support (cf: "She felt a surge of gratitude. He would take care of her") she, at the same time, appraises him coldly and calmly (cf: "she was mocking him...", "...his humble malicious face...", "she saw the bloodstains on his pants...", "she could see the man eating... like a dog...", etc.). The man's character, on the other hand, unfolds through external forms of presentation. His actions are described by the omniscient, effaced (the author) or the entrusted (the girl) narrator. His considerations are voiced in lengthy remarks, in the open dialogue. The juxtaposition of two characters, thus, is carried out an all levels of the textual structure both in form and content, including not only their contrasting roles in the plot, the secretiveness of one vs the openness of the other, but also the difference of their compositional presentation and the function of each one in bringing into sharper focus the author's narrative perspective, i.e. the author's message. At first glance thepair looks strange and incongruous, and weare baffled looking for issues that might have brought them together. The author helps us, introducing into the interior speech and daydreaming of one and the voiced speech of the other the bond of unity — the constantly repeated word "hate" and its derivatives — "hatred", "hateful". This repetition epitomizes the cause-effect sequence of the tragedy. The girl is filled with hatred towards her drab, dull and dreary existence. The intensity of her resentment is made clear to the reader with a series of metaphors and similies, materializing the feeling into a physically grasped object, discharging "itself into her mouth and down her throat...", "a tiny seed she carried greedily inside her... she would let thes hatred blossom..." Alienated from their world, they are uncertain of their surroundings — it is not accidental, that such words as "fear", "nervousness", "bafflement", "uncertainty", "terror" are used to characterize their momentary feelings. "The girl began trembling", "The man froze", "Coldness enveloped her body like a flame" — are their reactions to the impact of the outside world which they both hate. The roots of her hatred for her parents, home, school, come from the gap between her everyday life and the reality of others, passing by luxurious cars or living in the wonderful world of the movies. The sham made-up glitter of the screen enters her day-dreaming, obscures the demarcation line between the actual and the imagined. The barriers between true — false, moral — immoral, possible — impossible, permitted — forbidden in this situation are destroyed, which inevitably leads to the disintegration of a human being. Joyce Carol Oates brings her message to the focal point in the small fragment of the girl's represented speech: "They would get him, then, she thought, and when they did she would say he had kidnapped her. ...and she would wait for another man to come to her just as she had waited for this one..." The girl is not bloodstained. All atrocities were commited by her companion. But her degradation is deeper and more complete than his, because still following him and calmly viewing his actions she had already betrayed him. This eventful night shed her of all scruples and sentiments she might have had and she emerged to a new life of aggressive, self-centered egoism and individualism. The story is horrifying. Not only and not so much because of the naturalistic and macabre details of multiple murders, but because of their non-provoked, groundless, senseless, even casual character. The final supper scene adds the last link to the chain where social disparity breeds hatred, which leads to violence. But murdering others, one inevitably kills oneself as a human being, loses the right of belonging to mankind, turns to stone. The title of the story thus is ambivalent. Its immediate direct meaning is explained by the characters themselves — the statue looms above the crowd, the man would catch his luck at last and would rise to the pedestal scorning all those that remained beneath. "Turning into a statue", twice repeated, is supported by "turning to

stone", which adds a new dimension to the meaning of the phrase, namely: "insensitive, unfeeling, callous". The story has an open end, the impending fate of the characters remains unknown. But following the inner logic of their development, laid out by the author, it is possible to prognosticate their future actions and deeds, with adequate accuracy. The protagonists have no names. They are referred to either as "the man" and "the girl", or pronominally (see the first paragraph especially). This anonymity serves to enhance their typicality, their ordinariness. Both their outrageous and common actions are described in neighbouring sentences, their cold blooded crime and a peaceful meal presented as one sequence of events make both these actions conventional, which strips the protagonists of shocking emotions, as befits those turned to stone.

Часть II

Ray Bradbury

THE ONE WHO WAITS

Ray Bradbury is one of the most significant science fiction writers of the world. Though he has written verse, drama, books for children, journalism and several novels, he is primarily a writer of short stories. Many of them are set in Martian landscapes. The story following below appeared in the collection of 1964 'The Machineries of Joy".

I live in a well. I live like smoke in the well. Like vapor in a stone throat. I don't move. I don't do anything but wait. Overhead I see the cold stars of night and morning, and I see the sun. And sometimes I sing old songs of this world when it was young. How can I tell you what I am when I don't know? I cannot. I am simply waiting. I am mist and moonlight and memory. I am sad and I am old. Sometimes I fall like rain into the well. Spider webs are startled into forming where my rain falls fast, on the water surface. I wait in cool silence and there will be a day when I no longer wait. Now it is morning. I hear a great thunder. I smell fire from a distance. I hear a metal crashing. I wait. 1 listen. Voices. Far away. "All right!"
One voice. An alien voice. An alien tongue I cannot know. No word is familiar. I listen. "Send the men out!" A crunching in crystal sands. "Mars! So this is it!" "Where's the flag?" "Here, sir." "Good, good."
The sun is high in the blue sky and its golden rays fill the well and I hang like a flower pollen, invisible and misting in the warm light. Voices. "In the name ot the Government of Earth, I proclaim this to be the Martian Territory, to be equally divided among the member nations."
What are they saying? I turn in the sun, like a wheel, invisible and lazy, golden and tireless. "What's over here?" "A well!" "No!" "Come on. Yes!"
The approach of warmth. Three objects bend over the well mouth, and my coolness rises to the objects. "Great!" "Think it's good water?" "We'll see." "Someone get a lab test bottle and a dropline." "I will!" A sound of running. The return. "Here we are." I wait. "Let it down. Easy."
Glass shines, above, coming down on a slow line. The water ripples softly as the glass touches and fills. I rise in the warm air toward the well mouth. "Here we are. You want to test this water, Regent?" "Let's have it." "What a beautiful well. Look at that construction. How old you think it is?"
"God knows. When we landed in that other town yesterday Smith said there hasn't been life on Mars in ten thousand years." "Imagine." "How is it, Regent? The water." "Pure as silver. Have a glass."
The sound of water in the hot sunlight. Now I hover like a dust, a cinnamon, upon the soft wind. "What's the matter, Jones?" "I don't know. Got a terrible headache. All of a sudden." "Did you drink the water yet?"
"No, I haven't. It's not that. I was just bending over the well and all of a sudden my head split. I feel better now." Now I know who I am. My name is Stephen Leonard Jones and I am twenty-five years old and I have just come in a rocket from a planet called Earth and I am standing with my good friends Regent and Shaw by an old well on the planet Mars. I look down at my golden fingers, tan and strong. I look at my long legs and at my silver uniform and at my friends. "What's wrong, Jones?" they say. "Nothing," I say, looking at them. "Nothing at all." The food is good. It has been ten thousand years since food. It touches the tongue in a fine way and the wine with the food is warming. I listen to the sound of voices. I make words that I do not understand but somehow understand. I test the air. "What's the matter, Jones?" I tilt this head of mine and rest my hands holding the silver utensils of eating. I feel everything. "What do you mean?" this voice, this new thing of mine, says. "You keep breathing funny. Coughing," says the other man. I pronounce exactly. "Maybe a little cold coming on." "Check with the doc later." I nod my head and it is good to nod. It is good to do several things after ten thousand years. It is good to breathe the air and it is good to feel the sun in the flesh deep and going deeper and it is good to feel the structure of ivory, and fine skeleton hidden in the warming flesh, and it is good to hear sounds much clearer and more immediate than they were in the stone deepness of a well. I sit enchanted. "Come out of it, Jones. Snap to it. We got to move!" "Yes," I say, hypnotized with the way the word forms like water on the tongue and falls with slow beauty out into the air. I walk and it is good walking. I stand high and it is a long way to the ground when I look down from my eyes and my head. It is like living on a fine cliff and being happy there. Regent stands by the stone well, looking down. The others have gone murmuring to the silver ship from which they came. I feel the fingers of my hand and the smile of my mouth. "It is deep," I say. "Yes." "It is called a Soul Well." Regent raises his head and looks at me. "How do you know that?" "Doesn't it look like one?" "I never heard of a Soul Well." "A place where waiting things, things that once had flesh, wait and wait," I say, touching his arm. The sand is fire and the ship is silver fire in the hotness of the day and the heat is good to feel. The sound of my feet in the hard sand. I listen. The sound of the wind and the sun burning the valleys. I smell the smell of the rocket boiling in the noon. I stand below the port. "Where's Regent?" someone says. "I saw him by the well," I reply. One of them runs toward the well. I am beginning to tremble. A fine shivering tremble, hidden deep, but becoming very strong. And for the first time I hear it, as if it too were hidden in a well. A voice calling deep within me, tiny and afraid. And the voice cries, Let me go, let me go, and there is a feeling as if something is trying to get free, a pounding of labyrinthine doors, a rushing down dark corridors and up passages, echoing and screaming. "Regent's in the well!" The men are running, all five of them. I run with them but now I am sick and the trembling is violent. "He must have fallen. Jones, you were here with him. Did you see? Jones? Well, speak up, man." "What's wrong, Jones?" I fall to my knees, the trembling is so bad. "He's sick. Here, help me with him." "The sun." "No, not the sun," I murmur. They stretch me out and the seizures come and go like earthquakes and the deep hidden voice in me cries, This is Jones, this is me, that's not him, that's not him, don't believe him, let me out, let me out! And I look up at the bent figures and my eyelids flicker. They touch my wrists. "His heart is acting up." I close my eyes. The screaming stops. The shivering ceases. I rise, as in a cool well, released. "He's dead," says someone. "Jones is dead." "From what?" "Shock, it looks like." "What kind of shock?" I say, and my name is Sessions and my lips move crisply, and I am the captain of these men. I stand among them and I am looking down at a body which lies cooling on the sands. I clap both hands to my head. "Captain!"
"It's nothing," I say, crying out. "Just a headache. I'll be all right. There. There," I whisper. "It's all right now." "We'd better get out of the sun, sir." "Yes," I say, looking down at Jones. "We should never have come. Mars doesn't want us." We carry the body back to the rocket with us, and a new voice is calling deep in me to be let out. Help, help. Far down in the moist earthen-works of the body. Help, help! in red fathoms, echoing and pleading. The trembling starts much sooner this time. The control is less steady. "Captain, you'd better get in out of the sun, you don't look too well, sir." "Yes," I say. "Help," I say. "What, sir?" "I didn't say anything." "You said 'Help', sir." "Did I, Matthews, did I?" The body is laid out in the shadow of the rocket and the voice screams in the deep underwater catacombs of bone and crimson tide. My hands jerk. My mouth splits and is parched. My nostrils fasten wide. My eyes roll. Help, help, oh help, don't, don't, let me out, don't, don't. "Don't," I say. "What, sir?" "Never mind," I say. "I've got to get free," I say. I clap my hand to my mouth. "How's that, sir?" cries Matthews. "Get inside, all of you, go back to Earth!" I shout. A gfun is in my hand. I lift it. "Don't, sir!" An explosion. Shadows run. The screaming is cut off. There is a whistling sound of falling through space. After ten thousand years, how good to die. How good to feel the sudden coolness, the relaxation. How good to be like a hand within a glove that stretches out and grows wonderfully cold in the hot sand. Oh, the quiet and the loveliness of gathering, darkening death. But one cannot linger on. A crack, a snap. "Good God, he's killed himself!" I cry, and open my eyes wide, and there is the captain lying against the rocket, his skull split by a bullet, his eyes wide, his tongue protruding between his white teeth. Blood runs from his head. 1 bend to him and touch him. "The fool," I say. "Why did he do that?" The men are horrified. They stand over the two dead men and turn their heads to see the Martian sands and the distant well where Regent lies lolling in deep waters. A croaking comes out of their dry lips, a whimpering, a childish protest against this awful dream. The men turn to me. After a long while, one of them says, "That makes you captain, Matthews." "I know," I say slowly. "Only six of us left." "Good God, it happened so quick!" "1 don't want to stay here, let's get out!" The men clamor. I go to them and touch them now, with a confidence which almost sings in me. "Listen," I say, and touch their elbows or their arms or their hands. We all fall silent. We are one. No, no, no, no, no, no! Inner voices crying, deep down and gone into prisons beneath exteriors. We are looking at each other. We are Samuel Matthews and Raymond Moses and William Spaulding and Charles Evans and Forrest Cole and John Sumers, and we say nothing but look upon each other and our white faces and shaking hands. We turn, as one, and look at the well. "Now," we say. No, no, six voices scream, hidden and layered down and stored forever. Our feet walk in the sand and it is as if a great hand with twelve fingers were moving across the hot sea bottom. We bend to the well, looking down. From the cool depths six faces peer back up at us. One by one we bend until our balance is gone, and one by one drop into the mouth and down through cool darkness into the cold waters. The sun sets. The stars wheel upon the night sky. Far out, there is a wink of light. Another rocket coming, leaving red marks on space. I live in a well. I live like smoke in a well. Like vapor in a stone throat. Overhead I see the cold stars of night and morning, and I see the sun. And sometimes I sing old songs of this world when it was young. How can I tell you what I am when even I don't know? I cannot. I am simply waiting.

* * *

The story is framed by absolutely identical beginning and end. Why? The predominant tense of narration — the present indefinite — is rather unusual for creative prose. Why is it employed here? The author is very evasive in his description of the fantastic entity that is both the narrator and the protagonist, but mentions his age, memory, gives a suggestive name to his place of habitation. Find all these and other indications which might help in identifying this strange and alarming... what? who? Pay attention to the numerous and widely varying verbs denoting his strange states and actions, all of which are likened to contrasting phenomena: "I live like smoke", "Like vapour", "I fall like rain", "I hang like a flower pollen", "I turn like a wheel", "I hover like a dust". And above all — the multiple repetition of the verb "wait". Do not overlook the significance of indications at the "headache", "split head" and "touch". What will change if the catastrophe with the astronauts is narrated by the third-person omniscient author: composition? wording? the general atmosphere of unidentified danger? the conceptual information? the implied information? Note the vagueness of the title and the role of the pronoun in it. Can you suggest a contextual synonym for the title?

John Updike (b. Ш2)

SEPARATING

John Updike, an important American writer, the author of almost twenty books of prose — both novels and short story collections, also several plays, books of verse, journalism, children's books — began his literary career in 1958 with a novel "The Poorhouse Fair". As he himself has said, he has tried in his writing to transcribe middleness with all its grits, bumps and anonymities, in its fullness of satisfaction and mystery. "Separating" is a poignant and subtle story of traumatic experiences undergone by adolescents and adults alike. Later included into the series of the "Maples stories", it was first published in 1975, in the "New Yorker". The day was fair. Brilliant. All that June the weather had mocked the Maples' internal misery with solid sunlight — golden shafts and cascades of green in which their conversations had wormed unseeing, their sad murmuring selves the only stain in Nature. Usually by this time of the year they had acquired tans; but when they met their elder daughter's plane on her return from a year in England they were almost as pale as she, though Judith was too dazzled by the sunny opulent jumble of her native land to notice. They did not spoil her homecoming by telling her immediately. Wait a few days, let her recover from jet lag, had been one of their formulations, in that string of gray dialogues — over coffee, over cocktails, over Cointreau[1] — that had shaped the strategy of their dissolution, while the earth performed its annual stunt of renewal unnoticed beyond their closed windows. Richard had thought to leave at Easter; Joan had insisted they wait until the four children were at last assembled, with all exams passed and ceremonies attended, and the bauble of summer to console them. So he had drudged away, in love, in dread, repairing screens, getting the mowers sharpened, rolling and patching their new tennis court. The court, clay, had come through its first winter pitted and windswept bare of redcoat. Years ago the Maples had observed how often, among their friends, divorce followed a dramatic home improvement, as if the marriage were making one last strong effort to live; their own worst crisis had come amid the plaster dust and exposed plumbing of a kitchen renovation. Yet, a summer ago, as canary-yellow bulldozers gaily churned a grassy, daisy-dotted knoll into a muddy plateau, and a crew of pigtailed young men raked and tamped clay into a plane, this transformation did not strike them as ominous, but festive in its impudence; their marriage could rendthe earth for fun. The next spring, waking each day at dawn to a sliding sensation as if the bed were being tipped, Richard found the barren tennis court, its net and tapes still rolled in the barn, an environment congruous with his mood of purposeful desolation, and the crumbling of handfuls of clay into cracks and holes (dogs had frolicked on the court in a thaw; rivulets had volved trenches) an activity suitably elemental and interminable. In his sealed heart he hoped the day would never come. Now it was here. A Friday. Judith was reacclimated; all four children were assembled, before jobs and camps and visits again scattered them. Joan thought they should be told one by one. Richard was for making an announcement at the table. She said, 'T think just making an announcement is a cop-out. They'll start quarrelling and playing to each other instead of focusing. They're each individuals, you know, not just some corporate obstacle to your freedom." "О. К., О. К. I agree." Joan's plan was exact. That evening, they were giving Judith a belated welcome-home dinner, of lobster and champagne. Then, the party over, they, the two of them, who nineteen years before would push her in a baby carriage along Tenth Street to Washington Square, were to walk her out of the house, to the bridge across the salt creek, and tell her, swearing her to secrecy. Then Richard Jr., who was going directly from work to a rock concert in Boston, would be told, either late when he returned on the train or early Saturday morning before he went off to his job; he was seventeen and employed as one of a golfcourse maintenance crew. Then the two younger children, John and Margaret, could, as the morning wore on, be informed. "Mopped up, as it were," Richard said. "Do you have any better plan? That leaves you the rest of Saturday to answer any questions, pack, and make your wonderful departure." "No," he said, meaning he had no better plan, and agreed to hers, though to him it showed an edge of false order, a hidden plea for control, like Joan's long chore lists and financial accountings and, in the days when he first knew her, her too-copious lecture notes. Her plan turned one hurdle for him into four — four knife-sharp walls, each with a sheer blind drop on the other side. All spring he had moved through a world of insides and outsides, of barriers and partitions. He and Joan stood as a thin barrier between the children and the truth. Each moment was a partition, with the past on one side and the future on the other, a future containing this unthinkable now. Beyond four knifelike walls a new life for him waited vaguely. His skull cupped a secret, a white face, a face both frightened and soothing, both strange and known, that he wanted to shield from tears, which he felt all about him, solid as the sunlight. So haunted, he had become obsessed with battening down the house against his absence, replacing screens and sash cords, hinges and latches — a Houdini making things snug before his escape.

The lock. He had still to replace a lock on one of the doors of the screened porch. The task, like most such, proved more difficult than he had imagined. The old lock, aluminium frozen by corrosion, had been deliberately rendered obsolete by manufacturers. Three hardware stores nad nothing that even approximately matched the mortised hole its removal (surprisingly easy) left. Another hole had to be gouged, with bits too small and saws too big, and the old hole fitted with a block of wood — the chisels dull, the saw rusty, his fingers thick with lack of sleep. The sun poured down, beyond the porch, on a world of neglect. The bushes already needed pruning, the windward side of the house was shedding flakes of paint, rain would get in.when he was gone, insects, rot, death. His family, all those he would lose, filtered through the edges of his awareness as he struggled with screw holes, splinters, opaque instructions, minutiae of metal. Judith sat on the porch, a princess returned from exile. She regaled them with stories of fuel shortages, of bomb scares in the Underground, of Pakistani workmen loudly lusting after her as she walked past on her way to dance school. Joan came and went, in and out of the house, calmer than she should have been, praising his struggles with the lock as if this were one more and not the last of their chain of shared chores. The younger of his sons, John, now at fifteen suddenly, unwittingly handsome, for a few minutes held the rickety screen door while his father clumsily hammered and chiselled, each blow a kind of sob in Richard's ears. His younger daughter, having been at a slumber party, slept on the porch hammock through all the noise — heavy and pink, trusting and forsaken. Time, like the sunlight, continued relentlessly, the sunlight slowly slanted. Today was one of the longest days. The lock clicked, worked. He was through. He had a drink; he drank it on the porch, listening to his daughter. "It was so sweet," she was saying, "during the worst of it, how all the butcher's and bakery shops kept open by candlelight. They're all so plucky and cute. From the papers, things sounded so much worse here — people shooting people in gas lines, and everybody freezing." Richard asked her, "Do you still want to live in England forever?" Forever: the concept, now a reality upon him, pressed and scratched at the back of his throat. "No," Judith confessed, turning her oval face to him, its eyes still childishly far apart, but the lips set as over something succulent and satisfactory. "I was anxious to come home. I'm an American." She was a woman. They had raised her; he and Joan had endured together to raise her, alone of the four. The others had still some raising left in them. Yet it was the thought of telling Judith — the image of her, their first baby, walking between them arm in arm to the bridge — that broke him. The partition between his face and the tears broke. Richard sat down to the celebratory meal with the back of his throat aching; the champagne, the lobster seemed phases of sunshine; he saw them and tasted them through tears. He blinked, swallowed, croakily joked about hay fever. The tears would not stop leaking through; they came not through a hole that could be plugged but through a permeable spot in a membrane, steadily, purely, endlessly, fruitfully. They became, his tears, a shield for himself against these others — their faces, the fact of their assembly, a last time as innocents, at a table where he sat the last time as head. Tears dropped from his nose as he broke the lobster's back; salt flavored his champagne as he sipped it; the raw clench at the back of his throat was delicious. He could not help himself. His children tried to ignore his tears. Judith, on his right, lit a cigarette, gazed upward in the direction of her too energetic, too sophisticated exhalation; on her other side, John earnestly bent his face to the extraction of the last morsels — legs, tail segments — from the scarlet corpse. Joan, at the opposite end of the table, glanced at him surprised, her reproach displaced by a quick grimace, of forgiveness, or of salute to his superior gift of strategy. Between them, Margaret, no longer called Bean, thirteen and large for her age, gazed from the other side of his pane of tears as if into a shop-window at something she coveted — at her father, a crystalline heap of splinters and memories. It was not she, however, but John who, in the kitchen, as they cleared the plates and carapaces away, asked Joan the question: "Why is Daddy crying?" Richard heard the question but not the murmured answer. Then he heard Bean cry, "Oh, no-oh!" — the faintly dramatized exclamation of one who had long expected it. John returned to the table carrying a bowl of salad. He nodded tersely at his father and his lips shaped the conspiratorial words "She told". "Told what?" Richard asked aloud, insanely. The boy sat down as if to rebuke his father's distraction with the example of his own good manners and said quietly, "The separation." Joan and Margaret returned; the child, in Richard's twisted vision, seemed diminished in size, and relieved, relieved to have had the boogieman at last proved real. He called out to her — the distances at the table had grown immense — "You knew, you always knew," but the clenching at the back of his throat prevented him from making sense of it. From afar he heard Joan talking levelly, sensibly, reciting whatthey had prepared: it was a separation for the summer, an experiment. She and Daddy both agreed it would be good for them; they needed space and time to think; they liked each other but did not make each other happy enough, somehow. Judith, imitating her mother's factual tone, but in her youth off key, too cool, said, "I think it's silly. You should either live together or get divorced." Richard's crying, like a wave that has crested and crashed, had become tumultuous; but it was overtopped by another tumult, for John, who had been so reserved, now grew larger and larger at the table. Perhaps his younger sister's being credited with knowing set him off. "Why didn't you tell us?" he asked, in a large round voice quite unlike his own. "You should have told us you weren't getting along." Richard was startled into attempting to force words through his tears. "We do get along, that's the trouble, so it doesn't show even to us —" "That we do not love each other" was the rest of the sentence; he couldn't finish it. Joan finished for him, in her style. "And we've always, especially, loved our children." John was not mollified. "What do you care about us?" he boomed. "We're just little things you had." His sister's laughing forced a laugh from him, which he turned hard and parodistic: "Ha ha ha"
Richard and Joan realized simultaneously that the child was drunk, on Judith's homecoming champagne. Feeling bound to keep the center of the stage, John took a cigarette from Judith's pack, poked it into his mouth, let it hang from his lower lip, and squinted like a gangster. "You're not little things we had," Richard called to him. "You're the whole point. But you're grown. Or almost." The boy was lighting matches. Instead of holding them to his cigarette (for they had never seen him smoke; being "good" had been his way of setting himself apart), he held them to his mother's face, closer and closer, for her to blow out. Then he lit the whole folder — a hiss and then a torch, held against his mother's face. Prismed by his tears, the flame filled Richard's vision; he didn't know how it was extinguished. He heard Margaret say, "Oh stop showing off," and saw John, in response, break the cigarette in two and put the halves entirely into his mouth and chew, sticking out his tongue to display the shreds to his sister. Joan talked to him, reasoning — a fountain of reason, unintelligible. "Talked about it for years... our children must help us... Daddy and I both want..." As the boy listened, he carefully wadded a paper napkin into the leaves of his salad, fashioned a ball of paper and lettuce, and popped it into his mouth, looking around the table for the expected laughter. None came. Judith said, "Be mature," and dismissed a plume of smoke. Richard got up from this stifling table and led the boy outside. Though the house was in twilight, the outdoors still brimmed with light, the long waste light of high summer. Both laughing, he supervised John's spitting out the lettuce and paper and tobacco into the pachysandra. He took him by the hand — a square gritty hand, but for its softness a man's. Yet, it held on. They ran together up into the field, past the tennis court. The raw banking left by the bulldozers was dotted with daisies. Past the court and a flat stretch where they used to play family baseball stood a soft green rise glorious in the sun, each weed and species of grass distinct as illumination on parchment. "I'm sorry, so sorry," Richard cried. "You were the only one who ever tried to help me with all the goddam jobs around this place." - Sobbing, safe within his tears and the champagne, John explained, "It's not just the separation, it's the whole crummy year, I hate that school, you can't make any friends, the history teacher's a scud." They sat on the crest of the rise, shaking and warm from their tears but easier in their voices, and Richard tried to focus on the child's sad year — the weekdays long with homework, the weekends spent in his room with model airplanes, while his parents murmured down below, nursing their separation. How selfish, how blind, Richard thought; his eyes felt scoured. He told his son, "We'll think about getting you transferred. Life's too short to be miserable."
They had said what they could, but did not want the moment to heal, and talked on, about the school, about the tennis court, whether it would ever again be as good as it had been that first summer. They walked to inspect it and pressed a few more tapes more firmly down. A little stiltedly, perhaps trying now to make too much of the moment, Richard led the boy to the spot in the field where the view was best, of the metallic blue river, the emerald march, the scattered islands velvet with shadow in the low light, the white bits of beach far away. "See," he said. "It goes on being beautiful. It'll be here tomorrow." "I know," John answered, impatiently. The moment had closed. Back in the house, the others had opened some white wine, the champagne being drunk, and still sat at the table, the three females, gossiping. Where Joan sat had become the head. She turned, showing him a tearless face, and asked, "All right?" "We're fine," he said, resenting it, though relieved, that the party went on without him. In bed she explained, "I couldn't cry I guess because I cried so much all spring. It really wasn't fair. It's your idea, and you made it look as though I was kicking you out." "I'm sorry," he said. "I couldn't stop. I wanted to but couldn't." "You didn't want to. You loved it. You were having your way, making a general announcement." "I love having it over," he admitted. "God, those kids were great. So brave and funny." John, returned to the house, had settled to a model airplane in his room, and kept shouting down to them, "I'm О. K. No sweat." "And the way," Richard went on, cozy in his relief, "they never questioned the reasons we gave. No thought of a third person. Not even Judith." "That was touching," Joan said. He gave her a hug. "You were great too. Very reassuring to everybody. Thank you." Guiltily, he realized he did not feel separated. "You still have Dickie to do," she told him. These words set before him a black mountain in the darkness; its cold breath, its near weight affected his chest. Of the four children his elder son was most like a conscience. Joan did not need to add, "That's one piece of your dirty work I won't do for you." "I know. I'll do it. You go to sleep." Within minutes, her breathing slowed, became oblivious and deep. It was quarter to midnight. Dickie's train from the concert would come in at one-fourteen. Richard set the alarm for one. He had slept atrociously for weeks. But whenever he closed his lids some glimpse of the last hours scorched them — Judith exhaling toward the ceiling in a kind of aversion. Bean's mute staring, the sunstruck growth of the field where he and John had rested. The mountain before him moved closer, moved within him; he was huge, momentous. The ache at the back of his throat felt stale. His wife slept as if slain beside him. When, exasperated by his hot lids, his crowded heart, he rose from bed and dressed, she awoke enough to turn over. He told her then, "If I could undo it all, I would." "Where would you begin?" she asked. There was no place. Giving him courage, she was always giving him courage. He put on shoes without socks in the dark. The children were breathing in their rooms, the downstairs was hollow. In their confusion they had left lights burning. He turned off all but one, the kitchen overhead. The car started. He had hoped it wouldn't. He met only moonlight on the road; it seemed a diaphanous companion, flickering in the leaves along the roadside, haunting his rearview mirror like a pursuer, melting under his headlights. The center of town, not quite deserted, was eerie at this hour. A young cop in uniform kept company with a gang of T-shirted kids on the steps of the bank. Across from the railroad station, several bars kept open. Customers, mostly young, passed in and out of the warm night, savoring summer's novelty. Voices shouted from cars as they passed; an immense conversation seemed in progress. Richard parked and in his weariness put his head on the passenger seat, out of the commotion and wheeling lights. It was as when, in the movies, an assassin grimly carries his mission through the jostle of a carnival — except the movies cannot show the precipitous, palpable slope you cling to within. You cannot climb back down; you can only fall. The synthetic fabric of the car seat, warmed by his cheek, confided to him an ancient, distant scent of vanilla. A train whistle caused him to lift his head. It was on time: he had hoped it would be late. The slender drawgates descended. The bell of approach tingled happily. The great metal body, horizontally fluted, rocked to a stop, and sleepy teen-agers disembarked, his son among them. Dickie did not show surprise that his father was meeting him at this terrible hour. He sauntered to the car with two friends, both taller than he. He said "Hi" to his father and took the passenger's seat with an exhausted promptness that expressed gratitude. The friends got into the back, and Richard was grateful; a few more minutes' postponement would be won by driving them home. He asked, "How was the concert?" "Groovy," one boy said from the back seat. "It bit," the other said. "It was О. K-," Dickie said, moderate by nature, so reasonable that in his childhood the unreason of the world had given hirn headaches, stomach aches, nausea. When the second friend had been dropped off at his dark house, the boy blurted, "Dad, my eyes are killing me with hay fever! I'm out there cutting that mothering grass all day!" "Do we still have those drops?" "They didn't do any good last summer." "They might this." Richard swung a U-turn on the empty street. The drive home took a few minutes. The mountain was here, in his throat. "Richard," he said, and felt the boy, slumped and rubbing his eyes, go tense at his tone, "I didn't come to meet you just to make your life easier. I came because your mother and I have some news for you, and you're a hard man to get ahold of these days. It's sad news." "That's О. K." The reassurance came out soft, but quick, as if released from the tip of a spring. Richard had feared that his tears would return and choke him, but the boy's manliness set an example, and his voice issued forth steady and dry. "It's sad news, but it needn't be tragic news, at least for you. It should have no practical effect on your life, though it's bound to have an emotional effect. You'll work at your job, and go back to school in September. Your mother and I are really proud of what you're making of your life; we don't want that to change at all." "Yeah," the boy said lightly, on the intake of his breath, holding himself up. They turned the corner; the church they went to loomed like a gutted fort. The home of the woman Richard hoped to marry stood across the green. Her bedroom light burned. "Your mother and I," he said, "have decided to separate. For the summer. Nothing legal, no divorce yet. We want to see how it feels. For some years now, we haven't been doing enough for each other, making each other as happy as we should be. Have you sensed that?" "No," the boy said. It was an honest, unemotional answer: true or false in a quiz. Glad for the factual basis, Richard pursued, even garrulously, the details. His apartment across town, his utter accessibility, the split vacation arrangements, the advantages to the children, the added mobility and variety of the summer. Dickie listened, absorbing. "Do the others know?" Richard described how they had been told. "How did they take it?" "The girls pretty calmly. John flipped out; he shouted and ate a cigarette and made a salad out of his napkin and told us how much he hated school." His brother chuckled. "He did?" "Yeah. The school issue was more upsetting for him than Mom and me. He seemed to feel better for having exploded." "He did?" The repetition was the first sign that he was stunned. "Yes. Dickie, I want to tell you something. This last hour, waiting for your train to get in, has been about the worst of my life. I hate this. Hate it. My father would have died before doing it to me." He felt immensely lighter, saying this. He had dumped the mountain on the boy. They were home. Moving swiftly as a shadow, Dickie was out of the car, through the bright kitchen. Richard called after him. "Want a glass of milk or anything?" "No thanks." "Want us to call the course tomorrow and say you're too sick to work?" "No, that's all right." The answer was faint, delivered at the door to his room; Richard listened for the slam of a tantrum. The door closed normally. The sound was sickening. Joan had sunk into that first, deep trough of sleep and was slow to awake. Richard had to repeat, "I told him." "What did he say?" "Nothing much. Could you go say good night to him? Please." She left their room, without putting on a bathrobe. He sluggishly changed back into his pajamas and walked down the hall. Dickie was already in bed, Joan was sitting beside him, and the boy's bedside clock radio was murmuring music. When she stood, an inexplicable light — the moon? — outlined her body through the nightie. Richard sat on the warm place she had indented on the child's narrow mattress. He asked him, "Do you want the radio on like that?" "It always is." "Doesn't it keep you awake? It would me." "No." "Are you sleepy." "Yeah."
"Good. Sure you want to get up and go to work? You've had a big night." "I want to." Away at school this winter he had learned for the first time that you can go short of sleep and live. As an infant he had slept with an immobile, sweating intensity that had alarmed his babysitters. As the children aged, he became the first to go to bed, earlier for a time than his younger brother and sister. Even now, he would go slack in the middle of a television show, his sprawled legs hairy and brown. "О. K. Good boy. Dickie, listen. I love you so much, I never knew how much until now. No matter how this works out, I'll always be with you. Really." Richard bent to kiss an averted face but his son, sinewy, turned and with wet cheeks embraced him and gave him a kiss, on the lips, passionate as a woman's. In his father's ear he moaned one word, the crucial, intelligent word: "Why?" Why. It was a whistle of wind in a crack, a knife thrust, a window thrown open on emptiness. The white face was gone, the darkness was featureless. Richard had forgotten why.

