dilluns, 27 de gener de 2014

Tenth Of December de George Saunders (2013)

“Am I a monster?” he said. “Do I remember birthdays around here? When a certain individual got athlete’s foot on his groin on a Sunday, did a certain other individual drive over to Rexall and pick up a prescription, paying for it with his own personal money?”
That was a nice thing he’d done, but it seemed kind of unprofessional to bring it up now.
“Jeff,” Abnesti said. “What do you want me to say here? Do you want me to say that your Fridays are at risk? I can easily say that.”
Which was cheap. My Fridays meant a lot to me, and he knew that. Fridays I got to Skype Mom.
“How long do we give you?” Abnesti said.
“Five minutes,” I said.
“How about we make it ten?” Abnesti said. (pàg. 68)

“Jeff,” Abnesti said. “I know you’ve done a lot of work on this with Mrs. Lacey. On killing and so forth. But this is not you. This is us.”
“It’s not even us,” Verlaine said. “It’s science.”
“The mandates of science,” Abnesti said. “Plus the dictates.”
“Sometimes science sucks,” Verlaine said.
“On the one hand, Jeff,” Abnesti said, “a few minutes of unpleasantness for Heather—”
“Rachel,” Verlaine said. “A few minutes of unpleasantness for Rachel,” Abnesti said, “years of relief for literally tens of thousands of underloving or overloving folks.”
“Do the math, Jeff,” Verlaine said.
“Being good in small ways is easy,” Abnesti said. “Doing the huge good things, that’s harder.”
“Drip on?” Verlaine said. “Jeff?”
I did not say “Acknowledge.”
“Fuck it, enough,” Abnesti said.
“Verlaine, what’s the name of that one?
The one where I give him an order and he obeys it?”
“Docilryde™,” Verlaine said.
“Is there Docilryde™ in his Mobi-Pak™?” Abnesti said.
“There’s Docilryde™ in every Mobi-Pak™,” Verlaine said.
“Does he need to say ‘Acknowledge’?” Abnesti said.
“Docilryde™’s a Class C, so—” Verlaine said.
“See, that, to me, makes zero sense,”Abnesti said. “What good’s an obedience drug if we need his permission to use it?”
“We just need a waiver,” Verlaine said.
“How long does that shit take?” Abnesti said.
“We fax Albany, they fax us back,” Verlaine said. “Come on, come on, make haste,”
Abnesti said, and they went out, leaving me alone in the Spiderhead. (pàg. 74)

My only regret was Mom. I hoped someday, in some better place, I’d get a chance to explain it to her, and maybe she’d be proud of me, one last time, after all these years.
From across the woods, as if by common accord, birds left their trees and darted upward. I joined them, flew among them, they did not recognize me as something apart from them, and I was happy, so happy, because for the first time in years, and forevermore, I had not killed, and never would. (pàg. 80)

dijous, 16 de gener de 2014

Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage d'Alice Munro (2001)

And yet-an excitement. The unspeakable excitement you feel when a galloping disaster promises to release you from all responsibility for your own life. Then for shame you must compose yourself and stay very quiet. (pàg. 60)

He was about Helen’s age, she thought. Seventeen or eighteen. Slim and graceful and cocky, with an ingenuous enthusiasm that would probably not get him as far as he hoped. (pàg. 78)

I was now, puffing on my cigarette and trying to hold it in a nonchalant way, though it seemed to have grown to the size of a baseball bat between my fingers. (pàg. 89)

He took her up on it, he shouted yes. He wanted never to be away from her. She had the spark of life (pàg. 277)

He had never presented flowers to Fiona before. Or to anyone else. He entered the building feeling like a hopeless lover or a guilty husband in a cartoon. (pàg 288)

dissabte, 4 de gener de 2014

Cançons d'amor i de pluja de Sergi Pàmies (2013)

Reconsagrada capitana que arengues als increduls, que intentes contagiar-los el compromís amb les idees enfront de la solitud d'un cinema on, en plena guerra, la gent s'evadeix per compartir un univers en el qual Fu Manxú és una amenaça, sí, però una amenaça de mentida. (pàg. 24)

Encara que l'home ha especulat sobre quines poden ser les causes del plor, no se li ha acudit pensar que la dona és una actriu de teatre. De fet, aquest hauria d'haver estat el desenllaç del conte. Tu, lector, i l'home que mira per la finestra hauríeu d'haver descobert plegats que els plors de la dona no eren causats per cap drama sinó per la disciplina en la preparació d'un personatge. La coordinació de l'argument del conte, però, s'ha desajustat perquè l'autor no ha estat prou competent i, quan encara no tocava, tu t'has assabentat d'una cosa que el protagonista encara ignora." (pàg. 34)

No és just que pugui donar el meu cos a la ciència i no a les lletres. (pàg. 67)

"Vosaltres a casa també podeu jugar-hi". El locutor ho repeteix com si parlés per fer temps, com si s'esforcés perquè no se li noti el pànic. El pànic d'adonar-se que ningú no l'escolta, que ningú no li trucarà, que tots els telèfons de la comarca, del país i del món han deixat de funcionar. (pàg. 73)

Finalment, ens presentem a la casa, la Sílvia amb el somriure que la identifica i una ampolla de vi; jo, suat i amb una bola de nervis a l'estómac. (pàg. 86)

El meu anglès és tan defectuós que durant el sopar callo, escolto i somric, caçant frases al vol que probablement mal interpreto. Com que Auster també parla francès, té la deferència de canviar d'idioma, però no sé què és pitjor, si patir per no entendre res o patir per no saber què dir. Ell se'n deu adonar perquè, a mesura que passen els minuts, és cada vegada més cordial. (pàg. 89)

Si creu que escriure és un ofici tan digne (o indigne) com qualsevol altre, el més coherent és actuar amb naturalitat. Quan el dentista aconsegueix treure't dos queixals, en acabat no recita una llista emocionada d'agraïments. (pàg. 153)