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Archive for 24 februari, 2009

Tisdagsförströelse 53

Det slog mig just att förra veckans citat innebar ett helt år med citat på bloggen. Det trodde jag faktiskt inte när jag startade. Av och till tycker jag att det är svårt att hitta nya texter, ändå så lider jag inte brist på böcker. Det är kanske bara brist på fantasi.

Nåväl, förra veckans text var som nykomlingen Niffin (välkommen!) mycket riktigt konstaterade Pearl Bucks ”Kinfolk”. Pearl Buck läste jag flitigt för, tja 30 år sen eller så, men nu är det mycket länge sedan jag fördjupade mig i någon av hennes texter. Hon hörde till de författare som genom sina asiatiska skildringar fick mig att uppskatta texter om andra kulturer.

Denna vecka befinner vi oss närmare, åtminstone rent geografiskt. Var är detta hämtat?


   ‘You leave her alone,’ I said. Perhaps he heard something in my voice. He looked me over, and his voice turned rich.
   ‘Oh, Suky,’ he said, ‘have you grown squemish? Have you learned sweet ways, after your spell with the quality? Who would have said you should take so to serving ladies, with pals like yours, and a home like your home! What would Mrs Sucksby say – and Dainty, and Johnny! – if they could see your blushes now?’
   ‘They would say I had a soft heart,’ I said, firing up. ‘Maybe I do. Where’s the crime in that?’
   ‘God damn it,’ he said, firing up in his turn. ‘What did a soft heart ever do for a girl like you? What would it do, for a girl like Dainty? Except, perhaps, kill her.’ He nodded to the door through which Maud had gone to her uncle. ‘Do you suppose,’ he said, ‘she wants your qualms? She wants your grip, on the laces of her stays – on her comb, on the handle of her chamber-pot. For God’s sake, look at you!’ I had turned and picked up her shawl, and begun to fold it. He pulled it from my hands. ‘When did you become so meek, so tidy? What do you imagine you owe, to her? Listen to me. I know her people. I’m one of them. Don’t talk to me as if she keeps you at Briar for kindness’ sake – nor as if you came out of sweetness of temper! Your heart – as you call it – and hers are alike, after all: they are like mine, like everyone’s. They resemble nothing so much as those meters you will find on gas-pipes: they only perk up and start pumping when you drop coins in. Mrs Sucksby should have taught you that.’
   ‘Mrs Sucksby taught me lots of things,’ I said, ‘and not what you are saying now.’
   ‘Mrs Sucksby kept you too close,’ he answered. ‘Too close. The boys of the Borough are right, calling you slow. Too close, too long. Too much like this.’ He showed me his fist.
   ‘Go and fuck it,’ I said.

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