The title sets a definite expectation of the possible development of events. The word "divorce", though, appears in the second paragraph only. Find other indications at the expected action in the first paragraph.
Most of the story is presented from Richard's (the husband's) viewpoint. There are many signals of his subjective attitude to the described —- evaluative words like "this unthinkable now", "Today was one of the longest days", "this stifling table", etc. Find more. What is the function of Richard's repeated hopes that something would go wrong and prevent him from picking his son up in time at the railway station? (Like "The car started. He had hoped it wouldn't" or "It was on time, he had hoped it would be late".) Compare two parallel situations of "father — son" confessions. What impact had the parents' decision on each of the sons? Who of them was more deeply impressed? Find the confirmation of your suggestion in the text. Collect all the hints, allusions and implications of the possible cause of the divorce. Having analysed them, what is your opinion as to why the Maples had decided to separate?

Emil L. Doctorow (b. 1931)

THE WATER WORKS

Emil L. Doctorow became internationally known for his fourth novel "Ragtime" (1975), after which three more books were published—two novels ("Loonlake", 1980, and "The World's Fair", 1985) and a volume containing a novel and six stories — "Lives of the Poets" (1984), one of which follows.

I had followed my man here. Everything he did was mysterious to me, and his predilection for the Water Works this November day was no less so. A square, granite building, with crenelated turrets at the corners, it stood hard by the reservoir on a high plain overlooking the city from the north. There was an abundance of windows through which, however, no light seemed to pass. I saw reflected the sky behind me, a tumultuous thing of billowing shapes of gray tumbling through vaults of pink sunset and with black rain clouds sailing overhead like an armada. His carriage was in the front yard. His horse pawed the stony ground and swung its head about to look at me. The reservoir behind the building, five or six city blocks in area, was cratered in an embankment that went up from the ground at an angle suggesting the pyramidal platform of an ancient civilization, Mayan perhaps. On Sundays in warm weather, people came here from the city and climbed the embankment, calling out to one another as they rose to the sight of a squared expanse of water. This day it was his alone. I heard the violent chop, the insistent slap of the tides against the cobblestone. He stood a ways out in the darkening day; he was studying something upon the water, my black-bearded captain. He held his hat brim. The corner of his long coat took the wind and pressed against his leg. I was sure he knew of my presence. Indeed, for some days I had sensed from his actions a mad presumption of partnership, as if he engaged in his enterprises for our mutual benefit. I climbed the embankment a hundred or so yards to his east and faced into the wind to see the object of his attention. It was a toy boat under sail, rising and falling in heavy swells at alarming heel, disappearing and then reappearing all atumble, water pouring off her sides. We watched her for several minutes. She disappeared and rose and again disappeared. There was a rhythm in this to lull the perception, and some moments passed before I realized, waiting for her rising, that I waited in vain. I was as struck in the chest with the catastrophe as if I had stood on some cliff and watched the sea take a sailing vessel. When I thought to look for my man, he was running across the wide moat of hardened earth that led to the rear gates of the Water Works. I followed. Inside the building I felt the chill of entombed air and I heard the orchestra of water hissing and roaring in its fall. I ran down a stone corridor and found another that offered passage to the left or right. I listened. I heard his steps clearly, a metallic rap of heels echoing from my right. At the end of the dark conduit was a flight of iron stairs rising circularly about a black steel gear shaft. Around I went, rising, and reaching the top story, I found the view opening out from a catwalk over a vast inner pool of roiling water. This hellish churn pounded up a mineral mist, like a fifth element, in whose sustenance there grew on the blackened stone face of the far wall a profusion of moss and slime. Above me was a skylight of translucent glass. By its dim light I discovered him not five feet from where I stood. He was bent over the rail with a rapt expression of the most awful intensity. I thought he would topple, so unaware of himself did he seem in that moment. I found the sight of him in his passion almost unendurable. So again I looked at what he was seeing, and there below, in the yellowing rush of spumed currents and water plunging into its mechanical harness, a small human body was pressed against the machinery of one of the sluicegates, its clothing caught as in some hinge, and the child, for it was a miniature like the ship in the reservoir, went slamming about, first one way and then the next, as if in mute protest, trembling and shaking and animating by its revulsion the death that had already overtaken it. Someone shouted, and after a moment I saw, as if they had separated from the stone, three uniformed men poised on a lower ledge. They were well apprised of the situation. They were heaving on a line strung from a pulley fixed in the far wall, and by this means advancing a towline attached to the wall below my catwalk where I could not see. But now into view he came, another of the water workers, suspended from a sling by the ankles, his hands outstretched as he waited to be aligned so that he could free the flow of this obstruction. And then he had him, raised from the water by his shirt, an urchin, anywhere from four to eight I would have said, drowned blue, and then by the ankles and shoes; and so suspended, both, they swung back across the pouring currents rhythmically, like performing aerialists, till they were out of sight below me. I wondered, perhaps from the practiced quality of their maneuver, if the water workers were not accustomed to such impediments. A few minutes later, in the yard under the darkened sky, I watched my man load the wrapped corpse into his carriage, shut the door smartly, and leap then to the high seat, where he commanded his horse with a great rolling snap of the reins. And off it went, the bright black wheel spokes brought to a blur as the dead child was raced to the city. The rain had begun. I went back in and felt the oppression of a universe of water, inside and out, over the dead and the living. The water workers were dividing some treasure among themselves. They wore the dark-blue'uniform with the high collar of the city employee, but amended with rough sweaters under the tunics and with trousers tucked into their high boots. It was not an enviable employment here. I could imagine in human lungs the same flora that grew on stone. Their faces were bright and flushed, their blood urged to the skin by the chill and their skin brought to a high glaze by the mist. They saw me and made a great show of not caring. They broke out the whiskey for their tin cups. There is such a cherishing of ritual too among firemen and gravediggers.

* * *

The anonymity of the narrator and the protagonist, who are hidden by the all-embracing pronoun and the wide semantics of "the man", is unveiled by certain indications of their identity in the text. The description of the man's actions (see the paragraph close to the end "1 wondered, perhaps...") allows to name his job. What is it? Proceeding from the kind of work the man has been doing, what can you say about the narrator who says "my man" (see the opening sentence and the paragraph indicated above) and on whose presence the strange reaction of the workers is shown in the last three phrases? Who is it that retells the story in the first person singular?

John Cheever (1912—1982)

REUNION

John Cheever is a shrewd observer and critic of American middle class, deeply penetrating into the realities of the disintegration of its manners and morals, seeing beneath the glossy surface of prosperous America where the imminent danger of failure lies like lead in the heart of a successful man, where bright surfaces conceal the tensions, disorders, anxieties and frustrations of life. The story which follows was published in the 1965 collection "The Brigadier and the Golf Widow". It is the narrator's recollection about his formative years, which reflects the complexity of "fathers — sons" relations. Pay attention to Cheever's sad and subtle irony.

The last time I saw my father was in Grand Central Station. I was going from my grandmother's in the Adirondacks to a cottage on the Cape that my mother had rented, and I wrote my father that I would be in New York between trains for an hour and a half, and asked if we could have lunch together. His secretary wrote to say that he would meet me at the information booth at noon, and at twelve o'clock sharp I saw him coming through the crowd. He was a stranger to me — my mother divorced him three years ago and I hadn't been with him since — but as soon as I saw him I felt that he was my father, my flesh and blood, my future and my doom. I knew that when I was grown I would be something like him; I would have to plan my campaigns within his limitations. He was a big, good-looking man, and I was terribly happy to see him again. He struck me on the back and shook my hand. "Hi, Charlie," he said. "Hi, boy. I'd like to take you up to my club, but it's in the Sixties, and if you have to catch an early train I guess we'd better get something to eat around here." He put his arm around me, and I smelled my father the way my mother sniffs a rose. It was a rich compound of whiskey, after-shave lotion, shoe polish, woolens, and the rankness of a mature male. I hoped that someone would see us together. I wished that we could be photographed. I wanted some record of our having been together. We went out of the station and up a side street to a restaurant. It was still early, and the place was empty. The bartender was quarreling with a delivery boy, and there was one very old waiter in a red coat down by the kitchen door. We sat down, and my father hailed the waiter in a loud voice. "Kellner!" he shouted. "Gargon! Cameriere! You!" His boisterousness in the empty restaurant seemed out of place. "Could we have a little service here!" he shouted. "Chop-chop." Then he clapped his hands. This caught the waiter's attention, and he shuffled over to our table. "Were you clapping your hands at me?" he asked. "Calm down, calm down, sommelier," my father said. "It isn't too much to ask of you — if it wouldn't be too much above and beyond the call of duty, we would like a couple of Beefeater Gibsons." "I don't like to be clapped at," the waiter said. "I should have brought my whistle," my father said. "I have a whistle that is audible only to the ears of old waiters. Now, take out your little pad and your little pencil and see if you can getthis straight: two Beefeater Gibsons. Repeat after me: two Beefeater Gibsons." "I think you'd better go somewhere else," the waiter said quietly. "That," said my father, "is one of the most brilliant suggestions I have ever heard. Come on, Charlie, let's get the hell out of here." I followed my father out of that restaurant into another. He was not so boisterous this time. Our drinks came, and he cross-questioned me about the baseball season. He then struck the edge of his empty glass with his knife and began shouting again. "Gargon! Kel~ inert Cameriere! You! Could we trouble you to bring us two more of the same." "How old is the boy?" the waiter asked.
"That," my father said, "is none of your God-damned business." "I'm sorry, sir," the waiter said, "but I won't serve the boy another drink." "Well, I have some news for you," my father said. "I have some very interesting news for you. This doesn't happen to be the only restaurant in New York. They've opened another on the corner. Come on, Charlie." He paid the bill, and I followed him out of that restaurant into another. Here the waiters wore pink jackets like hunting coats, and there was a lot of horse tack on the walls. We sat down, and my father began to shout again. "Master of the hounds! Tallyhoo and all that sort of thing. We'd like a little something in the way of a stirrup cup. Namely, two Bibson Geefeaters." "Two Bibson Geefeaters?" the waiter asked, smiling. "You know damned well what I want," my father said angrily. "1 want two Beefeater Gibsons, and make it snappy. Things have changed in jolly old England. So my friend the duke tells me. Let's see what England can produce in the way of a cocktail." "This isn't England," the waiter said. "Don't argue with me," my father said. "Just do as you're told." "I just thought you might like to know where you are," the waiter said. "If there is one thing I cannot tolerate," my father said, "it is an impudent domestic. Come on, Charlie." The fourth place we went to was Italian. "Buon giorno"[2] my father said. "Per favore, possiamo avere due cocktail americani, forti, forti. Molto gin, poco vermut."[3] "I don't understand Italian," the waiter said. "Oh, come off it," my father said. "You understand Italian, andyou know damned well you do. Vogliamo due cocktail americani. Subito."[4] The waiter left us and spoke with the captain, who came over to our table and said, 'Tm sorry, sir, but this table is reserved." "All right," my father said. "Get us another table." "All the tables are reserved," the captain said. "I get it," my father said. "You don't desire our patronage. Is that it? Well, the hell with you. Vada all'inferno. Let's go, Charlie." "I have to get my train," I said. "I'm sorry, sonny," my father said. "I'm terribly sorry." He put his arm around me and pressed me against him. "I'll walk you back to the station. If there had only been time to go up to my club." "That's all right, Daddy," I said. "I'll get you a paper," he said. "I'll get you a paper to read on the train." Then he went up to a newsstand and said, "Kind sir, will you be good enough to favor me with one of your God-damned, no-good, ten-cent afternoon papers?" The clerk turned away from him and stared at a magazine cover. "Is it asking too much, kind sir," my father said, "is it asking too much for you to sell me one of your disgusting specimens of yellow journalism?" "I have to go, Daddy," I said. "It's late." "Now, just wait a second, sonny," he said. "Just wait a second. I want to get a rise out of this chap." "Goodbye, Daddy," I said, and I went down the stairs and got my train, and that was the last time I saw my father.

* * *

The contrasting moods of the boy frame the story. Find the intermediate signals showing the stages of the change from his exuberant expectation to embarrassed disappointment? Why has Cheever chosen the naive narrator? Is any judgement passed on any of the personages? Explain the father's behaviour. Was it a consciously staged show? Was it his nature? Prove your answer by quotations from the text. Pay attention not to forget the phrase from the first paragraph describing the manner in which he answered his son's request to meet. Does it explain anything about the man? Comment on the actual meaning of the title.

Graham Greene (b. 1904)

I SPY

Graham Green, one of the most significant English realists of the XX century, needs no introduction. Many of his numerous novels and short stories were translated into Russian. He is well known for both his themes and his style. "I Spy" was written in 1930 and later published in the fourth collection of his short prose "Nineteen Stories" in 1947. Again, the story, told in the first person singular, touches upon the "fathers — sons" problem and is entrusted to the naive narrator, who can observe all the facts but cannot join them into a cause-effect sequence.

Charlie Stowe waited until he heard his mother snore before he got out of bed. Even then he moved with caution and tiptoed to the window. The front of the house was irregular, so that it was possible to see a light burning in his mother's room. But now all the windows were dark. A searchlight passed across the sky, lighting the banks of cloud and probing the dark deep spaces between, seeking enemy airships. The wind blew from the sea, and Charlie Stowe could hear behind his mother's snores the beating of the waves. A draught through the cracks in the window-frame stirred his nightshirt. Charlie Stowe was frightened. But the thought of the tobacconist's shop which his father kept down a dozen wooden stairs drew him on. He was twelve years old, and already boys at the County School mocked him because he had never smoked a cigarette. The packets were piled twelve deep below, Gold Flake and Players, De Reszke, Abdulla, Woodbines, and the little shop lay under a thin haze of stale smoke which would completely disguise his crime. That it was a crime to steal some of his father's stock Charlie Stowe had no doubt, but he did not love his father; his father was unreal to him, a wraith, pale, thin, and indefinite, who noticed him only spasmodically and left even punishment to his mother. For his mother he felt a passionate demonstrative love; her large boisterous presence and her noisy charity filled the world for him: from her speech he judged her the friend of everyone, from the rector's wife to the "dear Queen", except the "Huns", the monsters who lurked in Zeppelins in the clouds. But his father's affection and dislike were as indefinite as his movements. To-night he had said he would be in Norwich, and yet you never knew. Charlie Stowe had no sense of safety as he crept down the wooden stairs. When they creaked he clenched his fingers on the collar of his nightshirt. At the bottom of the stairs he came out quite suddenly into the little shop. It was too dark to see his way, and he did not dare touch the switch. For half a minute he sat in despair on the bottom step with his chin cupped in his hands. Then the regular movement of the searchlight was reflected through an upper window and the boy had time to fix in memory the pile of cigarettes, the counter, and the small hole under it. The footsteps of a policeman on the pavement made him grab the first packet to his hand and dive for the hole. A light shone along the floor and a hand tried the door, then the footsteps passed on, and Charlie cowered in the darkness. At last he got his courage back by telling himself in his curiously adult way that if he were caught now there was nothing to be done about it, and he might as well have his smoke. He put a cigarette in his mouth and then remembered that he had no matches. For a while he dared not move. Three times the searchlight lit the shop, while he muttered taunts and encouragements. "May as well be hung for a sheep", "Cowardy, cowardy custard", grown-up and childish exhortations oddly mixed. But as he moved he heard footfalls in the street, the sound of several men walking rapidly. Charlie Stowe was old enough to feel surprise that anybody was about. The footsteps came nearer, stopped; a key was turned in the shop door, a voice said: "Let him in," and then he heard his father, "If you wouldn't mind being quiet, gentlemen. I don't want to wake up the family." There was a note unfamiliar to Charlie in the undecided voice. A torch flashed and the electric globe burst into blue light. The boy held his breath; he wondered whether his father would hear his heart beating, and he clutched his nightshirt tightly and prayed, "O God, don't let me be caught." Through a crack in the counter he could see his father where he stood, one hand held to his high stiff collar, between two men in bowler hats and belted mackintoshes. They were strangers. "Have a cigarette," his father said in a voice dry as biscuit. One of the men shook his head. "It wouldn't do, not when we are on duty. Thank you all the same." He spoke gently, but without kindness; Charlie Stowe thought his father must be ill. "Mind if I put a few in my pocket?" Mr. Stowe asked, and when the man nodded he lifted a pile of Gold Flake and Players from a shelf and caressed the packets with the tips of his fingers. "Well," he said, "there's nothing to be done about it, and I may as well have my smokes." For a moment Charlie Stowe feared discovery, his father stared round the shop so thoroughly; he might have been seeing it for the first time. "It's a good little business," he said, "for those that like it. The wife will sell out, I suppose. Else the neighbours'!! be wrecking it. Well, you want to be off. A stitch in time. I'll get my coat." "One of us'll come with you, if you don't mind," said the stranger gently. "You needn't trouble. It's on the peg here. There, I'm all ready." The other man said in an embarrassed way: " Don't you want to speak to your wife?" The thin voice was decided, "Not me. Never do to-day what you can put off till to-morrow. She'll have her chance later, won't she?" "Yes, yes," one of the strangers said and he became very cheerful and encouraging. "Don't you worry too much. While there's life..." and suddenly his father tried to laugh. When the door had closed Charlie Stowe tiptoed upstairs and got into bed. He wondered why his father had left the house again so late at night and who the strangers were. Surprise and awe kept him for a little while awake. It was as if a familiar photograph had stepped from the frame to reproach him with neglect. He remembered how his father had held tight to his collar and fortified himself with proverbs, and he thought for the first time that, while his mother was boisterous and kindly, his father was very like himself, doing things in the dark which frightened him. It would have pleased him to go down to his father and tell him that he loved him, but he could hear through the window the quick steps going away. He was alone in the house with his mother, and he fell asleep.

* * *

What historical event is the background of the story? Find indications in the text. Why, do you think, the narration was entrusted to a naive narrator, the child of twelve? Comment on the opportunities such a choice gives to the author. Try to answer Charlie Stowe's final questions — "why his father had left the house again so late at night and who the strangers were". Do not offer random guesses. Recollect the way the men were dressed, how they talked, what they said. What was Charlie's father? Collect all information about him, scattered in the text. Think about the significance of his unreality to his son ("his father was unreal to him..." — in the middle of the second paragraph; and "indefinite as his movements..." — in the end of the same paragraph. Explain the father's remark "Else the neighbours*!! be wrecking it" — why will the neighbours be so violent that his wife will have to sell the business out? Did his wife know anything about his true identity?

Sherwood Anderson (1876—1941)

MOTHER

Throughout his changeable literary career Sherwood Anderson remained true to his castigation of the standardization of life and man, brought by the rapid development of capitalism. Most of his characters are baffled, puzzled, groping for some way to find their indentity. There is no wonder that such words as "vague", "insecure", "defeated", "confused" and the like can be found in most of his works. "Mother", a story from Anderson's best known collection "Winesburg, Ohio", is a good example of his standpoint and style. It also deals with "parents — sons" issues. Though the title puts the mother into the centre of the narration, the father and the son are also fully characterized. When reading the story pay attention to Anderson's manner of characterization.

