Kur gan palikuši visi ilustratori? Tāds jautājums uzdots laikrakstā “The Independent”.
Komentāros atsaucas mākslinieki un aizrāda, ka viņi nekur nav pazuduši, tikai izdevēji nevēlas viņiem pasūtīt ilustrācijas. Jo vai tad, piemēram, Eric Orchard, pēc Džefa Vandermiera stāsta “The Situation” radītā komiksa mākslinieks, neprot zīmēt? Un kā vēl prot. Izpētiet attēlus vai izlasiet stāstu, un pirmdien uz darbu negribēsiet iet ne tikai tāpēc, ka ārā ir auksts.
Why don’t contemporary novels have illustrations as standard? Why are illustrators corralled into children’s fiction? Up until the Fifties and Sixties it wouldn’t be unusual for a mainstream publisher to illustrate adult books. Now it’s easier to count – you don’t need all the fingers on one hand – the publishers that do. Is it that contemporary fiction happens all in the head and cerebral stuff doesn’t really lend itself to images? Are modern novelists just too precious to collaborate with artists? Is it the additional cost in an already tight budget? Are modern illustrators just not that good?
Gaidot siltākus laikus, var palasīt stāstus. Īso “Seawater and Blood” (An Owomoyela) par delfīniem, kalmāriem un visļaunāko ekosistēmu pasaulē:
I went a little crazy when the squid washed up on Mission Beach, and not for the reasons everyone else did. I wasn’t bothered by the oil-tanker size of the thing, or the eyes that kept roving even as it rotted. The tentacles, twining in and out of Euclidean space, gave me a headache but not the usual night terrors.
Taustekļi ir arī stāstā “The Last Run of the Coppelia” (Genevieve Valentine):
Jacoba was nearly down to Hyun, who was piloting Chollima to pull the last of the algae from the crevices in the rocks, sliding both handfuls into the plasma-front storage pod each of the mechs had built-in. Hyun frowned through his faceplate as he saw her passing, and flicked on his comm.
“Nosey,” she muttered.
He smirked and gave her a thumbs up. Chollima echoed it, one tentacle-finger raised.
Citādi abi stāsti nav līdzīgi. Valentī varoņi, gan cilvēki, gan ar mākslīgo intelektu apveltīti mehānismi, negaidot iesaistās tuvcīņā pret netaisnību.
Mazliet dīvains stāsts A State of Variance (Aimee Bender) par jaunu vīrieti, kura mātes dzīve ir pilnīgi simetriska, tāpēc viņa seja arī:
On her fortieth birthday, the woman lost the ability to sleep for more than a single hour. She did not accumulate a tired feeling; in fact, that one hour served the purpose of eight, and she awoke refreshed. But because that hour was full of only the most intense, involving sleep, the sleep beyond rapid eye movement, the only consequence was that she had no time in her sleep hours for dreams. So, during the day, she would experience moments when the rules of the world would shift and she would see, inside her teakettle, a frog floating, dead.
Krietni garāks 30. gadu poļu avangarda rakstnieka Bruno Šulca (Bruno Schulz) stāsts The Sanatorium at the Sign of the Hourglass, kurā ieaudusies gan Šulca pagātne, gan Eiropas nākotne:
It was a long journey. Barely one or two passengers travelled on that forgotten branch line, where the train ran just once a week. Never had I seen those carriages before: archaic in style, withdrawn from the other lines long ago, as spacious as rooms, dark and with many nooks. Those corridors, breaking off at different angles, those cold, empty and labyrinthine compartments — there was something oddly forlorn about them, something almost ghastly.
“Is my father alive?” I asked, looking anxiously into his smiling face.
“Alive? Why, naturally,” he said, steadily holding my eager look. “Within, of course,” he added, narrowing his eyes, “the limits determined by the situation. You know as well as I do that from the point of view of your family home, from the perspective of your own country, your father has died. That cannot be completely undone; and that demise casts a certain shadow over his existence here.”
“Weird Fiction Review” ir publicēta arī īsa Šulca biogrāfija un interesanta intervija ar stāsta tulkotāju Džonu Deivisu:
I was on a tram, going from Katowice to Sonsowiec, when I first began to read Bruno Schulz. The story was “August”, which begins with a description of food, which Adela, the servant girl, brings home in her basket, its appearance and its aroma. Accustomed to British food, and now living in Poland, I had only recently discovered that food can actually have an aroma! I claim, I maintain, I swear that, before I had reached the bottom of the first page, I knew that, one day, I would read Bruno Schulz in the original. And that is how the translation began.
Kas vēl? Ursulai Le Gvinai ir jauns kaķēns. Lai viņiem ilga dzīve kopā!
Finally it began to be time that the house had a soul again (some Frenchman said that the cat is the soul of the house, and we agree). But no cat had chosen us or been offered to us or appeared weeping in a tree. So I asked my daughter if she’d come to the Humane Society with me and help me choose a cat.
Palīglīdzeklis angļu bērnu skolotājiem, kas var noderēt arī citiem: kā rakstnieki un grāmatu ilustratori izrunā savu vārdu.
Pavisam nesen ir uzradušies jauni emuāri “Domythic Bliss”, kuros var sasmelties iedvesmu, ja gribas dzīvot kā pasakā. To autore strādā bibliotēkā un iekārto savu māju, parāda, kā dekorēšanai var izmantot grāmatas, sveces, dārza skulptūras un ko tik vēl ne, gatavo papīra taureņus un iepazīstina ar Čārlza de Linta veco dzīvojamo vagoniņu. Tur ir tik daudz skaistu attēlu, ka nemaz nav jālasa angliski, lai papriecātos.
Ir vēl vieni tikpat skaisti un iedvesmojoši emuāri. To autore ir rakstniece, māksliniece un redaktore Terī Vindlinga. Viņai ir melns suns, kas staigā pa Devonas taciņām un kož jūras viļņos, viņa klausās folkmūziku un parāda citu mākslinieku darbistabas. Ne vienā vien es labprāt gribētu dzīvot.