Barry Unsworth, Pascali's Island
Oorspronkelijke taal: Engels
Verschenen in: 1980
Aantal lezers: 1
Recensie van Lemoine (waardering: 20)Een goed geschreven boek over een verspieder op een Grieks eiland. Het boek bestaat uit de brieven die hij schrijft naar Constantinopel waarin hij in het begin zijn vermoeide paranoia op het eiland laat zien en de intriges die zich ontspinnen nadat een Engelsman voet aan wal zet
I have no means of recovering what I have experienced and known –except only by visiting the Imperial Archives in Constantinople, the rooms where the reports of the spies are kept. Then I cold see my work again, perhaps even make copies. I could edit and collate the material. Even, one day, I could publish, with suitable omissions and abridgments of course. A book, Excellency! What happiness that would give me.
Forty-five years I have been in the world. All those moments of perception and sensation, pulse beats of my life, reduced to this. I have no family, no children, no great possessions. A woman to cry for me, a yali on the Bosphoros, such things would at least be tangible evidence of a life. As it is, five minutes’ work of clearance would remove forever all evidence of my existence. Other occupants there will be, knowing nothing of Basil Zavier Pascali.
I know that by these confessions I will have increased your contempt for me. But they are connected, they are necessary. Besides, you need contempt to sustain your position. God is fed on contempt, they say.
Flowers on the stall, people passing, Yannis standing morosely in the evening sun at the hotel entrance-I can only make these things exist by naming them, interiorly mouthing the words.
Excellency, I do not believe him. I think Lydia is in love with him, or at least that he has succeeded in making his life and purpose vitally important to her-which amounts to the same thing.
To talk about truth as something that can be marched up to and arrested seems solemnly mad to me. (…) You are left with something in your hands but not what you wanted.