Elizabeth Willard, the mother of George Willard, was tall and gaunt and her face was marked with smallpox scars. Although she was but forty-five, some obscure disease had taken the fire out of her figure. Listlessly she went about the disorderly old hotel looking at the faded wall-paper and the ragged carpets and, when she was able to be about, doing the work of a chambermaid among beds soiled by the slumbers of fat traveling men. Her husband, Tom Willard, a slender, graceful man with square shoulders, a quick military step, and a black mustache trained to turn sharply up at the ends, tried to put the wife out of his mind. The presence of the t^ll ghostly figure, moving slowly through the halls, he took as a reproach to himself. When he thought of her he grew angry and swore. The hotel was unprofitable and forever on the edge of failure and he wished himself out of it. He thought of the old house and the woman who lived there with him as things defeated and done for. The hotel in which he had begun life so hopefully was now a mere ghost of what a hotel should be. As he went spruce and business-like through the streets of Winesburg, he sometimes stopped and turned quickly about as though fearing that the spirit of the hotel and of the woman would follow him even into the streets. "Damn such a life, damn it!" he sputtered aimlessly. Tom Willard had a passion for village politics and for years had been the leading Democrat in a strongly Republican community. Some day, he told himself, the tide of things political will turn in my favor and the years of ineffectual service count big in the bestowal of rewards. He dreamed of going to Congress and even of becoming governor. Once when a younger member of the party arose at a political conference and began to boast of his faithful service, Tom Willard grew white with fury. "Shut up, you," he roared, glaring about.. "What do you know of service? What are you but a boy? Look at what I've done here! I was a Democrat here in Winesburg when it was a crime to be a Democrat. In the old days they fairly hunted us with guns." Between Elizabeth and her one son George there was a deep unexpressed bond of sympathy, based on a girlhood dream that had long ago died. In the son's presence she was timid and reserved, but sometimes while he hurried about town intent upon his duties as a reporter, she went into his room and closing the door knelt by a little desk, made of a kitchen table, that sat near a window. In the room by the desk she went through a ceremony that was half a prayer, half a demand, addressed to the skies. In the boyish figure she yearned to see something half forgotten that had once been a part of herself re-created. The prayer concerned that. "Even though I die, I will in some way keep defeat from you," she cried, and so deep was her determination that her whole body shook. Her eyes glowed and she clenched her fists. "If I am dead and see him becoming a meaningless drab figure like myself, I will come back," she declared. "I ask God now to give me that privilege. 1 demand it. I will pay for it. God may beat me with his fists. I will take any blow that may befall if but this my boy be allowed to express something for us both." Pausing uncertainly, the woman stared about the boy's room. "And do not let him become smart and successful either," she added vaguely. The communion between George Willard and his mother was outwardly a formal thing without meaning. When she was ill and sat by the window in her room he sometimes went in the evening to make her a visit. They sat by a window that looked over the roof of a small frame building into Main Street. By turning their heads they could see through another window, along an alleyway that ran behind the Main Street stores and into the back door of Abner Groff's bakery. Sometimes as they sat thus a picture of village life presented itself to them. At the back door of his shop appeared Abner Groff with a stick or an empty milk bottle in his hand. For a long time there was a feud between the baker and a grey cat that belonged to Sylvester West, the druggist. The boy and his mother saw the cat creep into the door of the bakery and presently emerge filled with flour dust. Sometimes he was so angry that, although the cat had disappeared, he hurled sticks, bits of broken glass, filled with flour dust. Sometimes he was so angry that, although the cat had disappeared, he hurled sticks, bits of broken glass, and even some of the tools of his trade about. Once he broke a window at the back of Sinning's Hardware Store. In the alley the grey cat crouched behind barrels filled with torn paper and broken bottles above which flew a black swarm of flies. Once when she was alone, and after watching a prolonged and ineffectual outburst on the part of the baker, Elizabeth Willard put her head down on her long white hands and wept. After that she did not look along the alleyway any more, but tried to forget the contest between the bearded man and the cat. It seemed like a rehearsal of her own life, terrible in its vividness. In the evening when the son sat in the room with his mother, the silence made them both feel awkward. Darkness came on and the evening train came in at the station. In the street below feet tramped "up and down upon a board sidewalk. In the station yard, after the evening train had gone, there was a heavy silence. Perhaps Skinner Leason, the express agent, moved a truck the length of the station platform. Over on Main Street sounded a man's voice, laughing. The door of the express office banged. George Willard

arose and crossing the room fumbled for the door-knob. Sometimes he knocked against a chair, making it scrape along the floor. By the window sat the sick woman, perfectly still, listless. Her long hands, white and bloodless, could be seen drooping over the ends of the arms of the chair. "I think you had better be out among the boys. You are too much indoors," she said, striving to relieve the embarrassment of the departure. "I thought I would take a walk," replied George Willard, who felt awkward and confused. One evening in July, when the transient guests who made the New Willard House their temporary home had become scarce, and the hallways, lighted only by kerosene lamps turned low, were plunged in gloom, Elizabeth Willard had an adventure. She had been ill in bed for several days and her son had not come to visit her. She was alarmed. The feeble blaze of life that remained in her body was blown into a flame by her anxiety and she crept out of bed, dressed and hurried along the hallway toward her son's room, shaking with exaggerated fears. As she went along she steadied herself with her hand, slipped along the papered walls of the hall and breathed with difficulty. The air whistled through her teeth. As she hurried forward she thought how foolish she was. "He is concerned with boyish affairs," she told herself. "Perhaps he had now begun to walk about in the evening with girls." Elizabeth Willard had a dread of being seen by guests in the hotel that had once belonged to her father and the ownership of which still stood recorded in her name in the country courthouse. The hotel was continually losing patronage because of its shabbiness and she thought of herself as also shabby. Her own room was in an obscure corner and when she felt able to work she voluntarily worked among the beds, preferring the labor that could be done when the guests were abroad seeking trade among the merchants of Winesburg. By the door of her son's room the mother knelt upon the floor and listened for some sound from within. When she heard the boy moving about and talking in low tones a smile came to her lips. George Willard had a habit of talking aloud to himself and to hear him doing so had always given his mother a peculiar pleasure. The habit in him, she felt, strengthened the secret bond that existed between them. A thousand times she had whispered to herself of the matter. "He is groping about, trying to find himself," she thought. "He is not a dull clod, all words and smartness. Within him there is a secret something that is striving to grow. It is the thing I let be killed in myself." In the darkness in the hallway by the door the sick woman arose and started again toward her own room. She was afraid that the door would open and the boy come upon her. When she had reached a safe distance and was about to turn a corner into a second hallway she stopped and bracing herself with her hands waited, thinking to shake off a trembling fit of weakness that had come upon her.

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The presence of the boy in the room had made her happy. In her bed, during the long hours alone, the little fears that had visited her had become giants. Now they were all gone. "When I get back to my room I shall sleep/' she murmured gratefully. But Elizabeth Willard was not to return to her bed and to sleep. As she stood trembling in the darkness the door o{ her son's room opened and the boy's father, Tom Willard, stepped out. In the light that streamed out at the door he stood with the knob in his hand and talked. What he said infuriated the woman. Tom Willard was ambitious for his son. He had always thought of himself as a successful man, although nothing he had ever done had turned out successfully. However, when he was out of sight of the New Willard House and had no fear of coming upon his wife, he swaggered and began to dramatize himself as one of the chief men of the town. He wanted his son to succeed. He it was who had secured for the boy the position on the Winesburg Eagle. Now, with a ring of earnestness in his voice, he was advising concerning some course of conduct. "I tell you what, George, you've got to wake up," he said sharply. "Will Henderson has spoken to me three times concerning the matter. He says you go along for hours not hearing when you are spoken to and acting like a gawky girl. What ails you?" Tom Willard laughed good-naturedly. "Well, I guess you'll get over it," he said. "I told Will that. You're not a fool and you're not a woman. You're Tom Willard's son and you'll wake up. I'm not afraid. What you say clears things up. If being a newspaper man had put the notion of becoming a writer into your mind that's all right. Only I guess you'll have to wake up to do that too, eh?" Tom Willard went briskly along the hallway and down a flight of stairs to the office. The woman in the darkness could hear him laughing and talking with a guest who was striving to wear away a dull evening by dozing in a chair by the office door. She returned to the door of her son's room. The weakness had passed from her body as by a miracle and she stepped boldly along. A thousand ideas raced through her head. When she heard the scraping of a chair and the sound of a pen scratching upon paper, she again turned and went back along the hallway to her own room. A definite determination had come into the mind of the defeated wife of the Winesburg hotel keeper. The determination was the result of long years of quiet and rather ineffectial thinking. "Now," she told herself, "I will act. There is something threatening my boy and I will ward it off." The fact that the conversation between Tom Willard and his son had been rather quiet and natural, as though an understanding existed between them, maddened her. Although for years she had hated her husband, her hatred had always before been a quite impersonal thing. He had been merely a part of something else that she hated. Now, and by the few words at the door, he had become the thing personified. In the darkness of her own room she clenched her fists and glared about. Going to a cloth bag that hung on a nail by the wall she took out a long pair of sewing scissors and hold them in her hand like a dagger. "I will stab him," she said aloud. "He has chosen to be the voice of evil and I will kill him. When I have killed him something will snap within myself and I will die also. It will be a release for all of us." In her girlhood and before her marriage with Tom Willard, Elizabeth had borne a somewhat shaky reputation in Winesburg. For years she had been what is called "stage-struck" and had paraded through the streets with traveling men guests at her father's hotel, wearing loud clothes and urging them to tell her of life in the cities out of which they had come. Once she startled the town by putting on men's clothes and riding a bicycle down Main Street. In her own mind the tall dark girl had been in those days much confused. A great restlessnes was in her and it expressed itself in two ways. First there was an uneasy desire for change, for some big definite movement to her life. It was this feeling that had turned her mind to the stage. She dreamed of joining some company and wandering over the world, seeing always new faces and giving something out of herself with the thought, but when she tried to talk of the matter to the members of the theatrical companies that came to Winesburg and stopped at her father's hotel, she got nowhere. They did not seem to know what she meant, or if she did get something of her passion expressed, they only laughed. "It's not like that," they said. "It's as dull and uninteresting as this here. Nothing comes of it." With the traveling men when she walked about with them, and later with Tom Willard, it was quite different. Always they seemed to understand and sympathize with her. On the side streets of the village, in the darkness under the trees, they took hold of her hand and she thought that something unexpressed in herself came forth and became a part of an unexpressed something in them. And then there was the second expression of her restlessness. When that came she felt for a time released and happy. She did not blame the men who walked with her and later she did not blame Tom Willard. It was always the same, beginning with kisses and ending, after strange wild emotions, with peace and then sobbing repentance. When she sobbed she put her hand upon the face of the man and had always the same thought. Even though he were large and bearded she thought he had become suddenly a little boy. She wondered why he did not sob also. In her room, tucked away in a corner of the old Willard House, Elizabeth Willard lighted a lamp and put it on a dressing table that stood by the door. A thought had come into her mind and she went to a closet and brought out a small square box and set it on the table. The box contained material for make-up and had been left with other things by a theatrical company that had once been stranded in Winesburg. Elizabeth Willard had decided that she would be beautiful. Her hair was still black and there was a great mass of it braided and coiled about her head. The scene that was to take place in the office below began to grow in her mind. No ghostly worn-out figure should confront Tom Willard, but something quite unexpected and startling. Tall and with dusky cheeks and hair that fell in a mass from her shoulders, a figure should come striding down the stairway before the startled loungers in the hotel office. The figure would be silent — it would be swift and terrible. As a tigress whose cub had been threatened would she appear, coming out of the shadows, stealing noiselessly along and holding the long wicked scissors in her hand. With a little broken sob in her throat, Elizabeth Willard blew out the light that stood upon the table and stood weak and trembling in the darkness. The strength that had been as a miracle in her body left and she half reeled across the floor, clutching at the back of the chair in which she had spent so many long days staring out over the tin roofs into the main street of Winesburg. In the hallway there was the sound of footsteps and George Willard came in at the door. Sitting in a chair beside his mother he began to talk. "I'm going to get out of here," he said. "I don't know where I shall go or what I shall do but I am going away." The woman in the chair waited and trembled. An impulse came to her. "I suppose you had better wake up," she said. "You think that? You will go to the city and make money, eh? It will be better for you, you think, to be a business man, to be brisk and smart and alive?" She waited and trembled. The son shook his head. "I suppose I can't make you understand, but oh, I wish I could," he said earnestly. "I can't even talk to father about it. I don't try. There isn't any use. I don't know what I shall do. I just want to go away and look at people and think." Silence fell upon the room where the boy and woman sat together. Again, as on the other evenings, they were embarrassed. After a time the boy tried again to talk. 'T suppose it won't be for a year or two but I've been thinking about it," he said, rising and going toward the door. "Something father said makes it sure that I shall have to go away." He fumbled with the door knob. In the room the silence became unbearable to the woman. She wanted to cry out with joy because of the words that had come from the lips of her son, but the expression of joy had become impossible to her. "I think you had better go out among the boys. You are too much indoors," she said. "I thought I would go for a little walk," replied the son stepping awkwardly out of the room and closing the door.

* * *

Elizabeth Willard is a typical figure among Anderson's gallery of failures. Her passion for her son's success is understandable. Why, then, does she pray "...do not let him become smart and successful"? What of her past is given in a flashback? Has it in any way influenced her present? Has it any connection with her decision to let the boy leave the town? Tom Willard is quite pleased with himself. In what way does the author transfer to the readers his negative opinion of the man? Both mother and father urge their son "to wake up" (father) and "go out among the boys" (mother). In what way does their attitude to the boy characterize themselves? After whose nature and inclinations has George Willard taken more — his mother's or his father's? Find in the text substantiation of your opinion.

James Joyce (1882—1941)

THE BOARDING HOUSE

One of the most significant English writers of the XX century, J. Joyce is widely known for the "stream-of-consciousness" technique, employed by him in his major novel "Ulysses" (1922). His literary debut occurred in 1914, with the publication of the first and only collection of short stories "The Dubliners". The one which follows, like the previous story, is based on the bond between mother and child and takes place at a small hotel. But the difference of the characters portrayed by the author results in a different conflict, sets a different pace to the story and is, consequently, aimed at evoking different thoughts and emotions of the reader. Reading the story do not miss the author's message.

Mrs Mooney was a butcher's daughter. She was a woman who was quite able to keep things to herself: a determined woman. She had married her father's foreman and opened a butcher's shop near Spring Gardens. But as soon as his father-in-law was dead Mr. Mooney began to go to the devil. He drank, plundered the till, ran headlong into debt. It was no use making him take the pledge: he was sure to break out again a few days after. By fighting his wife in the presence of customers and by buying bad meat he ruined his business. One night he went for his wife with the cleaver and she had to sleep in a neighbour's house. After that they lived apart. She went to the priest and got a separation from him with care of the children. She would give him neither money nor food nor house-room; and so he was obliged to enlist himself as a sheriff's man. He was a shabby stooped little drunkard with a white face and a white moustache and white eyebrows, penciled above his little eyes, which were pink-veined and raw; and all day long he sat in the bailiff's room, waiting to be put on a job. Mrs Mooney, who had taken what remained of her money out of the butcher business and set up a boarding house in Hardwicke Street, was a big imposing woman. Her house had a floating population made up of tourists from Liverpool and the Isle of Man and, occasionally, artistes from the music halls. Its resident population was made up of clerks from the city. She governed the house cunningly and firmly, knew when to give credit, when to be stern and when to let things pass. All the resident young men spoke of her as The Madam. Mrs Mooney's young men paid fifteen shillings a week for board and lodgings (beer or stout at dinner excluded). They shared in common tastes and occupations and for this reason they were very chummy with one another. They discussed with one another the chances of favourites and outsiders. Jack Mooney, the Madam's son, who was clerk to a commission agent in Fleet Street, had the reputation of being a hard case. He was fond of using soldiers' obscenties: usually he came home in the small hours. When he met his friends he had always a good one to tell them and he was always sure to be on to a good thing — that is to say, a likely horse or a likely artiste. He was also handy with the mits and sang comic songs. On Sunday nights there would often be a reunion in Mrs Mooney's front drawing-room. The music-hall artistes would oblige; and Sheridan played waltzes and polkas and vamped accompaniments. Polly Mooney, the Madam's daughter, would also sing. She sang:

"I'm a... naughty girl. You needn't sham: You know 1 am."

Polly was a slim girl of. nineteen; she had light soft hair and a small full mouth. Her eyes, which were grey with a shade of green through them, had a habit of glancing upwards when she spoke with anyone, which made her look like a little perverse madonna. Mrs Mooney had first sent her daughter to be a typist in a corn-factor's office but, as a disreputable sheriff's man used to come every other day to the office, asking to be allowed to say a word to his daughter, she had taken her daughter home again and set her to do housework. As Polly was very lively the intention was to give her the run of the young men. Besides, young men like to feel that there is a young woman not very far away. Polly, of course, flirted with the young men but Mrs Mooney, who was a shrewd judge, knew that the young men were only passing the time away: none of them meant business. Things went on so for a long time and Mrs Mooney began to think of sending Polly back to typewriting when she noticed that something was going on between Polly and one of the young men. She watched the pair and kept her own counsel. Polly knew that she was being watched, but still her mother's persistent silence could not be misunderstood. There had been no open complicity between mother and daughter, no open understanding but, though people in the house began to talk of the affair, still Mrs Mooney did not intervene. Polly began to grow a little strange in her manner and the young man was evidently perturbed. At last, when she judged it to be the right moment, Mrs Mooney intervened. She dealt with moral problems as a cleaver deals with meat: and in this case she had made up her mind. It was a bright Sunday morning of early summer, promising heat, but with a fresh breeze blowing. All the.windows of the boarding house were open and the lace curtains ballooned gently towards the street beneath the raised sashes. The belfry of George's Church sent out constant peals and worshippers, singly or in groups, traversed the little circus before the church, revealing their purpose by their self-contained demeanour no less than by the little volumes in their gloved hands. Breakfast was over in the boarding house and the table of the breakfast-room was covered with plates on which lay yellow streaks of eggs with morsels of bacon-fat and baconrind. Mrs Mooney sat in the straw arm-chair and watched the servant Mary remove the breakfast things. She made Mary collect the crusts and pieces of broken bread to help to make Tuesday's bread-pudding. When the table was cleared, the broken bread collected, the sugar and butter safe under lock and key, she began to reconstruct the interview which she had had the night before with Polly. Things were as she had suspected: she had been frank in her questions and Polly had been frank in her answers. Both had been somewhat awkward, of course. She had been made awkward by her not wishing to receive the news in too cavalier a fashion or to seem to have connived and Polly had been made awkward not merely because allusions of that kind always made her awkward but also because she did not wish it to be thought that in her wise innocence she had divined the intention behind her mother's tolerance. Mrs Mooney glanced instinctively at the little gilt clock on the mantelpiece as soon as she had become aware through her revery that the bells of George's Church had stopped ringing. It was seventeen minutes past eleven: she would have lots of time to have the matter out with Mr Doran and then catch short twelve at Marlborough Street. She was sure she would win. To begin with she had all the weight of social opinion on her side: she was an outraged mother. She had allowed him to live beneath her roof, assuming that he was a man of honour, and he had simply abused her hospitality. He was thirty-four of thirty-five years of age, so that youth could not be pleaded as his excuse; nor could ignorance be his excuse since he was a man who had seen something of the world. He had simply taken advantage of Polly's youth and inexperience: that was evident. The question was: What reparation would he make? There must be reparation made in such case. It is all very well for the man: he can go his ways as if nothing had happened, having had his moment of pleasure, but the girl has to bear the brunt. Some mothers would be content to patch up such an affair for a sum of money; she had known cases of it. But she would not do so. For her only one reparation could make up for the loss of her daughter's honour: marriage. She counted all her cards again before sending Mary up to Mr Doran's room to say that she wished to speak with him. She felt sure she would win. He was a serious young man, not rakish or loud-voiced like the others. If it had been Mr Sheridan or Mr Meade or Bantam Lyons her task would have been much harder. She did not think he would face publicity. All the lodgers in the house knew something of the affair; details had been invented by some. Besides, he had been employed for thirteen years in a great Catholic wine-merchanfs office and publicity would mean for him, perhaps, the loss of his job. Whereas if he agreed all might be well. She knew he had a good screw for one thing and she suspected he had a bit of stuff put by. Nearly the half-hour! She stood up and surveyed herself in the pier-glass. The decisive expression of her great florid face satisfied her and she thought of some mothers she knew who could not get their daughters off their hands. Mr Doran was very anxious indeed this Sunday morning. He had made two attempts to shave but his hand had been so unsteady that he had been obliged to desist. Three days' reddish beard fringed his jaws and every two or three minutes a mist gathered on his glasses so that he had to take them off and polish them with his pocket-handkerchief. The recollection of his confession of the night before was a cause of acute pain to him; the priest had drawn out every ridiculous detail of the affair and in the end had so magnified his sin that he was almost thankful at being afforded a loophole of reparation. The harm was done. What could he do now but marry her or run away? He could not brazen it out The affair would be sure to be talked of and his employer would be certain to hear of it. Dublin is such a small city: everyone knows everyone else's business. He felt his heart leap warmly in his throat as he heard in his excited imagination old Mr Leonard calling out in his rasping voice: "Send Mr Doran here, please." All his long years of service gone for nothing! All his industry and diligence thrown away! As a young man he had sown his wild oats, of course; he had boasted of his free-thinking and denied the existence of God to his companions in public-houses. But that was all passed and done with... nearly. He still bought a copy of Reynold's Newspaper every week but he attended to his religious duties and for nine-tenths of the year lived a regular life. He had money enough to settle down on; it was not that. But the family would look down on her. First of all there was her disreputable father and then her mother's boarding house was beginning to get a certain fame. He had a notion that he was being had. He could imagine his friends talking of the affair and laughing. She was a little vulgar; sometimes she said "I seen" and "If I had've known". But what would grammar matter if he really loved her? He could not make up his mind whether to like her or despise her for what she had done. Of course he had done it too. His instinct urged him to remain free, not to marry. Once you are married you are done for, it said. While he was sitting helplessly on the side of the bed in shirt and trousers she tapped lightly at his door and entered. She told him all, that she had made a clean breast of it to her mother and that her mother would speak with him that morning. She cried and threw her arms round his neck, saying: "O Bob! Bob! What am I to do? What am I to do at all?" She would put an end to herself, she said. He comforted her feebly, telling her not to cry, that it would be all right, never fear. He felt against his shirt the agitation of her bosom. It was not altogether his fault that it had happened. He remembered well, with the curious patient memory of the celibate, the first casual caresses her dress, her breath, her fingers had given him. Then late one night as he was undressing for bed she had tapped at his door, timidly. She wanted to relight her candle at his for hers had been blown out by a gust. It was her bath night. She wore a loose open combing jacket of printed flannel. Her white instep shone in the opening of her furry slippers and the blood glowed warmly behind her perfumed skin. From her hands and wrists too as she lit and steadied her candle a faint perfume arose. On nights when he came in very late it was she who warmed up his dinner. He scarcely knew what he was eating feeling her beside him alone, at night, in the sleeping house. And her thoughtfulness! If the night was anyway cold or wet or windy there was sure to be a little tumbler of punch ready for him. Perhaps they could be happy together. ... They used to go upstairs together on tiptoe, each with a candle, and on the third landing exchange reluctant good-nights. They used to kiss. He remembered well her eyes, the touch of her hand and his delirium. ... But delirium passes. He echoed her phrase, applying it to himself: "What am I to do?" The instinct of the celibate warned him to hold back. But the sin was there; even his sense of honour told him that reparation must be made for such a sin. While he was sitting with her on the side of the bed Mary came to the door and said that the missus wanted to see him in the parlour. He stood up to put on his coat and waistcoat, more helpless than ever. When he was dressed he went over to her to comfort her. It would be all right, never fear. He left her crying on the bed and moaning softly: "О my God!" Going down the stairs his glasses became so dimmed with moisture that he had to take them off and polish them. He longed to ascend through the roof and fly away to another country where he would never hear again of his trouble, and yet a force pushed him downstairs step by step. The implacable faces of his employer and of the Madam stared upon his discomfiture. On the last flight of stairs he passed Jack Mooney who was coming up from the pantry nursing two bottles of Bass. They saluted coldly; and the lover's eyes rested for a second or two on a thick bulldog face and a pair of thick short arms. When he reached the foot of the staircase he glanced up and saw Jack regarding him from the door of the return-room. Suddenly he remembered the night when one of the music-hall artistes, a little blond Londoner, had made a rather free allusion to Polly. The reunion had been almost broken up on account of Jack's violence. Everyone tried to quiet him. The music-hall artiste, a little paler than usual, kept smiling and saying that there was no harm meant: but Jack kept shouting at him that if any fellow tried that sort of a game on with his sister he'd bloody well put his teeth down his throat, so he would.

*

Polly sat for a little time on the side of the bed, crying. Then she dried her eyes and went over to the looking-glass. She dipped the end of the towel in the water-jug and refreshed her eyes with the cool water. She looked at herself in profile and readjusted a hairpin above her ear. Then she went back to the bed again and sat at the foot. She regarded the pillows for a long time and the sight of them awakened in her mind secret, amiable memories. She rested the nape of her neck against the cool iron bed-rail and fell into a rev-ery. There was no longer any perturbation visible on her face. She waited on patiently, almost cheerfully, without alarm, her memories gradually giving place to hopes and visions of the future. Her hopes and visions were so intricate that she no longer saw the white pillows on which her gaze was fixed or remembered that she was waiting for anything. At last she heard her mother calling. She started to her feet and ran to the banisters. "Polly! Polly!" "Yes, mamma?" "Come down, dear. Mr Doran wants to speak to you." Then she remembered what she had been waiting for.

* * *

Mrs Mooney had carefully set a trap to catch a husband for her daughter. The author never uses any such word. Find in the text words and phrases that will allow you to piece together the picture of her intentions and behaviour. J. Joyce several times denies Miss Mooney's open involvement into her mother's scheming, but nonetheless the reader develops a strong conviction that she is an accomplice in the scheme. How is this impression created? Was Miss Mooney in love? Or Mr Doran? Will they get married eventually? Proceeding from their characters and the nature of their relations what kind of marriage is it going to be? Technically, it is Mrs Mooney who is described most elaborately. Her past and present life, her thoughts and emotions are elucidated.
Mr Doran is also given considerable attention of the author. Miss Mooney comes third after them. Do you agree that this configuration reflects their importance for the realization of the author's concept? Or would you rather put another person, not Mrs Mooney, into the most significant position to convey the writer's message to us, his readers? Why? Explain your answer proceeding from the text.

Muriel Spark (b. 1918)

YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN THE MESS

Muriel Spark started writing prose when she was well past forty. In the almost 30 years that have passed since she has published a dozen novels, several collections of short stories, numerous plays, critical studies, verse, etc. Her satire is directed against the mediocre, the conventional, the common. The story that follows well illustrates her concerns and her style which is famous for its closeness to the sound of live speech. The story, told in the first person singular, produces the impression of an authentic monologue. Watch for the words, phrases, punctuation and other means that create this effect.

