Connie Willis amerikai
1945. december 31. (Denver, USA) –
|Teljes név||Constance Elaine Trimmer Willis|
A friend of mine said that when she went to see
the Leonardo DiCaprio-Claire Danes version
of Romeo and Juliet,
she saw two young girls come out of the theater crying.
„I didn't know they died!” one of them sobbed to the other.
I know. I laughed, too.
But what if you didn't know how Romeo and Juliet ended?
What if you were seeing it for the first time?
How fast did you race through the pages
the first time you read Lord of the Rings?
or The Cold Equations?
or The Hunger Games?
Or Les Miserables?
How late did you stay up to finish the book?
458. oldal (Grand Master backup speech)
Connie Willis: Time is the Fire The Best of Connie Willis
– Viseld az arcmaszkodat! – intette Dunworthy.
– Pont ezt mondta a Galandféreg is! Azt is mondta, hogy az Úr le fog sújtani mindenkire, aki nem hallgat az igazak szavára. – Előhúzta a zsebéből a szürke kockás sálat. – Ezt hordom arcmaszk helyett – jelentette be, a sálat útonálló módra a szája meg az orra fölé kötözve.
– A gyapjúszövet nem tudja távol tartani a mikroszkopikus vírusaokat – világosította föl Dunworthy.
– Tudom. A szín az. A színe ijeszti el őket.
317-318. oldal, Huszonegyedik fejezet
– Minden készen áll?
– Az orvosi segítség még nincs itt – mondta Finch, megpróbálva Dunworthy feje fölött tartani az esernyőt –, de William Gaddson épp most telefonált, hogy el van intézve és a nő hamarosan itt lesz.
Dunworthy akkor sem lepődött volna meg, ha azt hallja, hogy az agg nővér jelentkezett önként erre a munkára.
– Őszintén remélem, hogy William sosem fogja bűnözésre adni a fejét! – jegyezte meg.
– Ó, nem hinném, uram. Az édesanyja sosem járulna hozzá.
“Ned, the elephant’s carrying a howdah full of pineapples and bananas to an eagle with a fish fork.”
“It’s not a fish fork,” I said. “It’s a flaming sword. And it’s not an eagle, it’s an archangel, guarding the entrance to the Garden of Eden. Or possibly the Zoo.”
A bicikli első kereke csak centiméterekkel ment el Dunworthy mellett, a közelebbi pedál megütötte a lábát. A biciklis kitért és rákiabált:
– Azt sem tudja, hogy kell átmenni egy nyavalyás úttesten?
Dunworthy visszalépett, ekkor nekiütközött egy hatéves kölyöknek, aki egy plüss Mikulást szorongatott. A gyerek anyja szúrósan rámeredt.
27. oldal - I. könyv - Második fejezet
“It is them!” I said. “Terence, do you know who that is? It’s Three Men in a Boat, To Say Nothing of the Dog”
“Dog?” Terence said contemptuously. “You call that a dog?” He looked fondly at Cyril, who was snoring in the bottom of the boat. “Cyril could swallow him in one bite.”
“You don’t understand,” I said. “It’s the Three Men in a Boat. The tin of pineapple and George’s banjo and the maze.”
“The maze?” Terence said blankly.
“Yes, you know, Harris went in the Hampton Court Maze with this map and all these people followed him and the map didn’t work and they got hopelessly lost and they had to call out for the keeper to come and get them out.”
I leaned out for a better look. There they were, Jerome K. Jerome and the two friends he had immortalized (to say nothing of the dog) on that historic trip up the Thames. They had no idea they were going to be famous a hundred and fifty years from now, that their adventures with the cheese and the steam launch and the swans would be read by countless generations.
“Watch your nose!” Terence said, and I said, “Exactly. I love that bit, where Jerome is going through the lock at Hampton Court and someone calls out, ‘Look at your nose!’ and he thinks they mean his nose and they mean the nose of the boat has gotten caught in the lock!”
“Ned!” Terence said, and the three men in the boat waved and shouted, and Jerome K. Jerome stood up and began gesturing with his outstretched arm.