I am now more than glad that I did not pass into the Grammar School five years ago, although it was a disappointment at the time. I was always good at English, but not so good at the other subjects! I am glad that I went to the Secondary Modern School, because it was only constructed the year before. Therefore, it was much more hygienic than the Grammar School. The Secondary Modern was light and airy, and the walls were painted with a bright, washable, gloss. One day, I was sent over to the Grammar School with a note for one of the teachers, and you should have seen the mess! The corridors were dusty, and I saw dust on the window ledges, which were chipped. I saw into one of the classrooms. It was very untidy in there. I am also glad that 1 did not go to the Grammar School, because of what it does to one's habits. This may appear to be a strange remark, at first sight. It is a good thing to have an education behind you, and I do not believe in ignorance, but I have had certain experiences, with educated people, since going out into the world. I am seventeen years of age, and left school two years ago last month. I had my A certificate for typing, so got my first job, as a junior, in a solicitor's office. Mum was pleased at this, and Dad said it was a first-class start, as it was an old established firm. I must say that when I went for the interview I was surprised at the windows, and the stairs up to the offices were also far from clean. There was a little waiting room, where some of the elements were missing from the gas fire, and the carpet on the floor was worn. However, Mr Heygate's office, into which I was shown for the interview, was better. The furniture was old, but it was polished and there was a good carpet, I will say that. The glass of the bookcase was very clean. I was to start on the Monday, so along I went. They took me to the general office, where there were two senior shorthand-typists, and a clerk, Mr Gresham, who was far from smart in appearance. You should have seen the mess!! There was no floor covering whatsoever, and so dusty everywhere. There were shelves all round the room, with old box files on them. The box files were falling to pieces and all the old papers inside them were crumpled. The worst shock of all was the tea cups. It was my duty to make tea, mornings and afternoons. Miss Bewlay showed me where everything was kept. It was kept in an old orange box, and the cups were all cracked. There were not enough saucers to go round, etc. I will not go into the facilities, but they were also far from hygienic. After three days, I told Mum, and she was upset, most of all about the cracked cups. We never keep a cracked cup, but throw it out, because those cracks can harbour germs. So Mum gave me my own cup to take to the office. Then at the end of the week, when I got my salary, Mr Heygate . said, 'Well, Lorna, what are you going to do with your first pay?' I did not like him saying this, and I nearly passed a comment, but I said, 'I don't know.' He said, 'What do you do in the evenings, Lorna? Do you watch Telly?' I did take this as an insult, because we call it TV, and his remark made me out to be uneducated. I just stood, and did not answer, and he looked surprised. Next day, Saturday, I told Mum and Dad about the facilities, and we decided I should not go back to that job. Also, the desks in the general office were rickety. Dad was indignant, because Mr Heygate's concern was flourishing, and he had letters after his name. Everyone admires our flat, because Mum keeps it spotless, and Dad keeps doing things to it. He has done it up all over, and got permission from the Council to re-modernise the kitchen. I well recall the Health Visitor remarking to Mum, 'You could eat off your floor, Mrs Merrifield.' It is true that you could eat your lunch off Mum's floors, and any hour of the day or night you will find every corner spick and span. Next, I was sent by the agency to a Publisher's for an interview, because of being good at English. One look was enough!! My next interview was a success, and I am still at Low's Chemical Co. It is a modern block, with a quarter of an hour rest period, morning and afternoon. Mr Marwood is very smart in appearance. He is well spoken, although he has not got a university education behind him. There is special lighting over the desks, and the typewriters are latest models. So I am happy at Low's. But I have met other people, of an educated type, in the past year, and it has opened my eyes. It so happened that I had to go to the Doctor's house, to fetch a prescription for my young brother, Trevor, when the epidemic was on. I rang the bell, and Mrs Darby came to the door. She was small, with fair hair, but too long, and a green maternity dress. But she was very nice to me. I had to wait in their living-room, and you should have seen the state it was in! There were broken toys on the carpet, and the ash trays were full up. There were contemporary pictures on the walls, but the furniture was not contemporary, but old-fashioned, with covers which were past standing up to another wash, I should say. To cut a long story short, Dr Darby and Mrs Darby have always been very kind to me, and they meant everything for the best. Dr Darby is also short and fair, and they have three children, a girl and a boy, and now a baby boy. When I went that day for the prescription, Dr Darby said to me, 'You look pale, Lorna. It's the London atmosphere. Come on a picnic with us, in the car, on Saturday.' After that I went with the Darbys more and more. I liked them, but I did not like the mess, and it was a surprise. But I also kept in with them for the opportunity of meeting people, and Mum and Dad were pleased that I had made nice friends. So I did not say anything about the cracked lino, and the paintwork all chipped. The children's clothes were very shabby for a doctor, and she changed them out of their school clothes when they came home from school, into those worn-out garments. Mum always kept us spotless to go out to play, and I do not like to say it, but those Darby children frequently looked like the Leary family, which the Council evicted from our block, as they were far from houseproud. One day, when I was there, Mavis (as I called Mrs Darby by then) put her head out of the window, and shouted to the boy, 'John, stop peeing over the cabbages at once. Pee on the lawn.' I did not know which way to look. Mum would never say a word like that from the window, and I know for a fact that Trevor would never pass water outside, not even bathing in the sea. I went there usually at the weekends, but sometimes on weekdays, after supper. They had an idea to make a match for me with a chemist's assistant, whom they had taken up too. He was an orphan, and I do not say there was anything wrong with that. But he was not accustomed to those little extras that I was. He was a good-looking boy, I will say that. So I went once to a dance, and twice to the films with him. To look at, he was quite clean in appearance. But there was only hot water at the weekend at his place, and he said that a bath once a week was sufficient. Jim (as I called Dr Darby by then) said it was sufficient also, and surprised me. He did not have much money, and I do not hold that against him. But there was no hurry for me, and I could wait for a man in a better position, so that I would not miss those little extras. So he started going out with a girl from the coffee bar, and did not come to the Darbys very much then. There were plenty of boys at the office, but I will say this for the Darbys, they had lots of friends coming and going, and they had interesting conversation, although sometimes it gave me a surprise, and I did not know where to look. And sometimes they had people who were very down and out, although there is no need to be. But most of the guests were different, so it made a comparison with the

boys at the office, who were not so educated in their conversation. Now it was near the time for Mavis to have her baby, and I was to come in at the weekend, to keep an eye on the children, while the help had her day off. Mavis did not go away to have her baby, but would have it at home, in their double bed, as they did not have twin beds, although he was a Doctor. A girl I knew, in our block, was engaged, but was let down, and even she had her baby in the labour ward. I was sure the bedroom was not hygienic for having a baby, but I did not mention it. One day, after the baby boy came along, they took me in the car to the country, to see Jim's mother. The baby was put in a carry-cot at the back of the car. He began to cry, and without a word of a lie, Jim said to him over his shoulder, *Oh, shut your gob, you little bastard.' I did not know what to do, and Mavis was smoking a cigarette. Dad would not dream of saying such a thing to Trevor or I. When we arrived at Jim's mother's place, Jim said, 'It's a fourteenth-century cottage, Lorna.' I could well believe it. It was very cracked and old, and it made one wonder how Jim could let his old mother live in this tumble-down cottage, as he was so good to everyone else. So Mavis knocked at the door, and the old lady came. There was not much anyone could do to the inside. Mavis said, 'Isn't it charming, Lorna?' If that was a joke, it was going too far. I said to the old Mrs Darby, 'Are you going to be rehoused?' but she did not understand this, and I explained how you have to apply to the Council, and keep at them. But it was funny that the Council had not done something already, when they go round condemning. Then old Mrs Darby said, 'My dear, I shall be rehoused in the Grave.' I did not know where to look. There was a carpet hanging on the wall, which I think was there to hide a damp spot. She had a good TV set, I will say that. But some of the walls were bare brick, and the facilities were outside, through the garden. The furniture was far from new. One Saturday afternoon, as I happened to go to the Darbys, they were just going off to a film, and they took me too. It was the Curzon, and afterwards we went to a flat in Curzon Street. It was a very clean block, I will say that, and there were good carpets at the entrance. The couple there had contemporary furniture, and they also spoke about music. It was a nice place, but there was no Welfare Centre to the flats, where people could go for social intercourse, advice and guidance. But they were well-spoken and I met Willy Morley, who was an artist. Willy sat beside me, and we had a drink. He was young, dark with a dark shirt, so one could not see right away if he was clean. Soon after, this, Jim said to me, 'Willy wants to paint you, Lorna. But you'd better ask your Mum.' Mum said it was all right if he was a friend of the Darbys. I can honestly say that Willy's place was the most unhygienic place I have seen in my life. He said I had an unusual type of beauty, which he must capture. This was when we came back to his place no from the restaurant. The light was very dim, but I could see the bed had not been made, and the sheets were far from clean. He said he must paint me, but I told Mavis I did not like to go back there. 'Don't you like Willy?' she asked. I could not deny that I liked Willy, in a way. There was something about him, I will say that. Mavis said, T hope he hasn't been making a pass at you, Lorna.' I said he had not done so, which was almost true, because he did not attempt to go to the full extent. It was always unhygienic when I went to Willy's place, and I told him so once, but he said, 'Lorna, you are a joy.' He had a nice way, and he took me out in his car, which was a good one, but dirty inside, like his place. Jim said one day, 'He has pots of money, Lorna,' and Mavis said, 'You might make a man of him, as he is keen on you.' They always said Willy came from a good family. But I saw that one could not do anything with him. He would not change his shirt very often, or get clothes, but he went around like a tramp, lending people money, as I have seen with my own eyes. His place was in a terrible mess, with the empty bottles, and laundry in the corner. He gave me several gifts over the period, which I took, as he would have only given them away, but he never tried to go to the full extent. He never painted my portrait, as he was painting fruit on a table all that time, and they said his pictures were marvellous, and thought Willy and I were getting married. One night, when I went home, I was upset as usual, after Willy's place. Mum and Dad had gone to bed, and I looked round our kitchen which is done in primrose and white. Then I went into the living-room, where Dad has done one wall in a patterned paper, deep rose and white, and the other walls pale rose with wood-work. The suite is new, and Mum keeps everything beautiful. So it came to me, all of a sudden, what a fool I was, going with Willy. I agree to equality, but as to me marrying Willy, as I said to Mavis, when I recall his place, and the good carpet gone greasy, not to mention the paint oozing out of the tubes, I think it would break my heart to sink so low.

* * *

* The title of the story establishes the tone of informal amicable chat. Find in the text those elements that sustain this effect. The author never introduces her own voice. All the events are presented from one and the same viewpoint — that of the narrator. Making no explicit appearance the author may convey her judgements and estimations only implicitly. Who is condemned by the author? Why did you come to your conclusion? What means are used to ensure that the author's message reaches the reader? Select the words and phrases which are numerously repeated by the narrator. What is the function of the repetition? Don't you think there is a distinct parallel between Lorna and the famous Pussycat from a nursery rhyme, who visiting the Queen noticed only a mouse under her chair?
How will you formulate Lorna's attitude towards those who surround her? What background do they make for her character? Comment on the title in the context of the whole story.

Francis Scott Fitzgerald (1896—1940)

THE SMILERS

A brilliant young man, witty, easy-going and extravagant in the beginning of his outstanding literary career and life, seriously ill, "cracked-up", in his own words, and insecure in his final years, Scott Fitzgerald was labelled the "bard of the jazz age". With irony, sad compassion, keen understanding he reveals, in his novels and stories, the modes and manners of the changing world in the 20s and 30s, with all its excitements and frustrations. "The Smilers" is an early story, first published under the title "A Smile for Sylvo".

We all have that exasperated moment! There are times when you almost tell the harmless old lady next door what you really think of her face — that it ought to be on a night-nurse in a house for the blind; when you'd like to ask the man you've been waiting ten minutes for if he isn't all overheated from racing the postman down the block; when you nearly say to the waiter that if they deducted a cent from the bill for every degree the soup was below tepid the hotel would owe you half a dollar; when — and this is the infallible earmark of true exasperation — a smile affects you as an oil-baron's undershirt affects a cow's husband. But the moment passes. Scars may remain on your dog or your collar or your telephone receiver, but your soul has slid gently back into its place between the lower edge of your heart and the upper edge of your stomach, and all is at peace. But the imp who turns on the shower-bath of exasperation apparently made it so hot one time in Sylvester Stockton's early youth that he never dared dash in and turn it off — in consequence no first old man in an amateur production of a Victorian comedy was ever more pricked and prodded by the daily phenomena of life than was Sylvester at thirty. Accusing eyes behind spectacles — suggestion of a stiff neck — this will have to do for his description, since he is not the hero of this story. He is the plot. He is the factor that makes it one story instead of three stories. He makes remarks at the beginning and end. The late afternoon sun was loitering pleasantly along Fifth Avenue when Sylvester, who had just come out of that hideous public library where he had been consulting some ghastly book, told his impossible chauffeur (it is true that I am following his movements, through his own spectacles) that he wouldn't need his stupid, incompetent services any longer. Swinging his cane (which he found too short) in his left hand (which he should have cut off long ago since it was constantly offending him), he began walking slowly down the Avenue. When Sylvester walked at night he frequently glanced behind and on both sides to see if anyone was sneaking up on him. This had become a constant mannerism. For this reason he was unable to pretend that he didn't see Betty Tearle sitting in her machine in front of Tiffany's. Back in his early twenties he had been in love with Betty Tearle. But he had depressed her. He had misanthropically dissected every meal, motor trip and musical comedy that they attended together, and on the few occasions when she had tried to be especially nice to him — from a mother's point of view he had been rather desirable— he had suspected hidden motives and fallen into a deeper gloom than ever. Then one day she told him that she would go mad if he ever again parked his pessimism in her sun-parlour. And ever since then she had seemed to be smiling — uselessly, insultingly, charmingly smiling. 'Hello, Sylvo,' she called. 'Why — how do, Betty.' He wished she wouldn't call him Sylvo — it sounded like a — like a darn monkey or something. 'How goes it?' she asked cheerfully. 'Not very well, I suppose.' 'Oh, yes,' he answered stiffly, T manage.' 'Taking in the happy crowd?' 'Heavens, yes.' He looked around him. 'Betty, why are they happy? What are they smiling at? What do they find to smile at?' Betty flashed him a glance of radiant amusement. 'The women may smile because they have pretty teeth, Sylvo.' 'You smile,' continued Sylvester cynically, 'because you're comfortably married and have two children. You imagine you're happy, so you suppose everyone else is.' Betty nodded. 'You may have it, Sylvo — ' The chauffeur glanced around and she nodded at him. 'Good-bye.' Sylvo watched with a pang of envy which turned suddenly to exasperation as he saw she had turned and smiled at him once more. Then her car was out of sight in the traffic, and with a voluminous sigh he galvanized his cane into life and continued his stroll. At the next corner he stopped in at a cigar store and there he ran into Waldron Crosby. Back in the days when Sylvester had been a prize pigeon in the eyes-of debutantes he had also been a game partridge from the point of view of promoters. Crosby, then a young bond salesman, had given him much safe and sane advice and saved him many dollars. Sylvester liked Crosby as much as he could like anyone. Most people did like Crosby. 'Hello, you old bag of nerves,' cried Crosby genially, 'come and have a big gloom-dispelling Corona.' Sylvester regarded the cases anxiously. He knew he wasn't going to like what he bought. 'Still out at Larchmont, Waldron?' he asked. 'Right-o.' 'How's your wife?' 'Never better.' 'Well,' said Sylvester suspiciously, 'you brokers always look as if you're smiling at something up your sleeve. It must be a hilarious profession.' Crosby considered. 'Well,' he admitted, 'it varies — like the moon and the price of soft drinks — but it has its moments.' 'Waldron,' said Sylvester earnestly, 'you're a friend of mine — please do me the favour of not smiling when I leave you. It seems like a — like a mockery.' A broad grin suffused Crosby's countenance. 'Why, you crabbed old son-of-a-gun!' But Sylvester with an irate grunt had turned on his heel and disappeared. He strolled on. The sun finished its promenade and began calling in the few stray beams it had left among the westward streets. The Avenue darkened with black bees from the department stores; the traffic swelled in to an interlaced jam; the buses were packed four deep like platforms above the thick crowd; but Sylvester, to whom the daily shift and change of the city was a matter only of sordid monotony, walked on, taking only quick sideward glances through his frowning spectacles. He reached his hotel and was elevated to his four-room suite on the twelfth floor. 'If I dine downstairs,' he thought, 'the orchestra will play either "Smile, Smile, Smile" or "The Smiles That You Gave To Me". But then if I go to the Club I'll meet all the cheerful people I know, and if I go somewhere else where there's no music, I won't get anything fit to eat.' He decided to have dinner in his rooms. An hour later, after disparaging some broth, a squab and a salad, he tossed fifty cents to the room-waiter, and then held up his hand warningly. 'Just oblige me by not smiling when you say thanks.' He was too late. The waiter had grinned. 'Now, will you please tell me,' asked Sylvester peevishly, 'what on earth you have to smile about?' The waiter considered. Not being a reader of the magazines he was not sure what was characteristic of waiters, yet he supposed something characteristic was expected of him. 'Well, mister,' he answered, glancing at the ceiling with all the ingeniousness he could muster in his narrow, sallow countenance, 'it's just something my face does when it sees four bits comin'.' Sylvester waved him away. 'Waiters are happy because they've never had anything better,' he thought. They haven't enough imagination to want anything.' At nine o'clock from sheer boredom he sought his expressionless bed.

II

As Sylvester left the cigar store, Waldron Crosby followed him out, and turning off Fifth Avenue down a cross street entered a brokerage office. A plump man with nervous hands rose and hailed him. 'Hello, Waldron.' 'Hello, Potter — I just dropped in to hear the worst.' The plump man frowned. 'We've just got the news,' he said. 'Well, what is it? Another drop?' 'Closed at seventy-eight. Sorry, old boy.' 'Whew!' •Hit pretty hard?' 'Cleaned out!' The plump man shook his head, indicating that life was too much for him, and turned away. Crosby sat there for a moment without moving. Then he rose, walked into Potter's private office and picked up the phone. 'Gi'me Larchmont 838.' In a moment he had his connection. 'Mrs Crosby there?' A man's voice answered him. 'Yes; this you, Crosby? This is Doctor Shipman.' 'Dr Shipman?' Crosby's voice showed sudden anxiety. 'Yes — I've been trying to reach you all afternoon. The situation's changed and we expect the child tonight.' Tonight?' 'Yes. Everything's OK. But you'd better come right out.' T will. Good-bye.' He hung up the receiver and started out the door, but paused as an idea struck him. He returned, and this time called a Manhattan number. 'Hello, Donny, this is Crosby.' 'Hello, there, old boy. You just caught me; I was going—' 'Say, Donny, I want a job right away, quick.' 'For whom?' Tor me.' 'Why, what's the —'
'Never mind. Tell you later. Got one for me?' 'Why, Waldron, there's not a blessed thing here except a clerkship. Perhaps next —' 'What salary goes with the clerkship?' 'Forty — say forty-five a week.' 'I've got you. I start tomorrow.' 'All right. But say, old man—' 'Sorry, Donny, but I've got to run.' Crosby hurried from the brokerage office with a wave and a smile at Potter. In the street he took out a handful of small change and after surveying it critically hailed a taxi. 'Grand Central — quick!' he told the driver.

Ill

At six o'clock Betty Tearle signed the letter, put it into an envelope and wrote her husband's name upon it. She went into his room and after a moment's hesitation set a black cushion on the bed and laid the white letter on it so that it could not fail to attract his attention when he came in. Then with a quick glance around the room she walked into the hall and upstairs to the nursery. 'Clare,' she called softly. 'Oh, Mummy!' Clare left her doll's house and scurried to her mother. 'Where's Billy, Clare?' Billy appeared eagerly from under the bed. 'Got anything for me?' he inquired politely. His mother's laugh ended in a little catch and she caught both her children to her and kissed them passionately. She found that she was crying quietly and their flushed little faces seemed cool against the sudden fever racing through her blood. 'Take care of Clare — always — Billy darling —' Billy was puzzled and rather awed. 'You're crying,' he accused gravely. 'I know — I know I am —' Clare gave a few tentative sniffles, hesitated, and then clung to her mother in a storm of weeping. 'I d-don't feel good, Mummy — I don't feel good.' Betty soothed her quietly. 'We won't cry any more, Clare dear — either of us.' But as she rose to leave the room her glance at Billy bore a mute appeal, too vain, she knew, to be registered on his childish consciousness. Half an hour later as she carried her travelling bag to a taxicab at the door she raised her hand to her face in mute admission that a veil served no longer to hide her from the world. 'But I've chosen,' she thought dully. As the car turned the corner she wept again, resisting a temptation to give up and go back. 'Oh, my God!' she whispered. 'What am I doing? What have I done? What have I done?' When Jerry, the sallow, narrow-faced waiter, left Sylvester's rooms he reported to the head-waiter, and then'checked out for the day. He took the subway south and alighting at Williams Street walked a few blocks and entered a billiard parlour. An hour later he emerged with a cigarette drooping from his bloodless lips, and stood on the sidewalk as if hesitating before making a decision. He set off eastward. As he reached a certain corner his gait suddenly increased and then quite as suddenly slackened. He seemed to want to pass by, yet some magnetic attraction was apparently exerted on him, for with a sudden face-about he turned in at the door of a cheap restaurant — half cabaret, half chop-suey parlour — where a miscellaneous assortment gathered nightly. Jerry found his way to a table situated in the darkest and most obscure corner. Seating himself with a contempt for his surroundings that betokened familiarity rather than superiority he ordered a glass of claret. The evening had begun. A fat woman at the piano was expelling the last jauntiness from a hackneyed foxtrot, and a lean, dispirited male was assisting her with lean, dispirited notes from a violin. The attention of the patrons was directed at a dancer wearing soiled stockings and done largely in peroxide and rouge who was about to step upon a small platform, meanwhile exchanging pleasantries with a fat, eager person at the table beside her who was trying to capture her hand. Over in the corner Jerry watched the two by the platform and, as he gazed, the ceiling seemed to fade out, the walls growing into tall buildings and the platform becoming the top of a Fifth Avenue bus on a breezy spring night three years ago. The fat, eager person disappeared, the short skirt of the dancer rolled down and the rouge faded from her cheeks — and he was beside her again in an old delirious ride, with the lights blinking kindly at them from the tall buildings beside and the voices of the street merging into a pleasant somnolent murmur around them. 'Jerry,' said the girl on top of the bus, 'I've said that when you were gettin' seventy-five I'd take a chance with you. But Jerry, I can't wait for ever.' Jerry watched several street numbers sail by before he answered. 'I don't know what's the matter,' he said helplessly, 'they won't raise me. If I can locate a new job —' 'You better hurry, Jerry,' said the girl; 'I'm gettin' sick of just livin' alone. If I can't get married I got a couple of chances to work in a cabaret — get on the stage maybe.' 'You keep out of that,' said Jerry quickly. There ain't no need, if you just wait about another month or two.' T can't wait for ever, Jerry,' repeated the girl. Tin tired of stayin' poor alone.' Tt won't be so long,' said Jerry clenching his free hand, 'I can make it somewhere, if you'll just wait.' But the bus was fading out and the ceiling was taking shape and the murmur of the April streets was fading into the rasping whine of the violin — for that was all three years before and now he was sitting here. The girl glanced up on the platform and exchanged a metallic impersonal smile with the dispirited violinist, and Jerry shrank farther back in his corner watching her with burning intensity. 'Your hands belong to anybody that wants them now,' he cried silently and bitterly. T wasn't man enough to keep you out of that — not man enough, by God, by God!' But the girl by the door still toyed with the fat man's clutching fingers as she waited for her time to dance.

V

Sylvester Stockton tossed restlessly upon his bed. The room, big as it was, smothered him, and a breeze drifting in and bearing with it a rift of moon seemed laden only with the cares of the world he would have to face next day. 'They don't understand,' he thought. 'They don't see, as I do, the underlying misery of the whole damn thing. They're hollow optimists. They smile because they think they're always to be happy.' 'Oh, well,' he mused drowsily, Til run up to Rye tomorrow and endure more smiles and more heat. That's all life is — just smiles and heat, smiles and heat.'

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What effect is achieved by the ample use of pronouns "we", "your", "you" in the opening sentence and the next two paragraphs? Why does the author want to incorporate the reader into the text? What is the message of the story? What idea does the author convey, arranging the story on the principle of contrast? Comment on the way Sc. Fitzgerald expresses his opinion of the protagonist — is it through the negative attributes? Irony? In what way Sylvo's appraisals of other people characterize himself? Can we say that the compositional level of the text structure participates in the formation of the author's idea? Henry Lawson (1867—1922)

THE GHOSTLY DOOR Told by One of Dave's Mates

Henry Lawson, one of the most celebrated Australian authors, began writing rather late in life, having tried many jobs and occupations. His experience of a farmhand, clerk, lumberman, itinerant worker, teacher, house-painter served both as the background and foundation of his prose, verse, drama and publicism. Note the conversational form of the story, the wry humour of the situation, the author's manner of characterization.

Dave and I were tramping on a lonely bush track in New Zealand, making for a sawmill where we expected to get work, and we were caught in one of those three days' gales, with rain and hail in it and cold enough to cut off a man's legs. Camping out was not to be thought of, so we just tramped on in silence, with stinging pain coming between our shoulder-blades — from cold, weariness, and the weight of our swags — and our boots, full of water, going splosh, splosh, splosh along the track. We were settled to it — to drag on like wet, weary, muddy working bullocks till we came to somewhere — when just before darkness settled down, we saw the loom of a humpy of some sort on the slope of a tussock hill, back from the road, and we made for it, without holding a consultation. It was a two-roomed hut built of waste timber from a sawmill, and was either a deserted settler's home or a hut attached to an abandoned sawmill round there somewhere. The windows were boarded up. We dumped our swags under the little veranda and banged at the door, to make sure; then Dave pulled a couple of boards off a window and looked in: there was light enough to see that the place was empty. Dave pulled off some more boards, put his arm in through a broken pane, clicked the catch back, and then pushed up the window and got in. I handed in the swags to him. The room was very draughty; the wind came in through the broken window and the cracks between the slabs, so we tried the partitioned-off room — the bedroom — and that was better. It had been lined with chaff-bags, and there were two stretchers left by some timber-getters or other bush contractors who'd camped there last; and there was a box and a couple of three-legged stools. We carried the remnant of the wood-heap inside, made a fire, and put the billy on. We unrolled our swags and spread the blankets on the stretchers; and then we stripped and hung our clothes about the fire to dry. There was plenty in our tucker-bags, so we had a good feed. I hadn't shaved for days, and Dave had a coarse red beard with a twist in it like an ill-used fibre brush — a beard that got redder the longer it grew; he had a hooked nose, and his hair stood straight up (I never saw a man so easygoing about the expression and so scared about the head) , and he was very tall, with long, thin, hairy legs. We must have looked a weird pair as we sat there, naked, on the low three-legged stools, with the billy and the ticker on the box between us, and ate our bread and meat with clasp-knives. 'I shouldn't wonder,' says Dave, 'but this is the whare where the murder was that we heard about along the road. I suppose if anyone was to come along now and look in he'd get scared.' Then after a while he looked down at the flooring-boards close to my feet, and scratched his ear, and said, That looks very much like a blood-stain under your stool, doesn't it, Jim?' I shifted my feet and presently moved the stool farther away from the fire — it was too hot. I wouldn't have liked to camp there by myself, but I don't think Dave would have minded — he'd knocked round too much in the Australian bush to mind anything much, or to be surprised at anything; besides, he was more than half-murdered once by a man who said afterwards that he'd mistook him for someone else; he must have been a very short-sighted murderer. Presently we put tobacco, matches, and bits of candle we had, on the two stools by the heads of our bunks, turned in, and filled up and smoked comfortably, dropping in a lazy word now and again about nothing in particular. Once I happened to look across at Dave, and saw him sitting up a bit and watching the door. The door opened very slowly, wide, and a black cat walked in, looked first at me, then at Dave, and walked out again; and the door closed behind it. Dave scratched his ear. 'That's rum,' he said. 'I could have sworn I fastened that door. They must have left the cat behind.' it looks like it,' I said. 'Neither of us has been on the booze lately.' He got out of bed and up on his long hairy spindle-shanks. The door had the ordinary, common black oblong lock with a brass knob. Dave tried the latch and found it fast; he turned the knob, opened the door, and called, 'Puss — puss — puss!' but the cat wouldn't come. He shut the door, tried the knob to see that the catch had caught, and got into bed again. He'd scarcely settled down when the door opened slowly, the black cat walked in, stared hard at Dave, and suddenly turned and darted out as the door closed smartly. I looked at Dave and he looked at me — hard; then he scratched the back of his head. I never saw a man look so puzzled in the face and scared about the head. He got out of bed very cautiously, took a stick of firewood in his hand, sneaked up to the door, and snatched it open. There was no one there. Dave took the candle and went into the next room, but couldn't see the cat. He came back and sat down by the fire and meowed, and presently the cat answered him and came in frorrvsomewhere — she'd been outside the window, I suppose; he kept on meowing and she sidled up and rubbed against his hairy shin. Dave could generally bring a cat that way. He had a weakness for cats. I'd seen him kick a dog, and hammer a horse — brutality, I thought — but I never saw him hurt a cat or let anyone else do it. Dave was good to cats: if a cat had a family where Dave was round, he'd see her all right and comfortable, and only drown a fair surplus. He said once to me, i can understand a man kicking a dog, or hammering a horse when it plays up, but I can't understand a man hurting a cat.' He gave this cat something to eat. Then he went and held the light close to the lock of the door, but could see nothing wrong with it. He found a key on the mantelshelf and locked the door. He got into bed again, and the cat jumped up and curled down at the foot and started her old drum going, like shot in a sieve. Dave bent down and patted her, to tell her he'd meant no harm when he stretched out his legs, and then he settled down again. We had some books of the 'Deadwood Dick' school. Dave was reading The Grisly Ghost of the Haunted Gulch, and I had The Dismembered Hand, or The Disembowelled Corpse, or some such names. They were first-class preparation for a ghost. I was reading away, and getting drowsy, when I noticed a movement and saw Dave's frightened head rising, with the terrified shadow of it on the wall. He was staring at the door, over his book, with both eyes. And that door was opening again — slowly and Dave had locked it! I never felt anything so creepy: the foot of my bunk was behind the door, and I drew up my feet as it came open; it opened wide, and stood so. We waited, for five minutes it seemed, hearing each other breathe, watching for the door to close; then Dave got out very gingerly, and up on one end, and went to the door like a cat on wet bricks. 'You shot the bolt outside the catch,' I said, as he caught hold of the door — like one grabs a crawfish. Til swear 1 didn't; said Dave. But he'd already turned the key a couple of times, so he couldn't be sure. He shut and locked the door again. 'Now, get out and see for yourself,' he said. 1 got out, and tried the door a couple of times and found it all right. Then we both tried, and agreed that it was locked. I got back into bed, and Dave was about half in when a thought struck him. He got the heaviest piece of firewood and stood it against the door. 'What are you doing that for?' I asked. if there's a broken-down burglar camped round here, and trying any of his funny business, we'll hear him if he tries to come in while we're asleep,' says Dave. Then he got back into bed. We composed our nerves with the Haunted Gulch and The Disembowelled Corpse, and after a while I heard Dave snore, and was just dropping off when the stick fell from the door against my big toe and then to the ground with tremendous clatter. I snatched up my feet and sat up with a jerk, and so did Dave — the cat went over the partition. The door opened, only a little way this time, paused and shut suddenly. Dave got out, grabbed a stick, skipped to the door, and clutched at the knob as if it were a nettle, and the door wouldn't come! — it was fast and locked! Then Dave's face began to look as frightened as his hair. He lit his candle at the fire, and asked me to come with him; he unlocked the door and we went into the other room, Dave shading his candle very carefully and feeling his way slow with his feet. The room was empty; we tried the outer door and found it locked. Tt muster gone by the winder,' whispered Dave. I noticed that he said 'it.' instead of 'he'. I saw that he himself was shook up, and it only needed that to scare me bad. We went back to the bedroom, had a drink of cold tea, and lit our pipes. Then Dave took the waterproof cover off his bunk, spread it on the floor, laid his blankets on top of it, his spare clothes, etc., on top of them, and started to roll up his swag. 'What are you going to do, Dave!' I asked. I'm going to take the track,' says Dave, 'and camp somewhere farther on. You can stay here, if you like, and come on in the morning.' I started to roll up my swag at once. We dressed and fastened on the tucker-bags, took up the billies, and got outside without making any noise. We held our back pretty hollow till we got down on to the road. 'That comes of camping in a deserted house,' said Dave, when we were safe on the track. No Australian bushman cares to camp in an abandoned homestead, or even near it — probably because a deserted home looks ghostlier in the Australian bush than anywhere else in the world. It was blowing hard, but not raining so much. We went on along the track for a couple of miles and camped on the sheltered side of a round tussock hill, in a hole where there had been a landship. We used all our candle-ends to get a fire alight, but once we got it started we knocked the wet bark off manuka sticks and logs and piled them on, and soon had a roaring fire. When the ground got a little drier we rigged a bit of a shelter from the showers with some sticks and the oil-cloth swag-covers; then we made some coffee and got through the night pretty comfortably. In the morning Dave said, Tm going back to that house.' 'What for?' I said. 'I'm going to find out what's the matter with that crimson door. If I don't I'll never be able to sleep easy within a mile of a door so long as I live.' So we went back. It was still blowing. The thing was simple enough by daylight — after a little watching and experimenting. The house was built of odds and ends and badly fitted. It 'gave' in the wind in almost any direction — not much, not more than an inch or so, but just enough to throw the door-frame out of plumb and out of square in such a way as to bring the latch and bolt of the lock clear of the catch (the door-frame was of scraps joined). Then the door swung open according to the hang of it; and when the gust was over the house gave back, and the door swung to — the frame easing just a little in another direction. I suppose it would take Edison to invent a thing like that, that came about by accident. The different strengths and directions of the gusts of wind must have accounted for the variations of the door's movements — and maybe the draught of our big fire had helped. Dave scratched his head a good bit. T never lived in a house yet,' he said, as we came away — T never lived in a house yet without there was something wrong with it. Gimme a good tent.'

* * *

What kind of entrusted narrative is it? In what way is the narrator individualized? Find the proof to your suggestion in the text. Do not forget the significance of the subtitle. How is the author's viewpoint realized in the text? Through an explicit judgement? Through the choice of the vocabulary to form implication? Through the arrangement of compositional elements? Find the most humorous episodes and indicate language and compositional means employed to achieve humorous effect. Has it any relation to the exposition of the author's perspective?

Langston Hughes (1902—1967)

TEMPTATION

Langston Hughes, a dedicated fighter for desegregation, a humanitarian, a communist, was the first Black American to win international literary acclaim. Best known as a poet, he has also written some books of prose, several collections of stories about Harlem Negroes, Simple among them. Simple is his favourite character, a typical Harlem Negro — uneducated, big-hearted, hardworking, philosophically-minded. Clothed in the non-grammatical, often funny form, stories about Simple carry a strong antiracist concept. The intentionally simplified naive manner of Simple, by contrast brings into sharper focus the seriousness and urgency of the problems, discussed in his talks with friends. Reading the following stories, pay attention to Hughes' mastership in reproducing the sound of live black speech, and do not miss the depth and significance of the content presented in the form of the naively sophisticated dialogue.

"When the Lord said, 'Let there be light', and there was light, what I want to know is where was us colored people?" "What do you mean, 'Where were we colored people?'" I said. "We must not of been there," said Simple, "because we are still dark. Either He did not include me or else I were not there." "The Lord was not referring to people when He said, 'Let there be light.' He was referring to the elements, the atmosphere, the air." "He must have included some people," said Simple, "because white people are light, in fact, white, whilst I am dark. How come? I say, we were not there." "Then where do you think we were?" "Late as usual," said Simple, "old C. P. Time. We must have been down the road a piece and did not get back on time." "There was no C. P. Time in those days," I said. "In fact, no people were created — so there couldn't be any Colored People's Time. The Lord God had not yet breathed the breath of life into anyone." "No?" said Simple. "No," said I, "because it wasn't until Genesis 2 and 7 that God 'formed man of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul'. His name was Adam. Then He took one of Adam's ribs and made a woman.", "Then trouble began," said Simple. "Thank God, they was both white." "How do you know Adam and Eve were white?" I asked. "When I was a kid I seen them on the Sunday school cards," said Simple. "Ever since I been seeing a Sunday School card, they was white. That is why I want to know where was us Negroes when the Lord said, 'Let there be light'?" "Oh, man, you have a color complex so bad you want to trace it back to the Bible." "No, I don't. I just want to know how come Adam and Eve was white. If they had started out black, this world might not be in the fix it is today. Eve might not of paid that serpent no attention. I never did know a Negro yet that liked a snake." "That snake is a symbol," I said, "a symbol of temptation and sin. And that symbol would be the same, no matter what the race." "I am not talking about no symbol," said Simple. "I am talking about the day when Eve took that apple and Adam et. From then on the human race has been in trouble. There ain't colored woman living what would take no apple from a snake — and she better not give no snake-apples to her husband!" "Adam and Eve are symbols, too," I said. "You are simple yourself," said Simple. "But I just wish we colored folks had been somewhere around at the start. I do not know where we was when Eden was a garden, but we sure didn't get in on none of the crops. If we had, we would not be so poor today. White folks started out ahead and they are still ahead. Look at me!" "I am looking," I said. "Made in the image of God," said Simple, "but I never did see anybody like me on a Sunday school card." "Probably nobody looked like you in biblical days," I said. "The American Negro did not exist in В. C. You're a product of Caucasia and Africa, Harlem and Dixie. You've been conditioned entirely by our environment, our modern times." , "Time have been hard," said Simple, "but still I am a child of God."
• "In the cosmic sense, we are all children of God."
"I have been baptized," said Simple, "also anointed with oil.
When I were a child I come through at the mourners' bench. I was converted, I have listened to Daddy Grace and et with Father Divine, moaned with Elder Lawson and prayed with Adam Powell. Also I have been to the Episcopalians with Joyce. But if a snake were to come up to me and offer me an apple, I would say, 'Varmint, be on your way! No fruit today! Bud, you got the wrong stud now, so get along somehow, be off down the road because you're lower than a toad!' Then that serpent would respect me as a wise man — and this world would not be where it is — all on account of an apple. That apple has turned into an atom now." "To hear you talk, if you had been in the Garden of Eden, the world would still be a Paradise," I said. "Man would not have fallen into sin." "Not this man," said Simple. "I would have stayed in that garden making grape wine, singing like Crosby, and feeling fine! I would not be scuffling out in this rough world, neither would I be in Harlem. If 1 was Adam I would just stay in Eden in that garden with no rent to pay, no landladies to dodge, no time clock to punch — and my picture on a Sunday school card. I'd be a real gone guy even if I didn't have but one name — Adam — and no initials." "You would be real gone all right. But you were not there. So, my dear fellow, I trust you will not let your rather late arrival on our contemporary stage distort your perspective." "No," said Simple.

"I have had so many hardships in this life," said Simple, "that it is a wonder I'll live until I die. I was born young, black, voteless, poor, and hungry, in a state where white folks did not even put Negroes on the census. My daddy said he were never counted in his life by the United States government. And nobody could find a birth certificate for me nowhere. It were not until I come to Harlem that one day a census taker dropped around to my house and asked me where were I born and why, also my age and if I was still living. I said, 'Yes, I am here in spite of all.' " 'All of what?' asked the census taker. 'Give me the data.' " 'All my corns and bunions, for one,' I said. 'I were borned with corns. Most colored peoples get corns so young, they must, be inherited. As for bunions, they seem to come natural, we stands on our feet so much. These feet of mine have stood in everything from soup lines to the draft board. They have supported everything from a packing trunk to a hongry woman. My feet have walked ten thousand miles running errands for white folks and another ten thousand trying to keep up with colored. My feet have stood before altars, at crap tables, bars, graves, kitchen doors, welfare windows, and social security railings. Be sure and include my feet on that census you are taking,' I told that man.
"Then I went on to tell him how my feet have helped to keep the
American shoe industry going, due to the money I have spent on my feet. 'I have wore out seven hundred pairs of shoes, eight-nine tennis shoes, forty-four summer sandals, and two hundred and two loafers. The socks my feet have bought could build a knitting mill. The razor blades I have used cutting away my corns could pay for a razor plant. Oh, my feet have helped to make America rich, and I am still standing on them. " 'I stepped on a rusty nail once, and mighty near had lock-jaw. And from my feet up, so many other things have happened to me, since, it is a wonder I made it through this world. In my time, I have been cut, stabbed, run over, hit by a car, tromped by a horse, robbed, fooled, deceived, double-crossed, dealt seconds, and mighty near blackmailed — but I am still here! I have been laid off, fired and not rehired, Jim Crowed, segregated, insulted, eliminated, locked in, locked out, locked up, left holding the bag, and denied relief. I have been caught in the rain, caught in jails, caught short with my rent, and caught with the wrong woman — but I am still here! " 'My mama should have named me Job instead of Jesse B. Semple. I have been underfed, underpaid, undernourished, and everything but undertaken — yet I am still here. The only thing I am afraid of now — is that I will die before my time. So man, put me on your census now this year, because I may not be here when the next census comes around.' "The census man said, 'What do you expect to die of — complaining?' " 'No,' I said, T expect to ugly away.' At which I thought the man would laugh. Instead you know he nodded his head, and wrote it down. He were white and did not know 1 was making a joke. Do you reckon that man really thought I am homely?"

* "My boss is white," said Simple. "Most bosses are," I said. "And being white and curious, my boss keeps asking me just what does THE Negro want. Yesterday he tackled me during the coffee break, talking about THE Negro. He always says 'THE Negro', as if there was not 50-11 different kinds of Negroes in the USA," complained Simple. "My boss says, 'Now that you-all have got the Ciyil Rights Bill and the Supreme Court, Adam Powell in Congress, Ralph Bunche in the United Nations, and Leontyne Price singing in the Metropolitan Opera, plus Dr. Martin Luther King getting the Nobel Prize, what more do you want? I am asking you, just what does THE Negro want?" " T am not THE Negro,' I says. T am me' " 'Well,' says my boss, "you represent THE Negro.' " T do not,' I says. T represent my own self.' " 'Ralph Bunche represents you, then,' says my boss, 'and Thur-good Marshal and Martin Luther King. Do they not?' " T am proud to be represented by such men, if you say they represent me/ I said. 'But all them men you name are way up there, and they do not drink beer in my bar. I have never seen a single one of them mens on Lenox Avenue in my natural life. So far as I know, they do not even live in Harlem. I cannot find them in the telephone book. They all got private numbers. But since you say they represent THE Negro, why do you not ask them what THE Negro wants?' " T cannot get to them,' says my boss. " 'Neither can I,' I says, 'so we both is in the same boat.' " 'Well then, to come nearer home,' says my boss, 'Roy Wilkins fights your battles, also James Farmer.' " 'They do not drink in my bar, neither,' I said. " 'Don't Wilkins and Farmer live in Harlem?' he asked. " 'Not to my knowledge,' I said. 'And I bet they have not been to the Apollo since Jackie Mabley cracked the first joke.' " T do not know him,' said my boss, 'but I see Nipsey Russell and Bill Cosby on TV.' " 'Jackie Mabley is no him,' I said. 'She is a she — better known as Moms.' " 'Oh,' said my boss. " 'And Moms Mabley has a story on one of her records about Little Cindy Ella and the magic slippers going to the Junior Prom at Ole Miss which tells all about what THE Negro wants.' " 'What's its conclusion?' asked my boss. ".'When the clock strikes midnight, Little Cindy Ella is dancing with the President of the Ku Klux Klan, says Moms, but at the stroke of twelve, Cindy Ella turns back to her natural self, black, and her blonde wig turns to a stocking cap — and her trial comes up next week.'
" 'A symbolic tale,' says my boss, 'meaning, I take it, that THE Negro is in jail. But you are not in jail.' " 'That's what you think,' I said. " 'Anyhow, you claim you are not THE Negro,' said my boss. " T am not,' I said. T am this Negro.' " 'Then what do you want?' asked my boss. " 'To get out of jail,' I said. " 'What jail?' " 'The jail you got me in.' " 'Me?' yells my boss. T have not got you in jail. Why, boy. I like you. I am a liberal. I voted for Kennedy. And this time for Johnson. I believe in integration. Now that you got it, though, what more do you want?' " 'Reintegration,' I said. " 'Meaning by that, what?'
" 'That you be integrated with me, not me with you.' " 'Do you mean that I come and live in Harlem?' asked my boss. 'Never!' " T live in Harlem,' I said. " 'You are adjusted to it/ said my boss. 'But there is so much crime in Harlem/ " 'There are no two-hundred-thousand-dollar bank robberies, though,' I said, 'of which there was three lately elsewhere — all done by white folks, and nary one in Harlem. The biggest and best crime is outside of Harlem. We never has no half-million-dollar jewelry robberies, no missing star sapphires. You better come uptown with me and reintegrate.' " 'Negroes are the ones who want to be integrated,' said my boss. " 'And white folks are the ones who do not want to be,' I said. " 'Up to a point, we do,' said my boss. " 'That is what THE Negro wants,' I said, 'to remove that point.' " 'The coffee break is over,' said my boss."
* * *

What form of narrative is chosen by the author and why? What opportunities does this form give to the author? Proceeding from Simple's monologues, taking into consideration the lexico-grammatical aspects of his speech characteristic, is it possible to say what kind of man he is? Is it possible to say that his portrayal, though never done explicitly, or in a piece, still is exhaustive? What makes you come to your conclusion? How, though the author never appreciates or condemns his protagonist, do we "feel" that he likes Simple, sympathizes with him and shares his views? Find in the text those language signals that have created your impression.

Richard Wright (1908—1960)

THE MAN WHO SAW THE FLOOD

Having gone through the inferno of being a black, in the South of the USA, painfully learning the truths of life, Richard Wright, a self-educated Negro, became the first black prose writer to be widely translated into various languages of the world. His bitterness and frustration, his disillusionment and hopelessness when he thinks and writes about his black compatriots, are always mingled with sympathy, understanding and compassion. His characters are trapped by the modes and morals of the society, based on apartheid and racism. "The Man Who Saw the Flood" is one of the "Eight Men", his collection of eight stories published posthumously, in 1961.

When the flood waters recede, the poor folk along the river start from scratch.

At last the flood waters had receded. A black father, a black mother, and a black child tramped through muddy fields, leading a

tired cow by a thin bit of rope. They stopped on a hilltop and shifted the bundles on their shoulders. As far as they could see the ground was covered with flood silt. The little girl lifted a skinny finger and pointed to a mud-caked cabin. "Look, Pa! Ain tha our home?" The man, round-shouldered, clad in blue, ragged overalls looked with bewildered eyes. Without moving a muscle, scarcely moving his lips, he said: "Yeah." For five minutes they did not speak or move. The flood waters had been more than eight feet high here. Every tree, blade of grass, and stray stick had its flood mark; caky, yellow mud. It clung to tht* ground, cracking thinly here and there in spider web fashion. Over the stark fields came a gusty spring wind. The sky was high, blue, full of white clouds and sunshine. Over all hung a fist-day strangeness. "The henhouse is gone," sighed the woman. "N the pigpen," sighed the man. They spoke without bitterness. "Ah reckon them chickens is all done drowned." "Yeah."
"Miz Flora's house is gone, too," said the little girl. They looked at a clump of trees where their neighbor's house had stood. "Lawd!" "Yuh reckon anybody knows where they is?" "Hard t tell."
The man walked down the slope and stood uncertainly. "There wuz a road erlong here sornewheres," he said. But there was no road now. Just a wide sweep of yellow, scalloped silt. "Look, Tom!" called the woman. "Here's a piece of our gate!" The gatepost was half buried in the ground. A rusty hinge stood stiff, like a lonely finger. Tom pried it loose and caught it firmly in his hand. There was nothing particular he wanted to do with it; he just stood holding it firmly. Finally he dropped it, looked up, and said:
"C mon. Les go down n see whut we kin do." Because it sat in a slight depression, the ground about the cabin was soft and slimy. "Gimme the bag о lime, May," lr said. With his shoes sucking in mud, h? .vent slowly around the cabin, spreading the white lime with thick ringers. When he reached the front again he had a little left; he shook the bag out on the porch. The fine grains of floating lime flickered in the sunlight. "tha oughta hep some," he said.
"Now, yuh be careful, Sal!" said May. "Don yuh go n fall down in all this mud, yuh hear?" "Yessum."

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The steps were gone. Tom lifted May and Sally to the porch. They stood a moment looking at the half-opened door. He had shut it when he left, but somehow it seemed natural that he should find it open. The planks in the porch floor were swollen and warped. The cabin had two colors; near the bottom it was a solid yellow; at the top it was the familiar gray. It looked weird, as though its ghost were standing beside it. The cow lowed. 'Tie Pat t the pos on the en of the porch, May." May tied the rope slowly, listlessly. When they attempted to open the front door, it would not budge. It was not until Tom placed his shoulder against it and gave it a stout shove that it scraped back jerkily. The front room was dark and silent. The damp smell of flood silt came fresh and sharp to their nostrils. Only one-half of the upper window was clear, and through it fell a rectangle of dingy light. The floors swam in ooze. Like a mute warning, a wavering flood mark went high around the walls of the room. A dresser sat eater-cornered, its drawers and sides bulging like a bloated corpse. The bed, with the mattress still on it, was like a giant casket forged of mud. Two smashed chairs lay in a corner, as though huddled together for protection. "Les see the kitchen," said Tom. The stovepipe was gone. But the stove stood in the same place. "The stove's still good. We kin clean it." "Yeah." "But Where's the table?" "Lawd knows." "It must've washed erway wid the rest of the stuff, Ah reckon." They opened the back door and looked out. They missed the barn, the henhouse, and the pigpen. "Tom, yuh bettah try tha ol pump n see ef eny watah's there." The pump was stiff. Tom threw his weight on the handle and carried it up and down. No water came. He pumped on. There was a dry, hollow cough. Then yellow water trickled. He caught his breath and kept pumping. The water flowed white. "Thank Gawd! We's got some watah." "Yuh bettah boil it fo yuh use it," he said. "Yeah. Ah know."
"Look, Pa! Here's yo ax," called Sally. Tom took the ax from her. "Yeah. Ah'll need this." "N here's somethin else," called Sally, digging spoons out of the mud. "Waal, Ahma git a bucket n start cleanin," said May. "Ain no use in waitin, cause we's gotta sleep on them floors tonight." When she was filling the bucket from the pump, Tom called from around the cabin. "May, look! Ah done foun mah plow!" Proudly he dragged the silt-caked plow to the pump. "Ah'll wash it n it'll be awright." "Ahm hongry," said Sally.
"Now, yuh jus wait! Yuh et this mawnin," said May. She turned to Tom. "Now, whutcha gonna do, Tom?" He stood looking at the mud-filled fields. "Yuh goin back t Burgess?" "Ah reckon Ah have to." "Whut else kin yuh do?" "Nothin," he said. "Lawd, but Ah sho hate t start all over wid tha white man. Ah'd leave here ef Ah could. Ah owes im nigh eight hundred dollahs. N we needs a hoss, grub, seed, n a lot mo other things. Ef we keeps on like this tha white man'll own us body n soul." "But, Tom, there ain nothin else i do," she said. "Ef we try t run erway they'll put us in jail." "It coulda been worse," she said. Sally came running from the kitchen. "Pa!" "Hunh?" "There's a shelf in the kitchen the flood didn git!" "Where?" "Right up over the stove." "But, chile, ain nothin up there," said May. "But there's somethin on it," said Sally. "C mon. Les see." High and dry, untouched by the flood-water, was a box of matches. And beside it a half-full sack of Bull Durham tobacco. He took a match from the box and scratched it on his overalls. It burned to his fingers before he dropped it. "May!" "Hunh?" "Look! Here's ma bacco n some matches!" She stared unbelievingly. "Lawd!" she breathed. Tom rolled a cigarette clumsily. May washed the stove, gathered some sticks, and after some difficulty, made a fire. The kitchen stove smoked, and their eyes smarted. May put water on to heat and went into the front room. It was getting dark. From the bundles they took a kerosene lamp and lit it. Outside Pat lowed longingly into the thickening gloam and tinkled her cowbell. "Tha old cow's hongry," said May. "Ah reckon Ah'll have t be gittin erlong t Burgess." They stood on the front porch. "Yuh bettah git on, Tom, fo it gits too dark." "Yeah." The wind had stopped blowing. In the east a cluster of stars hung. "Yuh goin, Tom?" "Ah reckon Ah'll have t." "Ma, Ah'm hongry," said Sally. "Wait erwhile, honey. Ma knows yuh's hongry." Tom threw his cigarette away and sighed. "Look! Here comes somebody!" "Thas Mistah Burgess now!"
A mud-caked buggy rolled up. The shaggy horse was splattered all over. Burgess leaned his white face out of the buggy and spat. "Well, I see you're back." "Yessuh." "How things look?" "They don look so good, Mistah." "What seems to be the trouble?" "Waal. Ah ain got no hoss, no grub, nothin. The only thing Ah got is tha ol cow there..." "You owe eight hundred dollahs at the store, Tom." "Yessuh, Ah know. But, Mistah Burgess, can't yuh knock some-thin off of tha, seein as how Ahm down n out now?" "You ate that grub, and I got to pay for it, Tom." "Yessuh, Ah know." "It's going to be a little tough, Tom. But you got to go through with it. Two of the boys tried to run away this morning and dodge their debts, and I had to have the sheriff pick em up. I wasn't looking for no trouble out of you. The rest of the families are going back." Leaning out of the buggy, Burgess waited. In the surrounding stillness the cowbell tinkled again. Tom stood with his back against a post. "Yuh got t go on, Tom. We ain't got nothin here," said May. Tom looked at Burgess. "Mistah Burgess, Ah don wanna make no trouble. But this is jut too hard. Ahm worse off now than befo. Ah got to start from scratch." "Get in the buggy and come with me. I'll stake you with grub. We can talk over how you pay it back." Tom said nothing. He rested his back against the post and looked at the mud-filled fields. "Well," asked Burgess. "You coming?" Tom said nothing. He got slowly to the ground and pulled himself into the buggy. May watched them drive off. "Hurry back, Tom!" "Awright." "Ma, tell Pa t bring me some 'lasses," begged Sally. "Oh, Tom!" Tom's head came out of the side of the buggy. "Hunh?" "Bring some 'lasses!" "Hunhr "Bring some 'lasses for Sal!" "Awright!" She watched the buggy disappear over the crest of the muddy hill. Then she sighed, caught Sally's hand, and turned back into the cabin. In this story, again, we see no open evaluations given by the author, but we are quick to understand that his affections and concerns lie with the beflooded family. How is this tone of compassion created? Though the author is very accurate in accentuating the characters' a-grammatical and a-phonetical speech, there is no mockery or accusation in the story. What is the function of all the graphons and grammar violations? The manner of narration is objectively neutral, still it is possible to say that Wright condemns the situation. What gives us the right to come to such a conclusion? Are there any indications in the vocabulary? Syntax? Composition? Prove your answer by illustrations from the story.

Alice Walker (b. 1944)

STRONG HORSE TEA

Alice Walker belongs to the generation of the 40s, she is an articulate and zealous champion of the movement in defense of Afro-American rights. She writes prose, criticism and poetry, is doing much social work. Like two previous stories "Strong Horse Tea" (first published in 1968 in "Negro Digest") deals with poverty, destitution and hopelessness of the conditions under which Black Americans live more than a century after slavery was abolished and they were granted freedom and equality.