I waved back. “Have a wonderful trip!” I called. “Watch out for swans!” and pitched over backward.
My feet went up in the air, the oars hit the water with a splash, and the luggage in the bow toppled over. Still on my back, I made a grab for the carpetbag and tried to sit up.
So did Professor Peddick. “What happened?” he said, blinking sleepily.
“Ned didn’t watch where he was going,” Terence said, grabbing for the Gladstone bag, and I saw that we had hit the bank head-on. Just like Jerome K. Jerome had done in Chapter Six.
I looked over at the other boat. Montmorency was barking, and George and Harris appeared to be doubled over with laughter.
“Are you all right?” Jerome K. Jerome called to me.
I nodded back vigorously, and they waved and rowed on, still laughing, toward the Battle of the Swans and Oxford and history.
“I said, hold the lines steady,” Terence said disgustedly.
“I know. Sorry,” I said, stepping over Cyril, who had slept through the entire thing and who consequently missed his chance to meet a Truly Famous Dog. On the other hand, remembering Montmorency’s proclivity for fights and his sarcastic manner, it was probably just as well.
“I saw someone I knew,” I said, helping him pick up the luggage. “A writer,” and then realized that if they were just now on their way upriver, Three Men in a Boat must not have been written yet. I hoped when it came out, Terence wouldn’t read the copyright page.
And Cyril had somehow managed, in spite of his short legs, to sprawl over the entire width of the bed and both pillows so that there was only a narrow edge left, which I had a tendency to roll off of. I wrapped my feet round the bedpost and anchored the coverlet with my hands and thought about Lord Lucan and Schrödinger’s cat.
It had been put into a box in Schrödinger’s thought experiment, along with a doomsday device: a bottle of cyanide gas, a hammer hooked to a Geiger counter, and a chunk of uranium. If the uranium emitted an electron, it would trigger the hammer which would break the bottle. That would release the gas that would kill the cat that lived in the box that Schrödinger built.
And since there was no way to predict whether the uranium had emitted an electron or not, the cat was neither dead nor alive, but both, existing as side-by-side probabilities which would collapse into a single reality when the box was opened. Or the incongruity was repaired.
But that meant there was a fifty percent probability that the incongruity wouldn’t be repaired. And for each moment the cat stayed in the box, the probability that the uranium would emit said electron became greater, and so did the likelihood that when the box was opened, the cat would be dead.
How much of an effect on history can an animal have?
A big one. Look at Alexander the Great’s horse Bucephalus, and “the little gentleman in the black fur coat” who’d killed King William the Third when his horse stepped in the mole’s front door. And Richard the Third standing on the field at Bosworth and shouting, “My kingdom for a horse!” Look at Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. And Dick Whittington’s cat.
„I have come to speak the truth,” Isus boomed, „to reveal to thou thine higher self.”
I leaned over to Kildy and whispered, „Why is it they never learn how to use ‘thee' and ‘thou' correctly on the astral plane?”
„Shh,” Kildy hissed, intent on what Isus was saying.
„I bring you the long-lost wisdom of the kingdom of Lemuria and the prophecies of Antinous to aid thee in these troubled days, for thou livest in a time of tribulation. The last days these are of the Present Age, days filled with anxiety and terrorist attacks and dysfunctional relationships. But I say unto ye, thou must not look without but within, for thee alone are responsible for your happiness, and if that means getting out of a bad relationship, make it so. Seek you must your own inner isness and create thou must thine own inner reality. Thee art the universe.”
I don't know what I'd been expecting. Something, at least, but this was just the usual New Age nonsense, a mush of psychobabble, self-help tips, pseudo-scripture, and Chicken Soup for the Soul.
I sneaked a glance at Kildy. She was sitting forward, still clutching her pillow tightly to her chest, her beautiful face intent, her mouth slightly open. I wondered if she could actually have been taken in by Ariaura. It's always a possibility, even with skeptics. Kildy wouldn't be the first one to be fooled by a cleverly done illusion.
But this wasn't cleverly done. It wasn't even original. The Lemuria stuff was Richard Zephyr, the „Thou art the universe” stuff was Shirley MacLaine, and the syntax was pure Yoda.