Rannie Toomer's little baby boy Snooks was dying from double pneumonia and whooping cough. She sat away from him gazing into a low fire, her long crusty bottom lip hanging. She was not married. Was not pretty. Was not anybody much. And he was all she had. "Lawd, why don't that doctor come on here?" she moaned, tears sliding from her sticky eyes. She hadn't washed since Snooks took sick five days before, and a long row-of whitish snail tracks laced her ashen face. "What you ought to try is one of the old home remedies," Sarah urged. She was an old neighboring lady who wore magic leaves around her neck sewed up in possum skin next to a dried lizard's foot. She knew how magic came about and could do magic herself, people said. "We going to have us a doctor," Rannie Toomer said fiercely, walking over to shoo a fat winter fly from her child's forehead. "I don't believe in none of your swamp magic. The 'old home remedies' I took when I was a child come just short of killing me." Snooks, under a pile of faded quilts, made a small oblong mound in the bed. His head was like a ball of black putty wedged between the thin covers and the dingy yellow pillow. His eyes were partly open as if he were peeping out of his hard wasted skull at the chilly room, and the forceful pulse of his breathing caused a faint rustling in the sheets near his mouth like the wind pushing damp papers in a shallow ditch. "What time you reckon he'll git here?" asked Sarah, not expecting an answer. She sat with her knees wide apart under three long skirts and a voluminous Mother Hubbard heavy with stains. From time to time she reached down to sweep her damp skirts away from the live coals. It was almost spring, but the winter cold still clung to her bones, and she had to almost sit in the fireplace to get warm. Her deep, sharp eyes had aged a moist hesitant blue that gave her a quick dull stare like a hawk. She gazed coolly at Rannie Toomer and rapped the hearthstones with her stick. "White mailman, white doctor," she chanted skeptically. "They gotta come see 'bout this baby," Rannie Toomer said wistfully. "Who'd go and ignore a little sick baby like my Snooks?" "Some folks we don't know well as we thinks we do might," the old lady replied. "What you want to give that boy of yours is one or two of the old home remedies, arrowsroot or sassyfrass and cloves, or a sugar tit soaked in cat's blood." "We don't need none of your witch's remedies!" said Rannie Toomer. "We going to git some of them shots that makes people well. Cures'em of all they ails, cleans 'em out and makes 'em strong, all at the same time." She grasped her baby by his shrouded toes and began to gently twist, trying to knead life into him the same way she kneaded limberness into flour dough. She spoke upward from his feet as if he were an altar. "Doctor'll be here soon, baby. I done sent the mailman." She left him reluctantly to go and stand by the window. She pressed her face against the glass, her flat nose more flattened as she peered out at the rain. She had gone up to the mailbox in the rain that morning, hoping she hadn't missed the mailman's car. She had sat down on an old milk can near the box and turned her drooping face in the direction the mailman's car would come. She had no umbrella, and her feet shivered inside thin, clear plastic shoes that let in water and mud. "Howde, Rannie Mae," the red-faced mailman said pleasantly, as he always did, when she stood by his car waiting to ask him something. Usually she wanted to ask what certain circulars meant that showed pretty pictures of things she needed. Did the circulars mean that somebody was coming around later and give her hats and suitcases and shoes and sweaters and rubbing alcohol and a heater for the house and a fur bonnet for her baby? Or, why did he always give her the pictures if she couldn't have what was in them? Or, what did the words say? ... Especially the big word written in red "S-A-L-E!"? He would explain shortly to her that the only way she could get, the goods pictured on the circulars was to buy them in town and that town stores did their advertising by sending out pictures of their goods. She would listen with her mouth hanging open until he finished. Then she would exclaim in a dull amazed way that she never had any money and he could ask anybody: She couldn't ever buy any of the things in the pictures — so why did the stores keep sending them to her? He tried to explain to her that everybody got the circulars whether they had any money to buy with or not. That this was one of the laws of advertising, and he couldn't do anything about it. He was sure she never understood what he tried to teach her about advertising, for one day she asked him for any extra circulars he had, and when he asked her what she wanted them for — since she couldn't afford to buy any of the items advertised — she said she needed them to paper the inside of her house to keep out the wind. Today he thought she looked more ignorant than usual as she stuck her dripping head inside his car. He recoiled from her breath and gave little attention to what she was saying about her sick baby as he mopped up the water she dripped on the plastic door handle of the car, "Well, never can keep 'em dry; I mean, warm enough, in rainy weather like this here," he mumbled absently, stuffing a wad of circulars advertising hair dryers and cold creams into her hands. He wished she would stand back from his car so he could get going. But she clung to the side gabbing away about "Snooks" and "pneumonia" and "shots" and about how she wanted a "real doctor!" To everything she said he nodded. "That right?" he injected sympathetically when she stopped for breath, and then he began to sneeze, for she was letting in wetness and damp, and he felt he was coming down with a cold. Black people as black as Rannie Toomer always made Rim uneasy, especially when they didn't smell good and when you could tell they didn't right away. Rannie Mae, leaning in over him out of the rain, smelled like a wet goat. Her dark dirty eyes clinging to his with such hungry desperation made him nervous. "Well, ah, mighty sorry to hear 'bout the little fella," he said, groping for the window crank. "We'll see what we can do!" He gave her what he hoped was a big friendly smile. God! He didn't want to hurt her feelings; she did look so pitiful hanging there in the rain. Suddenly he had an idea. "Whyn't you try some of old Aunt Sarah's home remedies?" he suggested brightly. He half believed along with everybody else in the county that the old blue-eyed black woman possessed magic. Magic that if it didn't work on whites probably would on blacks. But Rannie Toomer almost turned the car over shaking her head and body with an emphatic NO! She reached in a wet hand to grasp his shoulder. "We wants us a doctor, a real doctor!" she screamed. She had begun to cry and drop her tears on him. "You git us a doctor from town!" she bellowed, shaking the solid shoulder that bulged under his new tweed coat. "Like I say," he drawled patiently, although beginning to be furious with her, "we'll do what we can!" And he hurriedly rolled up the window and sped down the road, cringing from the thought that she had put her nasty black hands on him. "Old home remedies! Old home remedies!" Rannie Toomer had cursed the words while she licked at the hot tears that ran down her face, the only warmth about her. She turned backwards to the trail that led to her house, trampling the wet circulars under her feet. Under the fence she went and was in a pasture surrounded by dozens of fat whitefolks' cows and an old gray horse and a mule. Cows and horses never seemed to have much trouble, she thought, as she hurried home. Old Sarah dug steadily at the fire; the bones in her legs ached as if they were outside the flesh that enclosed them. "White mailman, white doctor. White doctor, white mailman," she murmured from time to time, putting the poker down carefully and rubbing her shins. "You young ones will turn to them," she said, "When it is us what got the power." "The doctor's coming, Aunt Sarah. I know he is," Rannie Toomer said angrily. It was less than an hour after she had talked to the mailman that she looked up expecting the doctor and saw old Sarah tramping through the grass on her walking stick. She couldn't pretend she wasn't home with the smoke from her fire climbing out the chimney, so she let her in, making her leave her bag of tricks on the porch. Old woman old as that ought to forgit trying to cure other people with her nigger magic. Ought to use some of it on herself she thought. She would not let Sarah lay a finger on Snooks and warned her if she tried anything she would knock her over the head with her own cane. "He coming, all right," Rannie Toomer said again firmly, looking with prayerful eyes out through the rain. "Let me tell you, child," the old woman said almost gently, sipping the coffee Rannie Toomer had given her. "He ain't." She had not been allowed near the boy on the bed, and that had made her angry at first, but now she looked with pity at the young woman who was so afraid her child would die. She felt rejected but at the same time sadly glad that the young always grow up hoping. It did take a long time to finally realize that you could only depend on those who would come. "But I done told you," Rannie Toomer was saying in exasperation, "I asked the mailman to bring a doctor for my Snooks!" Cold wind was shooting all around her from the cracks in the window framing; faded circulars blew inward from the walls. "He done fetched the doctor," the old woman said, softly stroking her coffee cup. "What you reckon brung me over here in this here flood? It wasn't no desire to see no rainbows, I can tell you." Rannie Toomer paled. 'i's the doctor, child. That there mailman didn't git no further with that message of yours then the road in front of rny house. Lucky he got good lungs — deef as I is I had myself a time trying to make out what he was yelling." Rannie began to cry, moaning. Suddenly the breathing from the bed seemed to drown out the noise of the downpour outside. The baby's pulse seemed to make the whole house shake. "Here!" she cried, snatcning the baby up and handing him to Sarah. "Make him well! Oh, my lawd, make him well!" "Let's not upset the little fella unnecessarylike," Sarah said, placing the baby back on the bed. Gently she began to examine him, all the while moaning and humming a thin pagan tune that pushed against the sound of the wind and rain with its own melancholy power. She stripped him of his clothes, poked at his fiberless baby ribs, blew against his chest. Along his tiny flat back she ran her soft old fingers. The child hung on in deep rasping sleep, and his small glazed eyes neither opened fully nor fully closed. Rannie Toomer swayed over the bed watching the old woman touching the baby. She mourned the time she had wasted waiting for a doctor. Her feeling of guilt was a stone. "I'll do anything you say do, Aunt Sarah," she cried mopping at her nose with her dress. "Anything you say, just, please God, make him git better." Old Sarah dressed the baby again and sat down in front of the fire. She stayed deep in thought for several minutes. Rannie Toomer gazed first into her silent face and then at the baby whose breathing seemed to have eased since Sarah picked him up. "Do something, quick!" she urged Sarah, beginning to believe in her powers completely. "Do something that'll make him rise up and call his mama!" "The child's dying," said the old woman bluntly, staking out beforehand some limitation to her skill. "But," she went on, "there might be something still we might try..." "What?" asked Rannie Toomer from her knees. She knelt before the old woman's chair, wringing her hands and crying. She fastened herself to Sarah's chair. How could she have thought anyone else could help her Snooks, she wondered brokenly, when you couldn't even depend on them to come! She had been crazy to trust anyone but the withered old magician before her. "What can I do?" she urged fiercely, blinded by her new faith, driven by the labored breathing from the bed. "It going to take a strong stomach," said Sarah slowly. "It going to take a mighty strong stomach, and most of you young peoples these days don't have 'em!" "Snooks got a strong stomach," Rannie Toomer said, peering anxiously into the serious old face. "It ain't him that's got to have the strong stomach," Sarah said, glancing at the sobbing girl at her feet. "You the one got to have the strong stomach... he won't know what it is he's drinking." Rannie Toomer began to tremble way down deep in her stomach. It sure was weak, she thought. Trembling like that. But what could she mean her Snooks to drink? Not cat's blood! and not any of the other messes she'd heard Sarah specialized in that would make anybody's stomach turn. What did she mean? "What is it?" she whispered, bringing her head close to Sarah's knee. Sarah leaned down and put her toothless mouth to her ear. "The only thing that can save this child now is some good strong horse tea!" she said, keeping her eyes turned toward the bed. "The only thing. And if you wants him out of that bed you better make tracks to git some!"

Rannie Toomer took up her wet coat and stepped across the porch to the pasture. The rain fell against her face with the force of small hailstones. She started walking in the direction of the trees where she could see the bulky lightish shapes of cows. Her thin plastic shoes were sucked at by the mud, but she pushed herself forward in a relentless search for the lone gray mare. All the animals shifted ground and rolled big dark eyes at Rannie Toomer. She made as little noise as she could and leaned herself against a tree to wait. Thunder rose from the side of the sky like tires of a big truck rumbling over rough dirt road. Then it stood a split second in the middle of the sky before it exploded like a giant firecracker, then rolled away again like an empty keg. Lightning streaked across the sky, setting the air white and charged. Rannie Toomer stood dripping under her tree hoping not to be struck. She kept her eyes carefully on the behind of the gray mare, who, after nearly an hour had passed, began nonchalantly to spread her muddy knees. At that moment Rannie Toomer realized that she had brought nothing to catch the precious tea in. Lightning struck something not far off and caused a cracking and groaning in the woods that frightened the animals away from their shelter. Rannie Toomer slipped down in the mud trying to take off one of her plastic shoes, and the gray mare, trickling some, broke for a clump of cedars yards away. Rannie Toomer was close enough to the mare to catch the tea if she could keep up with her while she ran. So, alternately holding her breath and gasping for air, she started after her. Mud from her fall clung to her elbows and streaked her frizzy hair. Slipping and sliding in the mud she raced after the big mare, holding out, as if for alms, her plastic shoe.

In the house Sarah sat, her shawls and sweaters tight around her, rubbirrg her knees and muttering under her breath. She heard the thunder, saw the lightning that lit up the dingy room, and turned her waiting face to the bed. Hobbling over on stiff legs, she could hear no sound; the frail breathing had stopped with the thunder, not to come again.

Across the mud-washed pasture Rannie Toomer stumbled, holding out her plastic shoe for the gray mare to fill. In spurts and splashes mixed with rainwater she gathered her tea. In parting, the old mare snorted and threw up one big leg, knocking her back into the mud. She rose trembling and crying, holding the shoe, spilling none over the top but realizing a leak, a tiny crack, at her shoe's front. Quickly she stuck her mouth there over the crack, and ankle deep in the slippery mud of the pasture, and freezing in her shabby wet coat, she ran home to give the good and warm strong horse tea to her baby Snooks.
* * *

Which one of the three Afro-American stories produces the most tragic impression and why? Thought Rannie Toomer is not judged by the author, her characteristic can be assembled from her actions, thoughts, remarks. Is the author condemning her or sympathizing with her? What message is carried by the old woman "the witch doctor"? Besides the black women there is still another character — the white mailman. What can you say about him? Is he judged and condemned by the author? In what way is he characterized? Explicit? Implicit? Both? Is the situation described in the story unique? Typical? Can you recollect any other stories with a similar contrast and confrontation of the Black/White attitudes?

Flannery O'Connor (1925—1964)

AN EXILE IN THE EAST

Flannery O'Connor lived a short life and left only two novels and two collections of shorj stories, which in her own words, were long in depth. "An Exile in the East" proves her to be right: though there is no outward dynamics in the movement of the plot, the story about the tragic loneliness of old age is really "long in depth". "An Exile", like her other works, is tragi-comic, which corresponds to her statement that the maximum amount of seriousness admits the maximum amount of comedy. While reading the story, do no not hurry through it, "listen" to different voices, interwoven into the narration and try to look at things through the eyes of entrusted or represented narrators.

Old Tanner lowered himself into the chair he was gradually molding to his own shape and looked out the window ten feet away at another window framed by blackened red brick. The brim of his black felt hat was pulled down sharply to shade his eyes from the grey streak of sunlight that dropped in the alley. He was a heavy old man and he had almost ruined their chair already. He had heard the son-in-law, in his nasal yankee whisper, call him "the cotton bale in there." He would have liked to be thin to be less in their way. He didn't eat any more of their food than he had to but no flesh had fallen off him since he had come. He was still walled up in it. Since he had been here he had only got pale, or rather yellow with brown spots, whereas at home, his spots had been red and purple. His daughter wouldn't let him wear his hat inside except when he sat like this in front of the window. He told her it was necessary to keep the light out of his eyes; which it was not: the light here was as weak as everything else. He had bought the hat new to come here in and whenever he thought how he had actually been that foolish, he would catch both arms of the chair and lean forward, gasping as if he could not get enough air. His face was large and bloated and his pale grey eyes, far under the hat brim, were as weak as the sunlight. His vision reached as far as the other window ledge across the alley and stopped. He never tried to look into the other window. He waited every morning, sitting here, for them to put their geranium on the ledge. Nothing else they had could interest him and they had no business with a geranium as they didn't know how to take care of it. They put it out every morning about ten and took it in at five-thirty or so. It reminded him of the Grisby child at home who had polio and was set out in the sun like that every morning to blink. These people across the alley thought they had something in this sick geranium that they didn't know how to take care of. They let the sun slow-cook it all day and they set it so near-the edge that any sudden wind could have done for it. At home where the sunlight was strong, the geraniums were red and tough. Every morning after breakfast he sat down in the chair in front of the window and waited, as if he were waiting for a performance to begin, for the pair of hands to put the geranium in the window. He pulled a large watch from his pocket and looked at the time. It was four minutes after ten. His daughter came in and stood in the door, rubbing a yellow dishrag over the botton of a pan while she watched him with her air of righteous exhaustion. She was lean and swaybacked. "Why don't you go out for a stroll?" she asked. He didn't answer. He set his jaw and looked straight ahead. A stroll. He could barely manage to stay upright on his feet and she used the word stroll. "Well huh?" she said. She always waited to be answered and looked at as if something could come of answering her or looking at her. "No," he said in a voice that was wavery, almost reed-like. If his eyes began to water, she would see and have the pleasure of looking sorry for him. She enjoyed looking sorry1 for herself too; but she could have saved herself, old Tanner thought, and shifted his weight so abruptly in the chair that the spring on one side gave a raucous creak. If she'd just have let him alone and not been so taken up with her damn duty, let him stay where he was and not been so taken up with her damn duty, she could have spared herself this. She gave the pan one more lingering rub and then left the door with a sigh that seemed to remain suspended in the room for some seconds to remind him that it was actually his own fault he was here; he hadn't had to come; he had wanted to. This thought tightened his throat so quickly that he leaned forward and opened his mouth as if he had to let air into himself or choke. He unbuttoned his collar and twisted his huge neck and then his hand fell, shaking at the wrist, on the mound of stomach that lay in his lap. He could have got out of coming. He could have been stubborn and said to her that helpless or not helpless he'd spend his life where he'd always spent it, send him or don't send him a check every month, he'd continue on as he'd continued on before. He had raised up five boys and this girl with sawmilling and farming and one thing and another and the result of it was the five boys were gone, two to the devil and one to the asylum and two to the government and there was nobody left but the daughter, married and living in New York City like a big woman, and ready, when she came home and found him the way he was, to take him back with her. She was more than ready, he had told Coleman, she was hog-wild. She was thirsting to have some duty to do. When she had found him in a shack made entirely of tin and crates, but large enough for a cook stove and a cot and a pallet for the nigger — and the nigger, she said, that filthy Coleman, half the time in there drunk on the pallet — when she had seen this, his deplorable conditions, she had shivered all over with duty. "How do you stand that nigger?" she had wailed. "How do you stand that drunk stinking nigger, right there beside you? I can't stay in that place two minutes without getting sick!" "I'd been dead long since if he hadn't been waiting on me hand and foot," he said. "Who you think cooks? Who you think empties my slops?" "You don't have to live like this," she sa-id. "If you ain't got any pride, I have and I know my duty and I've been raised to do it." "Who raised you?" he asked. "Righteous people though poor," she said. "Where'd you get that awful nigger anyway? Why's he stay with you? You can't pay him. He's the one feeding you. Do you think I want to see my own father living off a nigger? The both of them eating stolen chickens?" "I give him a roof," he said. "This is my shack. I made it myself." "It looks like you made it," she said. It was true that he had been on a nigger's hands more or less but he had not thought of it that way until she appeared. Before that Coleman had been on his hands for forty years. They were both old now, him sewed up in a wall of flesh and the other twisted double with no flesh at all. Between them they made out. It was his shack and if he ate what the nigger could find for them to eat, he was still providing the roof and giving the orders. Since he had been up here he had got one post card from Coleman that said, 'This is Coleman. X. How do boss. Coleman," and the other side was a picture of a local monument put up by the Daughters of the American Revolution. Coleman had marked the X and got somebody to write the rest of it for him. Old Tanner had sent him a post card in return with. "This place is alrite if you like it. Franklyn R. T. Tanner," written on it. The other side was a picture of General Grant's tomb. He kept Coleman's card stuck behind the inside band of his hat. At home he had lived in a shack but here she didn't even live in a house. She lived in a building with more other people than could be counted living in the same building with her and that building in the middle of a row of buildings all alike, all blackened red and grey with rasp-mouthed people hanging out their windows looking at other windows with other rasp-mouthed people hanging out looking back at them. And this was the way the whole city was. It kept on going on this way for miles around itself. Sometimes he would sit and imagine showing New York to Coleman. He didn't imagine further than their walking down the street and his turning now and then to say, "Keep to the inside or these people'll knock you down. Keep right behind, me or you'll get left. Keep your hat on," and the negro coming on with his bent running shamble, panting and muttering, "Just lemme get away from here, just lemme get back where I was, just lemme offen this walk, just lemme be back where I come from, why you brung me here?" and him saying, "It was your idea. Keep your eyes on my back. Don't take your eyes off my back or you'll get lost." She might say he was living off a nigger but he had been putting up with that nigger for forty years. They had first come across each other forty years ago when Coleman was twice his present size and known for a trouble-maker, a big black loose-jointed nigger who had been hanging around the edge of his sawmill for a week, not working, just stirring up the other hands and boasting. He had known it was no nigger to hang around his sawmill and not work, no matter how big or black or mean. He was a thin man then and he had some disease that caused his hand to shake. He had taken to whittling to steady the hand and he managed his sawmill niggers entirely with a very sharp pen knife. This Coleman finally got them all discontented enough to sit down on the job — six niggers off in the middle of the woods, against one white man with a shaky hand — but the other five were willing for the trouble to be between him and Coleman. They were as sorry a crew as he had ever worked. They were willing to lie back against the sawdust pile and watch and the big black one, Coleman, he was willing to lean against a tree in full sight and wait until he was accosted, because he had never been accosted before, only ignored. He thought here was one white man afraid of him and with good reason as this didn't appear to be much of a white man, gaunt and yellow-grey and shaking in the wrist. The others had been content just to sit and wait and so they sat and waited and he was in no hurry himself he remembered and the nigger against the tree was in no hurry and if they all wanted a show, they could take their ease and wait until he was ready to begin it. He had eyed that nigger once and then he had started hunting on the ground with his foot for a piece of bark to whittle on. He had found two or three and thrown them away until he found a piece about four inches long and a few inches wide and not very thick and then he had begun to cut, making his way closer to that black leaning nigger all the time but not paying him any attention. His hand with the knife in it probably worked as fast as an old woman's with a tatting needle and it must have looked wild to the nigger. He finally got up to him and stopped and stood there in front of him, gouging two round holes out of the piece of bark and then holding it off a little way and looking through the holes past a pile of shavings into the woods and on down to where he could see the edge of the.pen they had built to keep their mules in. He began.to carve again with the nigger watching his hand. He rounded the holes from inside and out and the nigger never quit watching his hand. "Nigger," he could have said, "this knife is in my hand now but it's going to be in your gut in a few minutes," but that was not what he had said. He had said, "Nigger, how is your eyesight?" and he hadn't waited for any answer; he had begun to scrape around with his foot on the ground, looking for a piece of wire. He turned over a small piece of haywire and then another shorter piece of a heavier kind and he picked these up and began to prick out openings on either end of the bark to attach them to. When he finished he had a large pair of pine bark spectacles. "I been watching you hanging around here for about a week," he said, "and I don't think you can see so good and I hate to see anybody can't see good. Put these on," and for the first time he had actually looked up at that nigger and what he saw in his eyes was more' than pure admiration, it was a kind of awe for the hand and the spectacles. That nigger had reached out for the spectacles and had put them on his nose and attached the wire bows behind his ears in a slow careful way and then he had stood there, looking as if he saw the white man in front of him for the first time. "What you see in front of you?" "See a man," the nigger had said. "Is he white or black?" "He white."
"Well you treat him like he was white. Now you see better than you been seeing?" "Yesshh." "Then get to work," he had said, "and get these others to work because I've took all I'm going to take from them," and the nigger had said, "Is these my glasses now?" and he had said, "Yes, what's your name?" and the nigger had said, "Coleman." He had been able to make the spectacles in a few minutes but he could not carve now at all because his hands were too swollen. By the time he had left home, he could not do anything at all but sit and he had been fool enough to think it would be better to sit in a new place. He couldn't even fire a gun anymore. Coleman's hands were twisted but he could still hunt. Coleman still had plenty he could do. All he himself could do was sit. The geranium was late today. He pulled out the watch again and looked at the time. It was ten-thirty and they usually had it out by ten. The shade of the window where they put it out was always halfway down so that he never saw anything but a pair of arms thrust it out on the ledge, sometimes a man's, sometimes a woman's. The man always put it too near the ledge. It was the only thing he had seen growing since he had come to the city. At home any woman could have set it out in the ground and made something of it. We got real ones of them at home, he wanted to holler whenever the hands stuck it out on the ledge. We'd stick theter thang in the ground, Lady, and have us a real one. He put the watch back in his pocket. Outside a woman shrieked something unintelligible and a garbage can fell on one of the fire escapes and banged to the concrete. Then inside, the door to the next apartment slammed and he heard a sharp distinct footstep clip down the hall. "That's the nigger," he muttered, "yonder he goes somewheres," and he sat forward as if he might get up suddenly. The nigger lived in the next apartment. He had been here a month when the nigger moved in. That Thursday he had been standing in the door, looking out into the empty hall when a big light brown baldheaded but young nigger walked into the next apartment, which was vacant. He had on a grey business suit and a tan tie. His collar was white and made a clear cut line across his neck and his shoes were shiny tan and matched his skin — he was the kind rich people would dress up for a butler but there were no rich people in this building. Then he had seen the manager of the building come up the steps and go in the apartment behind the nigger and then he had heard, with his own ears, the nigger rent the apartment. For some time after he had heard it, he still didn't believe it. Then when it finally came down on him that the nigger was actually going to rent the apartment, he had gone and got the daughter by the arm and brought her to the door to listen. The voices were still

going on in there, the manager's and the nigger's, and he had held her by the arm in the door while they listened. Then he had shut it, and stood looking at her. Her big square face had cracked in a silly grin and she had said, "Now don't you go getting friendly with him. I don't want any trouble with niggers. If you have to live next to them, just mind your own business and they'll mind theirs. Everybody can get along if they just mind their business. Live and let live," she said. "That's my motto. Up here everybody just minds their own business and everybody gets along. That's all you have to do." He had stood there, hardly able to endure looking at her. Then he had raised his hand and tried to tighten it into a fist. He had felt the breath come wheezing into his windpipe and he had said in a throaty squeak that should have been thundery, "You ain't been raised thataway!" He had to sit down before he could say any more. He had backed onto a straight chair by the door. "You ain't been raised to live next to niggers that rent the same as you. And you think I would go taking up with one of that kind! You ought to move. You ought to get out of this building and go where there ain't any. You ain't been raised to live with renting niggers just like you. You ain't been raised thataway!" Finally he had realized that he was moving his mouth but that the sound had stopped coming. She had stood there repeating, "I live and let live, I live and let live," as if she were trying to remember a better argument she had and couldn't. Then it hit her. Her face looked as if she had discovered gold. "Well, you should squawk!" she shouted. "You should squawk! You living in the same room with that nasty stinking filthy Coleman!" He couldn't endure to look at her. Every day he thought he couldn't endure it through the day if he had to look at her one more time. He did not get out of the chair. The nigger's footsteps died away, and he sat back. The daughter was making a clatter in the kitchen. She was always banging something. All he could do anymore was sit and listen to her noise and wait on the flower to be put in the window. He pulled out the watch again, impatient with the people across the alley. He wondered if something could have happened in there. He didn't care anything about flowers but he had got in the habit of expecting this one to be put out and they ought to put it. The first day he had seen it, he had been sitting there thinking that if he could ever get out of the city far enough, a truck going South might pick him up. He would probably be dead by the time he got halfway there but it would be better to be dead halfway home than to be living here. And then while he was thinking this, a hand had appeared with no.warning and put the pale pink flower in the window across the alley and he had reached forward as if he thought it were being handed to him. After that they put it out every day. He put the watch back in his pocket.
6 Заказ \H7 144 The daughter came in and leaned on the door facing him again. She was never satisfied until she had got him out of the chair. A doctor had told her if he didn't use his feet he would forget how. "Listen," she said, "do me a favor. Go down to the second floor and ask Mrs. Schmitt to gimme back the pattern I lent her. Take it easy and the stroll'll do you good." She would stand there and wait until he pulled himself out of the chair and shuffled off. It was better to get up and go than to have to turn and look at her. He didn't want to leave until they put out the geranium but he leaned forward and caught the arms of the chair and hoisted himself up. Once standing, he pulled the black hat lower on his face and then moved off, watching his feet under him as if they were two small children he was encouraging to get out of his way. He was always afraid that when he went creeping out into the hall, a door would open and one of the snipe-nosed men that hung off the window ledges in his undershirt would ask him what he was snooping around for. The door to the nigger's apartment was cracked and he could see a dark woman with rimless glasses sitting in a chair by the window. She didn't look like a nigger to him, more like a Greek or a Jew or maybe she was a red Indian, he didn't give a damn what she was anyway. He turned down the first flight of stairs, gripping the greasy banister and lowering his feet carefully one beside the other onto the linoleum-covered steps. As he set each foot down he felt needles floating up his legs. The nigger's wife could be a Chinese for all what he cared; she could be part giraffe. A white woman, drinking something grape out of a bottle, passed him on the flight of steps and gave him a stare without taking her mouth from around the bottle. He had learned that you don't speak to them unless they speak to you and that they don't speak to you unless you're in their way. After he had gone down two flights of stairs, he found the door he was supposed to go to and knocked on it. A foreign boy, ten or twelve years old, opened it and said nobody was at home and gave him an appraising look out of one eye before he shut it again. Going up the steps was harder for him than going down. He was one flight from the street. He could go down one more flight and be in the street and then he could keep walking straight in front of him until in maybe a month he would be outside the city. He did not have any money and he would not ask the daughter for any. In other plans he had made to run away, he had decided to sell his hat and watch. He stood for a few minutes on the second floor, looking down the last flight of stairs and out into a crack of street, before he turned and started back up again. The trip back to the room would probably take him half an hour. Every time he got himself up a step, he might have just lifted a hundred-pound sack, he thought, and if he could do that he was good for something but he was not good for anything because he was not a hundred-pound sack. In one plan he had made to run away, he had imagined that he would pretend he was dead and have his body shipped back and when he arrived he would knock on the inside of the box and they would let him out. Coleman would stand there with his red eyeballs staring out and think he had rose from the dead. Thinking about this appealed to him so much that he began to imagine it as he pulled himself up one step after another in the blank hall. He saw the train getting in early in the morning and Coleman waiting on the platform where he had written him to wait for the body. He saw Hooten, the station master, running with the rattling baggage wagon down to the freight end of the train. They would shove the coffin off and inside he would feel the fresh early morning air coming in through the cracks of the pine box but he wouldn't make a noise yet. The big train would jar and grate and slide on off until the noise was lost in the distance and he would feel, the baggage wagon rumbling under him, carrying him on back up to the station. Then they would slide the coffin onto the platform where Coleman was waiting and Coleman would creep over and stand looking down on it and he would make a small noise inside and Coleman would say, "Open hit." And Hooten would say, "Why open it? He's as dead as he's ever going to get," and Coleman would say, "Open hit," and Hooten would go for a hammer and all the time he would be feeling the light cool early morning air of home coming through the cracks of the wooden box, and Hooten would come mouthing back with the hammer and begin to pry open the lid and even before he had the upper end pried Coleman would be jumping up and down, not saying anything yet, only jumping up and down, panting like a horse, and then the lid would fly back and Coleman would shout out, "Hiiiiiiieeeee!" Old Tanner shouted it into the hollow hall. His high voice made a piercing sound that echoed shrilly on the other floors and then in the quiet that followed, he was aware of the clipping footsteps that had been coming all the time behind him. He slipped and grabbed the banister and then turned his head just enough to see the big light brown baldheaded nigger back of him, grinning. "What kind of game are you playing, Pardner?" the big nigger asked in a well-oiled yankee voice. He had a small trimmed mustache and a tan tie with brown flecks in it and his collar was white. Old Tanner turned his head again and remained bent over, looking at the floor and clenching the banister with both hands. His hat entirely hid his face. "Ah wouldn't be playing Indians on these steps if ah were you, old pal," the nigger drawled in a mock Southern accent. "Now ah sho' nuf wouldn't be a-doing that," and he patted old Tanner on the shoulder and then went up the steps. His socks had brown flecks in them. Once around the bend, he began to whistle "Dixie", but the sound stopped as he shut his own door behind him. Old Tanner turned his face to the opposite wall without unbending.
There were two trickles of water running over his tight cheeks and he leaned farther forward and let them fall on the steps as if his head were a pitcher he was emptying. Then he began to move on up the steps, like a cotton bale with short legs and a black hat. Finally he got to his own door and went in. The daughter was nowhere in sight. He moved to the chair by the window and lowered himself into it. His face was expressionless but water was still coming out of his eyes. After a few seconds, he realized a man was sitting in the window across the alley. The shade was up all the way and the man was sitting in the window in his undershirt, watching him, head-on. He was leaning out, his upper lip twisted, as if he were trying to decide if the old man were actually crying. "Where is thet flower?" old Tanner piped. "Fell off," the man said. The man couldn't see too much of old Tanner's face because the black hat almost covered his eyes but he saw his mouth begin to work as if he were talking. Then in a second, a high voice came out of him. "You shouldn't have put it so near the ledge!" he said. - "Listen, I put it where I please," the man said. "Who're you to be telling me where I'll put it? Maybe I knocked it off? Maybe I'm sick of the damn thing?" Old Tanner hoisted himself out of the chair and leaned over the window ledge. The cracked pot was scattered on the concrete at the bottom of the alley. The pink part of the flower was lying by itself and the roots were lying by the paper bow. "I seen you before," the man in the window said. "I seen you sitting in that chair every day, staring out in the window into my apartment. What I do in my apartment is my business, see? I don't like people looking at what I do." He paused a minute and then he said, "I don't like people watching me." It was at the bottom of the alley with its roots in the air. "I only tell people once," the man said and stood up and pulled down the shade all the way.

* * *

The story touches upon so many sides of human relationships that it is hard to mention them all. Still, if it were possible to draw a circle with Old Tanner in the center and connect him radially with the people and objects he comes in contact with, what connections would you mention and in what way do they reveal individual features of the old man's character? Adjacent fragments of the text reflect the perspectives of different characters — those of the old man, his daughter, the omniscient author. Will you be able to find "the seams" joining them? What is the author's, stand and how is it expressed?
Why was the old Southerner Tanner insulted by the inoffensive familiarity of his Negro neighbour while he had been living with Coleman in the same shack without any ill feelings? Find the answers in the text. Note the choice of colours — "grey, pale, weak", on the one hand, "red, purple, strong," on the other. What contrast do they foreground? Have you found any more language means to stress and enhance the opposition? Who views it all in such a light? The author? The characters? Which one of them? Justify your answer by quotations from the text. What function in the gradual formation of the concept is played by the geranium? Why is the final speech of its owner interrupted by an observation which is seemingly unnecessary in the middle of someone else's remark? Was the old man listening to the tirade of his neighbour? Comment on the title and its role in revealing the conceptual significance of the story.

Janet Frame (b. 1924)

THE BATH

Janet Frame is a well-known New Zealand prose writer. Many of her works deal with the hopelessness of life brought about by age, loss of love, sickness, financial and moral disasters. She is a conscious stylist carefully selecting the most appropriate means to convey the true character of her personages and also her view of them.

On Friday afternoon she bought cut flowers — daffodils, anemones, a few twigs of a red-leaved shrub, wrapped in mauve waxed paper, for Saturday was the seventeenth anniversary of her husband's death and she planned to visit his grave, as she did each year, to weed it and put fresh flowers in the two jam jars standing one on each side of the tombstone. Her visit this year occupied her thoughts more than usual. She had bought the flowers to force herself to make the journey that each year became more hazardous, from the walk to the bus stop, the change of buses at the Octagon, to the bitterness of the winds blowing from the open sea across almost unsheltered rows of tombstones; and the tiredness that overcame her when it was time to return home when she longed to find a place beside the graves, in the soft grass, and fall asleep. That evening she filled the coal bucket, stoked the fire. Her movements were slow and arduous, her back and shoulder gave her so much pain. She cooked her tea — liver and bacon — set her knife and fork on the teatowel she used as a tablecloth, turned up the volume of the polished red radio to listen to the Weather Report and the News, ate her tea, washed her dishes, then sat drowsing in the rocking chair by the fire, waiting for the water to get hot enough for a bath. Visits to the cemetery, the doctor, and to relatives, to stay, always demanded a bath. When she was sure that the water was hot enough (and her tea had been digested) she ventured from the kitchen through the cold passageway to the colder bathroom. She paused in the doorway to get used to the chill of the air then she walked slowly, feeling with each step the pain in her back, across to the bath, and though she knew that she was gradually losing the power in her hands she managed to wrench on the stiff cold and hot taps and half-fill the bath with warm water. How wasteful, she thought, that with the kitchen fire always burning during the past month of frost, and the water almost always hot, getting in and out of a bath had become such an effort that it was not possible to bath every night nor even every week! She found a big towel, laid it ready over a chair, arranged the chair so that should difficulty arise as it had last time she bathed she would have some way of rescuing herself; then with her night clothes warming on a page of newspaper inside the coal oven and her dressing-gown across the chair to be put on the instant she stepped from the bath, she undressed and pausing first to get her breath and clinging tightly to the slippery yellow-stained rim that now seemed more like the edge of a cliff with a deep drop below into the sea, slowly and painfully she climbed into the bath. I'll put on my nightie the instant I get out, she thought. The instant she got out indeed! She knew it would be.more than a matter of instants yet she tried to think of it calmly, without dread, telling herself that when the time came she would be very careful, taking the process step by step, surprising her bad back and shoulder and her powerless wrists into performing feats they might usually rebel against, but the key to controlling them would be the surprise, the slow stealing up on them. With care, with thought. ... Sitting upright, not daring to lean back or lie down, she soaped herself, washing away the dirt of the past fortnight, seeing with satisfaction how it drifted about on the water as a sign that she was clean again. Then when her washing was completed she found herself looking for excuses not to try yet to climb out. Those old woman's finger nails, cracked and dry, where germs could lodge, would need to be scrubbed again; the skin of her heels, too, growing so hard that her feet might have been turning to stone; behind her ears where a thread of dirt lay in the rim; after all, she did not often have the luxury of a bath, did she? How warm it was! She drowsed a moment. If only she could fall asleep then wake to find herself in her nightdress in bed for the night! Slowly she rewashed her body, and when she knew she could no longer deceive herself into thinking she was not clean she reluctantly replaced the soap, brush and flannel in the groove at the side of the bath, feeling as she loosened her grip on them that all strength and support were ebbing from her. Quickly she seized the nail-brush again, but its magic had been used and was gone; it would not adopt the role she tried to urge upon it. The flannel too, and the soap, were frail flotsam to cling to in the hope of being borne to safety. She was alone now. For a few moments she sat swilling the water against her skin, perhaps as a m'eans of buoying up her courage. Then resolutely she pulled out the plug, sat feeling the tide swirl and scrape at her skin and flesh, trying to draw her down, down into the earth; then the bathwater was gone in a soapy gurge and she was naked and shivering and had not yet made the attempt to get out of the bath. How slippery the surface had become! In future she would not clean it with kerosene, she would use the paste cleaner that, left on overnight, gave the enamel rough patches that could be gripped with the skin. She leaned forward, feeling the pain in her back and shoulder. She grasped the rim of the bath but her fingers slithered from it almost at once. She would not panic, she told herself; she would try gradually, carefully, to get out. Again she leaned forward; again her grip loosened as if iron hands had deliberately uncurled her stiffened blue fingers from their trembling hold. Her heart began to beat faster, her breath came more quickly, her mouth was dry. She moistened her lips. If I shout for help, she thought, no-one will hear me. No-one in the world will hear me. No-one will know I'm in the bath and can't get out. She listened. She could hear only the drip-drip of the cold water tap of the wash-basin, and a corresponding whisper and gurgle of her heart, as if it were beating under water. All else was silent. Where were the people, the traffic? Then she had a strange feeling of being under the earth, of a throbbing in her head like wheels going over the earth above her. . Then she told herself sternly that she must have no nonsense, that she had really not tried to get out of the bath. She had forgotten the strong solid chair and the grip she could get on it. If she made the effort quickly she could first take hold of both sides of the bath, pull herself up, then transfer her hold to the chair and thus pull herself out. She tried to do this; she just failed to make the final effort. Pale now, gasping for breath, she sank back into the bath. She began to call out but as she had predicted there was no answer. No-one had heard her, no-one in the houses or the street or Dunedin or the world knew that she was imprisoned. Loneliness welled in her. If John were here, she thought, if we were sharing our old age, helping each other, this would never have happened. She made another effort to get out. Again she failed. Faintness overcoming her she closed her eyes, trying to rest, then recovering and trying again and failing, she panicked and began to cry and strike the sides of the bath; it made a hollow sound like a wild drumbeat. Then she stopped striking with her fists; she struggled again to get out; and for over half an hour she stayed alternately struggling and resting until at last she did succeed in climbing out and making her escape into the kitchen. She thought, Г11 never take another bath in this house or anywhere. I never want to see that bath again. This is the end or the beginning of it. In future a district nurse will have to come to attend me. Submitting to that, will be the first humiliation. There will be others, and others. In bed at last she lay exhausted and lonely thinking that perhaps it might be better for her to die at once. The slow progression of difficulties was a kind of torture. There were her shoes that had to be made specially in a special shape or she could not walk. There were the times she had to call in a neighbour to fetch a pot of jam from the top shelf of her cupboard when it had been only a year ago that she herself had made the jam and put it on the shelf. Sometimes a niece came to fill the coal-bucket or mow the lawn. Every week there was the washing to be hung on the line — this required a special technique for she could not raise her arms without at the same time finding some support in the dizziness that overcame her. She remembered with a sense of the world narrowing and growing darker, like a tunnel, the incredulous almost despising look on the face of her niece when in answer to the comment. — How beautiful the clouds are in Dunedin! These big billowing white and grey clouds — don't you think, Auntie? she had said, her disappointment at the misery of things putting a sharpness in her voice. — I never look at the clouds! She wondered how long ago it was since she had been able to look up at the sky without reeling with dizziness. Now she did not dare look up. There was enough to attend to down and around — the cracks and hollows in the footpath, the patches of frost and ice and the pot-holes in the roads; the approaching cars and motorcycles; and now, after all the outside menaces, the inner menace of her own body. She had to be guardian now over her arms and legs, force them to do as she wanted when how easily and dutifully they had walked, moved and grasped, in the old days! They were the enemy now. It had been her body that showed treachery when she tried to get out of the bath. If she ever wanted to bath again — how strange it seemed! — she would have to ask another human being to help to guard and control her own body. Was this so fearful? she wondered. Even if it were not, it seemed so. She thought of the frost slowly hardening outside on the fences, roofs, windows and streets. She thought again of the terror of not being able to escape from the bath. She remembered her dead husband and the flowers she had bought to put on his grave. Then thinking again of the frost, its whiteness, white like a new bath, of the anemones and daffodils and the twigs of the red-leaved shrub, of John dead seventeen years, she fell asleep while outside, within two hours, the frost began to melt with the warmth of a sudden wind blowing from the north, and the night grew warm, like a spring night, and in the morning the light came early, the sky was pale blue, the same warm wind as gentle as a mere breath, was blowing, and a narcissus had burst its bud in the front garden.

In all her years of visiting the cemetery she had never known the wind so mild. On an arm of the peninsula exposed to the winds from two stretches of sea, the cemetery had always been a place to crouch shivering in overcoat and scarf while the flowers were set on the grave and the narrow garden cleared of weeds. Today, everything was different. After all the frosts of the past month there was no trace of chill in the air. The mildness and warmth were scarcely to be believed. The sea lay, violet-coloured, hush-hushing, turning and heaving, not breaking into foamy waves, it was one sinuous ripple from shore to horizon and its sound was the muted sound of distant forests of peace. Picking up the rusted garden fork that she knew lay always in the grass of the next grave, long neglected, she set to work to clear away the twitch and other weeds, exposing the first bunch of dark blue primroses with yellow centres, a clump of autumn lilies, and the shoots, six inches high, of daffodils. Then removing the green-slimed jam jars from their grooves on each side of the tombstone she walked slowly, stiff from her crouching, to the everdripping tap at the end of the lawn path where, filling the jars with pebbles and water she rattled them up and down to try to clean them of slime. Then she ran sparkling ice-cold water into the jars and balancing them carefully one in each hand she walked back to the grave where she shook the daffodils, anemones, red leaves from their waxed paper and dividing them put half in one jar, half in the other. The dark blue of the anemones swelled with a sea-colour as their heads rested against the red leaves. The daffodils were short-stemmed with big ragged rather than delicate trumpets — the type for blowing; and their scent was strong. Finally, remembering the winds that raged from the sea she stuffed small pieces of the screwed-up waxed paper into the top of each jar so the flowers would not be carried away by the wind. Then with a feeling of satisfaction — I look after my husband's grave after seventeen years. The tombstone is not cracked or blown over, the garden has not sunk into a pool of clay. I look after my husband's grave — she began to walk away, between the rows of graves, noting which were and were not cared for. Her father and mother had been buried here. She stood now before their grave. It was a roomy grave made in the days when there was space for the dead, and for the dead with money, like her parents, extra space should they need it. Their tombstone was elaborate though the writing was now faded; in death they kept the elaborate station of their life. There were no flowers on the grave, only the feathery seagrass soft to the touch, lit with gold in the sun. There was no sound but the sound of the sea and the one row of fir trees on the brow of the hill. She felt the peace inside her; the nightmare of the evening before seemed far away, seemed not to have happened; the senseless terrifying struggle to get out of a bath! She sat on the concrete edge of her parents' grave. She did not want to go home. She felt content to sit here quietly with the warm soft wind flowing around her and the sigh of the sea rising to mingle with the sighing of the firs and the whisper of the thin gold grass. She was grateful for the money, the time and the forethought that had made her parents' grave so much bigger than the others near by. Her husband, cremated, had been allowed only a narrow eighteen inches by two feet, room only for the flecked grey tombstone In Memory of My Husband John Edward Harraway died August 6th 1948, and the narrow garden of spring flowers, whereas her parents' grave was so wide, and its concrete wall was a foot high; it was, in death, the equivalent of a quarter-acre section before there were too many people in the world. Why when the world was wider and wider was there no space left? Or was the world narrower? She did not know; she could not think; she knew only that she did not want to go home, she wanted to sit here on the edge of the grave, never catching any more buses, crossing streets, walking on icy footpaths, turning mattresses, trying to reach jam from the top shelf of the cupboard, filling coal buckets, getting in and out of the bath. Only to get in somewhere and stay in; to get out and stay out; to stay now, always, in one place. Ten minutes later she was waiting at the bus stop; anxiously studying the destination of each bus as it passed, clutching her money since concession tickets were not allowed in the weekend, thinking of the cup of tea she would make when she got home, of her evening meal — the remainder of the liver and bacon,— of her nephew in Christchurch who was coming with his wife and children for the school holidays, of her niece in the home expecting her third baby. Cars and buses surged by, horns tooted, a plane droned, near and far, near and far, children cried out, dogs barked; the sea, in competition, made a harsher sound as if its waves were now breaking in foam. For a moment, confused after the peace of the cemetery, she shut her eyes, trying to recapture the image of her husband's grave, now bright with spring flowers, and her parents' grave, wide, spacious, with room should the dead desire it to turn and sigh and move in dreams as if the two slept together in a big soft grass double-bed. She waited, trying to capture the image of peace. She saw only her husband's grave, made narrower, the spring garden whittled to a thin strip; then it vanished and she was left with the image of the bathroom, of the narrow confining bath grass-yellow as old baths are, not frost-white, waiting, waiting, for one moment of inattention, weakness, pain, to claim her for ever.

It is another story of the loneliness of old age. Like the previous one, most of it is presented from the old person's viewpoint in the form of represented or interior speech. There is, also, a contrast here. The latter, though, is organized differently and has a different function. If you remember, the previous contrast specified the opposition of "home/not home", which could also be viewed as the conflict between the past and the present, the dream and the reality. What, in your opinion, is the meaning of the contrast, created by the change of the weather from severe winter to mild spring? Has it any connection with the conflict between the woman's desire of peace and rest and her will that makes her move, and act, and live? Why, do you think, the author so precisely describes all, even the most habitual and insignificant actions of the woman, such as, for instance, her detailed preparation for a bath — moving the chair, spreading the gown, etc.? What makes "the bath" so important, that it occupies the strongest position in the text — that of the title? What is the concept of the story? Is it formed with the author's explicit help? In a different way? How? Prove your answer turning to the text.

Jerome David Salinger (b. 19J9)

A PERFECT DAY FOR BANANAFISH

About a dozen stories and one short novel, all written and published between 1951 —1963, constitute the literar> output of J. D. Salinger, one of the most striking individualities of contemporary American literature. The story that follows first appeared in 1953 in the collection "Nine Stories". It is very characteristic of Salinger's theme and style. When reading don't 1st your attention waver: even most casual remarks are loaded with special significance and emotion.

There were ninety-seven New York advertising men in the hotel, and, the way they were monopolizing the long-distance lines, the girl in 507 had to wait from noon till almost two-thirty to get her call through. She used the time, though. She read an article in a women's pocket-size magazine, called "Sex Is Fun — or Hell". She washed her comb and brush. She took the spot out of the skirt of her beige suit. She moved the button on her Saks blouse. She tweezed out two freshly surfaced hairs in her mole. When the operator finally rang her room, she was sitting on the window seat and had almost finished putting lacquer on the nails of her left hand. She was a girl who for a ringing phone dropped exactly nothing. She looked as if her phone had been ringing continually ever since she had reached puberty. With her little lacquer brush, while the phone was ringing, she went over the nail of her little finger, accentuating the line of the moon. She then replaced the cap on the bottle of lacquer and, standing up, passed her left-the-wet-hand back and forth through the air. With her dry hand, she picked up a congested ash-tray from the window seat and carried it with her over to the night table, on which the phone stood. She sat down on one of the made-up twin beds and — it was the fifth or sixth ring — picked up the phone. "Hello," she said, keeping the fingers of her left hand outstretched and away from her white silk dressing gown, which was all that she was wearing, except mules — her rings were in the bathroom. "I have your call to New York now, Mrs. Glass," the operator said. "Thank you," said the girl, and made room on the night table for the ash-tray. A woman's voice came through. "Muriel? Is that you?" The girl turned the receiver slightly away from her ear. "Yes. Mother. How are you?" she said. "I've been worried to death about you. Why haven't you phoned? Are you all right?" "I tried to get you last night and the night before. The phone here's been —" "Are you all right, Muriel?" The girl increased the angle between the receiver and her ear. "I'm fine. I'm hot. This is the hottest day they've had in Florida in —" "Why haven't you called me? I've been worried to —" "Mother, darling, don't yell at me. I can hear you beautifully," said the girl. "I called you twice last night. Once just after —"
"I told your father you'd probably call last night. But, no, he had to — Are you all right, Muriel? Tell me the truth." "I'm fine. Stop asking me that, please." "When did you get there?" "I don't know. Wednesday morning, early." "Who drove?" "He did," said the girl. "And don't get excited. He drove very nicely. I was amazed." "He drove? Muriel, you gave me your word of —" "Mother," the girl interrupted, "I just told you. He drove very nicely. Under fifty the whole way, as a matter of fact." "Did he try any of that funny business with the trees?" "I said he drove very nicely, Mother. Now, please. I asked him to stay close to the white line, and all, and he knew what I meant, and he did. He was even trying not to look at the trees — you could tell. Did Daddy get the car fixed, incidentally?".
"Not yet. They want four hundred dollars, just to—" "Mother, Seymour told Daddy that he'd pay for it. There's no reason for —" "Well, we'll see. How did he behave — in the car and all?" "All right," said the girl. "Did he keep calling you that awful —" "No. He has something new now." "What?" "Oh, what's the difference, Mother?" "Muriel, I want to know. Your father —" "All right, all right. He calls me Miss Spiritual Tramp of 1948," the girl said, and giggled. "It isn't funny, Muriel. It isn't funny at all. It's horrible It's sad, actually. When I think how —" "Mother," the girl interrupted, "listen to me. You remember that book he sent me from Germany? You know — those German poems. What'd I do with it? I've been racking my—" "You have it." "Are you sure?" said the girl. "Certainly. That is, I have it. It's in Freddy's room. You left it here and I didn't have room for it in the—. Why? Does he want it?"
**No. Only, he asked me about it, when we were driving down. He wanted to know if I'd read it." "It was in German!" "Yes, dear. That doesn't make any difference," said the girl, crossing her legs. "He said that the poems happen to be written by the only great poet of the century. He said I should've bought a translation or something. Or learned the language, if you please." "Awful. Awful. It's sad, actually, is what it is. Your father said last night —" "Just a second, Mother," the girl said. She went over to the window seat for her cigarettes, lit one, and returned to her seat on the bed. "Mother?" she said, exhaling smoke. "Muriel. Now, listen to me." "I'm listening." "Your father talked to Dr. Sivetski." "Oh?" said the girl. "He told him everything. At least, he said he did — you know your father. The trees. That business with the window. Those horrible things he said to Granny about her plans for passing away. What he did with all those lovely pictures from Bermuda — everything." "Well?" said the girl. "Well. In the first place, he said it was a perfect crime the Army released him from the hospital — my word of honor. He very definitely told your father there's a chance — a very great chance, he said — that Seymour may completely lose control of himself. My word of honor." "There's a psychiatrist here at the hotel," said the girl. "Who? What's his name?" "1 don't know. Rieser or something. He's supposed to be very good." "Never heard of him." "Well, he's supposed to be very good, anyway." "Muriel, don't be fresh, please. We're very worried about you. Your father wanted to wire you last night to come home, as a matter of f — " "I'm not coming home right now, Mother. So relax." "Muriel. My word of honor. Dr. Sivetski said Seymour may completely lose contr —" "I just got here, Mother. This is the first vacation I've had in years, and I'm not going to just pack everything and come home," said the girl. "I couldn't travel now anyway. I'm so sunburned I can hardly move." "You're badly sunburned? Didn't you use that jar of Bronze I put in your bag? I put it right —" "I used it. I'm burned anyway." "That's terrible. Where are you burned?" "All over, jdear, all over." "That's terrible." "I'll live." "Tell me, did you talk to this psychiatrist?" "Well, sort of," said the girl.
"What'd he say? Where was Seymour when you talked to him?" "In the Ocean Room, playing the piano. He's played the piano both nights we've been here." "Well, what'd he say?" "Oh, nothing much. He spoke to me first. I was sitting next to him at Bingo last night, and he asked me if that wasn't my husband playing the piano in the other room. I said yes, it was, and he asked me if Seymour's been sick or something. So I said —" "Why'd he ask that?" "I don't know, Mother. I guess because he's so pale and all," said the girl. "Anyway, after Bingo he and his wife asked me if I wouldn't like to join them for a drink. So 1 did. His wife was horrible. You remember that awful dinner dress we saw in Bonwit's window? The one you said you'd have to have a tiny, tiny —" "The green?" "She had it on. And all hips. She kept asking me if Seymour's related to that Suzanne Glass that has that place on Madison Avenue — the millinery." "What'd he say, though? The doctor." "Oh. Well, nothing much, really. I mean we were in the bar and all. It was terribly noisy." "Yes, but did — did you tell him what he tried to do with Granny's chair?" "No, Mother. I didn't go into details very much," said the girl. "I'll probably get a chance to talk to him again. He's in the bar all day long." "Did he say he thought there was a chance he might get — you know — funny or anything? Do something to you?" "Not exactly," said the girl. "He had to have more facts, Mother. They have to know about your childhood — all that stuff. I told you, we could hardly talk, it was so noisy in there." "Well. How's your blue coat?" "All right. I had some of the padding taken out." "How are the clothes this year?"
"Terrible. But out of this world. You see sequins — everything," said the girl. "How's your room?" "All right. Just all right, though. We couldn't get the room we had before the war," said the girl. "The people are awful this year. You should see what sits next to us in the dining room. At the next table. They look as if they drove down in a truck."
"Well, it's that way all over. How's your ballerina?" "It's too long. I told you it was too long." "Muriel. I'm only going to ask you once more — are you really all right?" "Yes, Mother," said the girl. "For the ninetieth time." "And you don't want to come home?" "No, Mother." "Your father said last night that he'd be more than willing to pay for it if you'd go away someplace by yourself and think things over. You could take a lovely cruise. We both thought—" "No, thanks," said the girl, and uncrossed her legs. "Mother, this call is costing a for —" "When I think of how you waited for that boy alt through the war — I mean when you think of all those crazy little wives who—"
"Mother," said the girl, "we'd better hang up. Seymour may come in any minute." "Where is he?" "On the beach." "On the beach? By himself? Does he behave himself on the beach?" "Mother," said the girl, "you talk about him as though he were a raving maniac —" "1 said nothing of the kind, Muriel." "Well, you sound that way. I mean all he does is lie there. He won't take his bathrobe off." "He won't take his bathrobe off? Why not?" "I don't know. I guess because he's so pale." "My goodness, he needs the sun. Can't you make him?" "You know Seymour," said the girl, and crossed her legs again. "He says he doesn't want a lot of fools looking at his tattoo."
"He doesn't have any tattoo! Did he get one in the Army?" "No, Mother. No, dear," said the girl, and stood up. "Listen, I'll call you tomorrow, maybe." "Muriel. Now, listen to me." "Yes, Mother," said the girl, putting her weight on her right leg.
"Call me the instant he does, or says, anything at all funny — you know what I mean. Do you hear me?" "Mother, I'm not afraid of Seymour." "Muriel, I want you to promise me." "All right, I promise. Goodbye, Mother," said the girl. "My love to Daddy." She hung up.

"See more glass," said Sybil Carpenter, who was staying at the hotel with her mother. "Did you see more glass?" "Pussycat, stop saying that. It's driving Mommy absolutely crazy. Hold still, please." Mrs. Carpenter was putting sun-tan oil on Sybil's shoulders, spreading it down over the delicate, winglike blades of her back. Sybil was sitting insecurely on a huge, inflated beach ball, facing the ocean. She was wearing a canary-yellow two-piece bathing suit, one piece of which she would not actually be needing for another nine or ten years. "It was really just an ordinary silk handkerchief — you could see when you got up close," said the woman in the beach chair beside Mrs. Carpenter's. "I wish I knew how she tied it. It was really darling." "It sounds darling," Mrs. Carpenter agreed. "Sybil, hold still, pussy." "Did you see more glass?" said Sybil. Mrs. Carpenter sighed. "All right," she said. She replaced the cap on the sun-tan oil bottle. "Now run and play, pussy. Mommy's going up to the hotel and have a Martini with Mrs. Hub-bel. I'll bring you the olive."
Set loose, Sybil immediately ran down to the flat part of the beach and began to walk in the direction of Fisherman's Pavilion. Stopping only to sink a foot in a soggy, collapsed castle, she was soon out of the area reserved for guests of the hotel. She walked for about a quarter of a mile and then suddenly broke into an oblique run up the soft part of the beach. She stopped short when she reached the place where a young man was lying on his back. "Are you going in the water, see more glass?" she said. The young man started, his right hand going to the lapels of his terry-cloth robe. He turned over on his stomach, letting a sausaged towel fall away from his eyes, and squinted up at Sybil. "Hey. Hello, Sybil." "Are you going in the water?" "I was waiting for you" said the young man. "What's new?" "What?" said Sybil. "What's new? What's on the program?" "My daddy's coming tomorrow on a nairiplane," Sybil said, kicking sand. "Not in my face, baby," the young man said, putting his hand on Sybil's ankle. "Well, it's about time he got here, your daddy. I've been expecting him hourly. Hourly." "Where's the lady?" Sybil said. "The lady?" the young man brushed some sand out of his thin hair. "That's hard to say, Sybil. She may be in any one of a thousand places. At the hairdresser's. Having her hair dyed mink. Or making dolls for poor children, in her room." Lying prone now, he made two fists, set one on top of the other, and rested his chin on the top one. "Ask me something else, Sybil," he said. JThat's a fine bathing suit you have on. If there's one thing I like, it's a blue bathing suit." Sybil stared at him, then looked down at her protruding stomach. "This is a yellow," she said. "This is a yellow". "It is? Come a little closer." Sybil took a step forward. "You're absolutely right. What a fool I am." "Are you going in the water?" Sybil said. "I'm seriously considering it. I'm giving it plenty of thought, Sybil, you'll be glad to know." Sybil prodded the rubber float that the young man sometimes used as a head-rest. "It needs air," she said. "You're right. It needs more air than I'm willing to admit." He took away his fists and let his chin rest on the sand. "Sybil," he said, "you're looking fine. It's good to see you. Tell me about yourself." He reached in front of him and took both of Sybil's ankles in his hands. "I'm Capricorn," he said. "What are you?" "Sharon Lipschutz said you let her sit- on the piano seat with you," Sybil said. "Sharon Lipschutz said that?" Sybil nodded vigorously. He let go of her ankles, drew in his hands, and laid the side of his face on his right forearm. "Well," he said, "you know how those things happen, Sybil. I was sitting there, playing. And you were nowhere in sight. And Sharon Lipschutz came over and sat down next to me. I couldn't push her off, could I?" "Yes."
"Oh, no. No. I couldn't do that," said the young man. "I'll tell you what I did do, though." "What?" "I pretended she was you." Sybil immediately stooped and began to dig in the sand. "Let's go in the water," she said. "All right," said the young man. "I think I can work it in." "Next time, push her off," Sybil said. "Push who off?" "Sharon Lipschutz." "Ah, Sharon Lipschutz," said the young man. "How that name comes up. Mixing memory and desire." He suddenly got to his feet. He looked at the ocean. "Sybil," he said. "I'll tell you what we'll do. We'll see if we can catch a bananafish." "A what?" "A bananafish," he said, and undid the belt of his robe. He took off the robe. His shoulders were white and narrow, and his trunks were royal blue. He folded the robe, first lengthwise, then in thirds. He unrolled the towel he had used over his eyes, spread it out on the sand, and then laid the folded robe on top of it. He bent over, picked up the float, and secured it under his right arm. Then, with his left hand, he took Sybil's hand.
The two started to walk down to the ocean. "I imagine you've seen quite a few bananafish in your day," the young man said. Sybil shook her head. "You haven't? Where do you live, anyway?" "I don't know," said Sybil. "Sure you know. You must know, Sharon Lipschutz knows where she lives and she's only three and a half" Sybil stopped walking and yanked her hand away from him. She picked up an ordinary beach shell and looked at it with elaborate interest. She threw it down. "Whirly Wood, Connecticut," she said, and resumed walking, stomach foremost. "Whirly Wood, Connecticut," said the young man. "Is that anywhere near Whirly Wood, Connecticut, by any chance?" Sybil looked at him. "That's where I live" she said impatiently. "I live in Whirly Wood, Connecticut." She ran a few steps ahead of him, caught up her left foot in her left hand, and hopped two or three times. "You have no idea how clear that makes everything," the young man said. Sybil released her foot. "Did you read 'Little Black Sambo'?" she said. "It's very funny you ask me that," he said. "It so happens I just finished reading it last night." He reached down and took back .Sybil's hand. "What did you think of it?" he asked her. "Did the tigers run all around that tree?" "I thought they'd never stop. I never saw so many tigers." "There were only six," Sybil said. "Only six!" said the yourlg man. "Do you call that only?" "Do you like wax?" Sybil asked. "Do I like what?" asked the young man. "Wax." "Very much. Don't you?"
Sybil nodded. "Do you like olives?" she asked. "Olives — yes. Olives and wax. I never go anyplace without 'em." "Do you like Sharon Lipschutz?" Sybil asked. "Yes. Yes, 1 do," said the young man. "What I like particularly about her is that she never does anything mean to little dogs in the lobby of the hotel. That little toy bull that belongs to that lady from Canada, for instance. You probably won't believe this, but some little girls like to poke that little dog with balloon sticks. Sharon doesn't. She's never mean or unkind. That's why I like her so much." Sybil was silent. "I like to chew candles," she said finally. "Who doesn't?" said the young man, getting his feet wet. "Wow! It's cold." He dropped the rubber float on its back. "No, wait just a second, Sybil. Wait'll we get out a little bit." They waded out till the water was up to Sybil's waist. Then the young man picked her up and laid her down on her stomach on the float, "Don't you ever wear a bathing cap or anything?" he asked. "Don't let go," Sybil ordered. "You hold me, now." "Miss Carpenter. Please. I know my business," the young man said. "You just keep your eyes open for any bananafish. This is a perfect day for bananafish." "I don't see any," Sybil said. "That's understandable. Their habits are very peculiar." He kept pushing the float. The water was not quite up to his chest. "They lead a very tragic life," he said. "You know what they do, Sybil?" She shook her head. "Well, they swim into a hole where there's a lot of bananas. They're very ordinary-looking fish when they swim in. But once they get in, they behave like pigs. Why, I've known some bananafish to swim into a banana hole and eat as many as seventy-eight bananas." He edged the float and its passenger a foot closer to the horizon. "Naturally, after that they're so fat they can't get out of the hole again. Can't fit through the door." "Not too far out," Sybil said. "What happens to them?" "What happens to who?" "The bananafish."
"Oh, you mean after they eat so many bananas they can't get out of the banana hole?" "Yes," said Sybil. "Well, I hate to tell you, Sybil. They die." "Why?" asked Sybil. "Well, they get banana fever. It's a terrible disease." "Here comes a wave" Sybil said nervously. "We'll ignore it. We'll snub it," said the young man. "Two snobs." He took Sybil's ankles in his hands and pressed down and forward. The float nosed over the top of the wave. The water soaked Sybil's blond hair, but her scream was full of pleasure. With her hand, when the float was level again, she wiped away a flat, wet band of hair from her eyes, and reported, "I just saw one." "Saw what, my love?" "A bananafish." "My God, no!" said the young man. "Did he have any bananas in his mouth?" "Yes," said Sybil. "Six." The young man suddenly picked up one of Sybil's wet feet, which were drooping over the end of the float, and kissed the arch. "Hey!" said the owner of the foot, turning around. "Hey, yourself! We're going in now. You had enough?" "No!" "Sorry," he said, and pushed the float toward shore until Sybil got off it. He carried it the rest of the way. "Goodbye," said Sybil, and ran without regret in the direction of the hotel.

"The young man put on his robe, closed the lapels tight, and jammed his towel into his pocket. He picked up the slimy wet, cumbersome float and put it under his arm. He plodded alone through the soft, hot sand toward the hotel.
On the sub-main floor of the hotel, which the management directed bathers to use, a woman with zinc salve on her nose got into the elevator with the young man. "I see you're looking at my feet," he said to her when the car was in motion. "I beg your pardon?" said the woman. "I said I see you're looking at my feet." "I beg your pardon. I happened to be looking at the floor," said the woman, and faced the doors of the car. "If you want to look at my feet, say so," said the young man. "But don't be a God-damned sneak about it." "Let me out here, please," the woman said quickly to the girl operating the car. The car doors opened and the woman got out without looking back. "I have two normal feet and I can't see the slightest Goddamned reason why anybody should stare at them," said the young man. "Five, please." He took his room key out of his robe pocket. He got off at the fifth floor, walked down the hall, and let himself into 507. The room smelled of new calfskin luggage and naillacquer remover. He glanced at the girl lying asleep on one of the twin beds. Then he went over to one of the pieces of luggage, opened it, and from under a pile of shorts and undershirts he took out an Ortgies calibre 7.65 automatic. He released the magazine, looked at it, then reinserted it. He cocked the piece. Then he went over and sat down on the unoccupied twin bed, looked at the girl, aimed the pistol, and fired a bullet through his right temple.

* * *

The story has no introduction but it is possible to reconstruct the chronological flow of events the culmination of which is described by Salinger. What remarks of the telephone conversation characterize Muriel Glass? Her husband Seymour Glass? Her family background? In what way. is the beach episode connected with the longdistance call? What is wrong with Seymour and how does- the author show it? Do you believe the tragic end was inevitable? Justify your answer by the text. James Aldrldge (b. 1918)

ENDURANCE FOR HONOUR

James Aldridge, a progressive English writer, journalist, literary critic, historian, linguist, is well known in our country both as a literary and a public figure, war veteran, fighter for peace. The majority of his works deal with the protagonist's painful -search for values, which includes reconsidering the old principles and universally accepted life maxims. "Endurance for Honour", which originally appeared in the author's only collection of short stories "Gold and Sand" (I960), is devoted to one of basic problems of man's life: what is true and what is false about such notions as Honesty, Honour, Dignity, Heroism?

The strained, resentful growl of the twin motors pushing the D H Dove up into a steep climb was a wavery echo of the last mechanical sounds he would probably ever hear. So neatly caught like this — in the cocked hat of a deserted sea, deserted desert, deserted sky — he could guess the rest. "If I do get out of it," he said with a frivolity that did not convince him or satisfy him at all, "I'll give flying away. I've absolutely had it this time." Somewhere under the wreckage of a perfectly good aeroplane was the only hope he might ever have of getting out of this wilderness. The only thing that puzzled him was why the strange twin-engined Dove had dipped over the desert to the north, had circled a blue hill in the desert, and then climbed off; not seeing him, not trying to see him, and perhaps not wanting to see him. Whoever was in the plane could not avoid noticing the great puff of white smoke he had sent up by setting fire to the wing fabric soaked in petrol; but if they had seen him they surely would have come nearer and circled. They looked as if they had been making an approach to land near that blue hill, but when they saw his smoke they had flown off as quickly as their twin-engines could go. "Smugglers, no doubt," he told himself cynically. He could afford to be cynical. He was a smuggler himself. "Any real point to survival?" he was mumbling half-heartedly when the plane had finally disappeared. But he knew the answer. He had found what he was looking for in the wreckage. It was a booklet issued during the war to pilots regularly flying this route. He had originally saved it as a souvenir and brought it with him to Iraq. He thought its title a little too cheerful for its purpose; Forced landings and desert survival. An aid to walking home. "That ought to make it easy," he decided. He looked for and found a map in the pocket of the back cover. It showed all the positions where the.R. A. F. had put down caches of emergency food, water, and other provisions in the Sinai. There ought to be at least two dumps marked between his position and the coast, if he could manage to find them, or if they were still hidden from the Bedu and not rotted by the sun. Even so, it was going to be a game of irony and chance. What was he going to say when he arrived at the Egyptian coastguard out on the tip of Mirza Mohamed, the nearest inhabited point and his best chance of survival? Let him explain himself to the Egyptians, if he could. "I'll look into that problem when I get there," he decided and prepared for his journey, refusing to hurry, refusing to be absorbed into weariness by the heat, refusing to consider one flutter of panic. "I'm the original emotionless man," he said aloud, "and I intend to stay that way. All I have to do now is survive." It seemed possible. He came from a long line of survivors: pre-Norman Englishmen, West-country family. He supposed he was the last of a long feudal line which had won its dubious honours a little further to the north of here — Palestine, where one wild son of the Alwyns had assisted the Crusaders' rempage of Antioch and Tyre. "So it wouldn't be too much of a dirty trick of fate if I ended where they began," this Alwyn said. The family crest said: Endurance for Honour. This was also the price of the Crusades, when claims like that were valued at the sword's edge, at the heart's centre. He had abandoned them long ago himself. Too many proofs against them. Public-school boys, impoverished aristocrats, R. A. F. pilots, and hopeful men after wars — no such men should begin sensitive if they wanted to survive sensitive. He had been all four and he had not really survived such rough handling. He was a dried-up man. This sort of thinking kept him going across the reddish desert right through the first day, going over his school-days calmly as he tried to forget the laden knapsack rubbing his shoulders to the bone, his shoes making blisters along the sides of his heels, and his eyes burning away to nothing in the heat. Public school had been hell. He had neither endured it nor felt it honourable; he had allowed it to defeat him. He remembered it only as a process of persecution of the spirit, adolescent degradation, rude conformity ground into the soul, and... "Etcetera, etcetera," he told himself on the second day, when it became boring to recall school-days and silly suffering. His raw heel was biting at every step now, and his face felt swollen with the sun.
Take the impoverished aristocrat, he decided, now limping a course south-west by west across brown scorched hills that kicked up from the desert in painful short rises, making the going slow and exhausting. The aristocrat was impoverished and landless and no longer useful; yet he had believed in the essentials of the caste: the gentleman who beleived the rules to mean exactly that — a gentle man. But no gentleness could survive a war, and every day of it had hurt, had ravished what was left of a young man who had tried to find a gentle way, some sensitive outline to live in. That was the day the sand blew up and found every corner between clothing and skin and began to grate unbearably. This took him a long way over the foot-hills of the El Tih plateau to the first cache, which he found well marked according to the map descriptive. When he moved stones and dirt from the massive cairn the stores were mostly gone. Desert rats, ants perhaps, but certainly some desert diggers had burrowed in and helped themselves. There was one untouched tin of foul Navy biscuits left. He put it in the rucksack to augment the rotting melting cheese he had rescued from the plane, and the few bars of chocolate which melted into liquid in the heat of every day, and re-solidified again in the freezing cold at night. He hoarded every crumb and morsel as if it stored up the value of a life force, not gold and title deeds, but gristle on the flesh to give him the energy to move. Very valuable stuff, these mouldy biscuits. The third day, looking for the second cache, he worried about his water supply. There was only one remaining water well between him and the sea. He forgot his birthright for a drop of water and remembered the days over the North Weald when the last of the Spitfires, already too slow, had tried to outride the Focke-Wolfes at 27,000 feet in packs above, below, and head on. The break-away that day had turned into a shamble, and he had watched the well-organised Focke-Wolfes stay and fight it out for a change. He had made a run for it when his ammunition was gone, to be hit, to fall into the sea, to be picked up in a miracle of rescue work, and never to fly that way again. He had been too frightened, and there was no honour in that either. The heart was simply not in it. The games and the Pilot Officers' camaraderie had cropped all sentiments into little pieces, throwing it all out and bringing in new responses defined with words like pranged and bogged it and shakydo. They had grated on his nerves. His heroism, if that's what it was, had been accidental and fleeting. At most he had loved the aeroplane, at worst he had been afraid of it. He had been in heaven to escape it when the war was over.
"I don't think I'm going to make it," he told himself mockingly. His body was on the rack now. His arms were burnt fiery red, his face was untouchably raw, his legs grinding into each other along their delicate insides with sweat and sand, his lips were cracked, and his feet were shredded with sores. But he did find the well. He dug it out with his bare hands and filled his bottles and canvas water-bag with green brackish water which weighted his rucksack heavily again. "If I ever do see the sea again," he decided, "I'll spend the rest of my life on it, every day, wallowing in it. Mother of all men!" he said, to make sure he could still make a wry, intellectual remark. On the fourth day he was very exhausted. He lay down a great deal of the time, preferring to move in the early morning and evening and at night. He saw the D H Dove again. It was weaving around to the north in its mysterious way, quite low, but too far away to attract. But he had the feeling that this time it was looking for him. By the time he had prepared a tamarisk brush fire it had climbed high and disappeared again. "Up to no good," he said. "Unless Gillespie told them I was overdue and they, whoever they are, set out looking for me. But I doubt it. No honour among smugglers. Only money." His last day seemed endless for its sunrises and sunsets; one an hour, if his brain was recording correctly. He supposed there was something wrong with his eyes, but you could not deceive the brain and it chalked them up: one sunrise and one sunset each hour; beautiful, as they must be in the desert, far away, and rosily sensitive. Very sensitive indeed. That was very good stuff for the post-war man in him. He had leapt out of the war on all fours — delighted with the future. But he had found this the most insensible operation of all. Wives were lovely and desirable. Good girls of good families. He had abandoned his dried-up philosophy and gone into it unprotected by the lessons of war and public school. He had forgotten that it was also a rough game on the spirit, and when you were betrayed in marriage it was more than treason, it was ultimate destruction. Betrayal, children, and tragedy — this was the last lesson that had been learned. Afterwards the drift became easier: not into dissolution, but back to the simple dried-up philosophy of emotionless man. It sufficed to keep the edges rough enough for where adventure took him. In fact he had looked for the roughest edges to go on rubbing this lack of feeling into himself. He had sought insensibility. He had found Gillespie in Iraq flying gold into Egypt, and Egyptian pounds out of it; gold into Greece and drachmas out of it; money where it was needed and gold where it was needed more. It had been half-legal in Iraq because they had taken off a fair piece of interest for being the clearing house. But not in Egypt. Too many wealthy man trying to get their money abroad illegally. And at the moment he was in Egypt. Considering his predicament, therefore, a lack of feeling was all right. The family requirements of endurance with honour were not needed. He had long ago drowned them for ever anyway. But he was caught. He stumbled down the El Tih plateau and reached the Red Sea road, still on his feet but almost delirious, having endured and survived. But it remained to be seen whether there was a current value for honour. What was his name? "Peter Alwyn." It was no use deceiving them. What had he been doing? Where had he come from? Impossible to lie, better not to deceive. They knew anyway. He had been flying from Iraq to the Qena mountains of Egypt. "What for?" "Hard to say," he told them. "I simply fly on course, land, take off and return." "Yes, we know that already, Mr. Alwyn," the Egyptian frontier corps Colonel told him. "But what were you carrying into, or flying out of Egypt?" "Can I say I don't know?" he suggested, still burned out of energy and resistance. The* Colonel smiled and shook his head. "I'm afraid not." "Did you find my plane?" he asked. "Yes. In fact we had a mysterious radio message that we must look for your plane. Perhaps it came from your friends, who would sooner that you were caught than die in the desert? You must be thankful." Alwyn bowed his head gratefully in acknowledgment. "Was that your D H Dove that was flying about?" he asked the Colonel. "No. We have two Austers and a Gemini, not any Doves at all." "Must be a rival company in the same business," Alwyn told himself and supposed he was foolish for mentioning it, but he was softening down in a camp bed with cool walls, dressed sores, and a water jug and a polite Colonel who questioned him delicately. There was nothing much left to say. "Of course you were smuggling," the Colonel told him. "Not really," Alwyn said. "I was giving people a lift in and out, at cut rates. That's all." "Not good enough!" the Colonel laughed. "Spying, perhaps?" "Not a chance," Alwyn shrugged calmly, drily now, knowing he was going to be beaten in this, and not liking the Colonel's tolerance. "Definitely not spying." "I know you weren't spying," the Colonel said, amused. 4T know quite well that you were smuggling..." "You may think you know," Alwyn said, "but you don't really know." "I'm afraid I do," the Colonel said, swishing away the flies from the bed and sighing. "You were smuggling hasheesh. Opium..." "Hasheesh? Drugs? Oh no! Not me, Colonel. I'm sorry..." "But we know you were." "You know no such thing." "We have found, near your wrecked plane, a veritable hoard of hasheesh, stored very nicely in a little cave in a blue hillside quite near your smashed plane. It was bad luck, Mr. Alwyn, but too obvious." "That's what that D H Dove was doing," Alwyn snarled at himself. "Hasheesh, and tons of it, no doubt. Get out of this one, old chap. Let us see the emotionless man survive this." "That was nothing to do with me," he said. "I can swear to that." The Colonel shook his head sadly. "No use swearing," he said. "We can tolerate most things, even smuggling, but not hasheesh. You know that hundreds of kilos of it are smuggled into Egypt every year, and that we usually shoot an Egyptian if we catch him doing it. What are we to do with you, Mr. Alwyn?" "I don't know. But I wasn't smuggling hasheesh." "Can you prove it?" "I don't know if I can or not, but I can tell you the truth." "Go ahead..." Force and morality were neatly balanced again. Had he endured simply to betray this last shred of an old character to a crime which would remove all sensibilities, all pretences of sentiment and delicacy, and for ever this time? Smuggling hasheesh? "I won't admit to smuggling hasheesh," he said. "I might admit to smuggling money." The Colonel nodded. "I suppose that would be a point of honour with you. Money, not drugs." "I suppose it would be." "And is it the truth?" "Yes. Absolutely." "All right, Mr. Alwyn," the Colonel said, getting up, satisfied, yet looking down at the victim with an English and rueful air. "I shall save your honour. Г11 believe you. In any case you'll go to prison. ..." Alwyn shrugged. "If I must." "But did it ever occur to you," the Colonel went on thoughtfully, "that what you were smuggling — money — corrupts the the soul? Whereas hasheesh simply destroys the body..."

uIt "hadn't occured to me that way," Alwyn admitted. "I haven't been in touch with the soul lately." "Think it over," the Colonel told him as he left. He said he would, but there was no need to think it over at all. The obvious was already true. The Colonel may have decorated it with a nice touch of irony, but he had already discovered it himself. "No such thing as the emotioneless man," he told himself, looking at his bandaged feet. "A little pain, a little shame... poof, and he's gone." He almost winced. "I suppose I'll have to start all over again from that, in prison or out of it." Knowing it, he lay back and felt grateful that his real requirements of endurance for honour had only begun.

* * *

Peter Alwyn is the type of a protagonist, often adhered to by Hemingway and, later by James Aldridge. Rough and tough at first sight he proves to be inwardly insecure and vulnerable. The story shows this confrontation and interdependence of the outward and the inward. The title words are several times repeated in the text. What new meaning is added to them by each case and what is the final meaning of the title when you return to it having finished the story? Alongside with "honour" and "endurance", the word "sensitive (-ity)" is also repeated. What can you say about its semantic movement in the story and the significance of all these repetitions for the understanding of the author's viewpoint?
SOURCES OF PUBLICATIONS

Hemingway E. Cat in the Rain.— In: The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories. Pan Books, 1957. Mansfield K. The Stranger.— In: The Stories of Katherine Mansfield. London, Faber and Faber, 1961. Caldwell E. Daughter.— In: The Complete Stories of Erskine Caldwell. N. Y., The New American Library, 1956. Faulkner W. Carcassonne.— In: Collected Stories of William Faulkner. Random House, 1950. Parker D. The Last Tea.— In: The Portable Dorothy Parker. N. Y., Alfred Knopf, 1972. Oates J. C. The Man That Turned into a Statue.— In: Upon the Sweeping Flood and Other Stories. Fawcett Crest Books, 1972. . Bradbury R. The One Who Waits.— In: The Machineries of Joy. Bantam Books, 1965. Updike J. Separating.— In: Too Far to Go (The Maple Stories). Fawcett Crest Books, 1979. Doctorow E. L. The Water Works.— In: Lives of the Poets. N. Y., Random House, 1984. Cheever J. Reunion.— In: The Brigadier and the Golf Widow. N. Y., Harper and Row, 1964. Greene Gr. I Spy.— In: Nineteen Stories. London, Heinemann, 1956. Anderson Sh. Mother.— In: Winesburg, Ohio. N. Y., The Viking Press, 1966. Joyce J. The Boarding House.— In: Short Story: A Thematic Anthology. N. Y., Ch. Scribner's Sons, 1971. Spark M. You Should Have Seen the Mess.—In: Collected Stories I. London, MacMillan, 1967. Fitzgerald Sc. The Smilers.— In: The Price Was High. Pan Books, 1979. Lawson H. The Ghostly Door.— In: Impressions on a Continent: A Collection of Australian Short Stories. Sydney, London, Heinemann, 1957. Hughes L. Stories About Simple.— In: Black Voices. N. Y., Mentor Books, 1967. Wright R. The Man Who Saw the Flood.™ In: Eight Men. N. Y., Alfred Knopf, 1961. Walker A. Strong Horse Tea.— In: Black and White: Stories of American Life. N. Y., Pocket Books, 1971. O'Connor Fl. An Exile in the East.™ In: The Best American Short Stories. Boston, Houghton Mifflin, 1979. Frame J. The Bath.— In: New Zealand Short Stories. London, Melbourne, N. Y., Oxford University Press, 1975. Salinger J. D, A Perfect Day for Bananafish.— In: Nine Stories. N. Y., 1978. Aldridge J. Endurance for Honour.— In: Gold and Sand. London, 1960. ОГЛАВЛЕНИЕ

Предисловие

Часть I

Ernest Hemingway. Cat in the Rain
Katherine Mansfield. The Stranger
Erskine Caldwell. Daughter
William Faulkner. Carcassonne
Dorothy Parker. The Last Tea
Joyce Carol Oates. The Man That Turned into a Statue

Часть II

Ray Bradbury. The One Who Waits
John Updike. Separating
Emil L. Doctorow. The Water Works
John Cheever. Reunion
Graham Greene. I Spy
Sherwood Anderson. Mother
James Joyce. The Boarding House
Muriel Spark. You Should Have Seen the Mess . . .
Scott Fitzgerald. The Smilers
Henry Lawson. The Ghostly Door
Langston Hughes. Temptation
Richard Wright. The Man Who Saw the Flood . . . .
Alice Walker. The Strong Horse Tea
Flannery O'Connor. An Exile in the East
Janet Frame. The Bath
Salinger J. D. A Perfect Day for Bananafish
Aldridge J. Endurance for Honour

Sources of Publications

Валерия Андреевна Кухаренко

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[1] Cointreau (Fr.) — a kind of wine
[2] Buon giorno (Hal.) — Good afternoon
[3] Per favore, possiamo avere due cocktail americani, forti, forti. Molto gin, poco vermut. (Hal.) — Please two Beefeater Gibsons, quickly.
[4] Vogliamo due cocktail americani. Subito. (Ital.) — American cocktail, please, quickly.

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1 Дождь идет (итал.).
2 Да, да, синьора, скверная погода (итал.).

Вы что-нибудь потеряли синьора? (итал.) 2 Да, кошка (итал.).

1 Хозяин (итал.).

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