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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Cave explorers know all too well what impact absolute darkness and silence have on mood and mind. If it was not for the senses, one might just as well live in a vacuum, where neither space nor time have any meaning and life itself takes on another form. It is only due to the senses that the mind does not lose its grounding, for the border-lines between what is and what not, are uncertain and blurred. Dream and reality, generally two different states, mingle with and melt into each other, like watercolours, or the sounds of a wind organ. Of course, the mind always relies on the senses to deal with the reality it lives in, has to adjust to and, finally gets accustomed to, so routines can develop for everyday duties, which in turn,...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
Oliver’s injuries are of course a problem. He cannot climb the ladder and how to get him down the tight spiral staircase is another concern. After a few ‘to’s and fro’s,’ they decide to use a sleeping bag to let him down, but the stairs he has to tackle himself, as good as he can. They, sticking close to him, front and back and, the walls both sides, may prevent him from falling and further calamities. Manoeuvring him down the ladder turns out to be the easier part than climbing down the stairs. They have not only to put up with the prevailing warmth and sticky air, they also carry bags and need to watch out for Oliver all the time, for he could cause them to fall too, as he stumbles downwards. His moans are...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Femina’s sleep was restless. Sometimes she does not even know if she is actually awake or dreaming. Reality and dream are like confluent rivers without boundaries or demarcation. It is a state where all could be real or, a dream. She believes Dan is beside her and that commotion and voices have jolted her into wakefulness but she may as well have dreamed it or she may even suffer hallucinations. Her senses though seem to work fine and her mind seems to be intact too but having not only lost the sense of time she cannot differentiate realities. She leaves it at that. Once again, she just has to accept that she walks in the unknown, dream and reality one as good as the other. She wonders where the moon may have gone and why...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  The moon must have risen but Femina can neither see much of the sky nor anything of the moon. The small road is hidden under leafy roofs and descends steeply. To her relief, this time they were not blind folded. Not that there is much to see anyway apart from what the light beams of the bikes reveal, like small pieces of the road ahead and bushes and tree trunks to their sides. But, they were not given their own bikes to travel on, for ‘reasons of convenience’, as Oliver declared. His companions did not want to be held up by them unfamiliar with the area as they were. Though it sounds reasonable enough, Femina, unlike Dan, does not believe that the improved attitude of the Desperados towards them had anything to do with trust....
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  The main house is the place where all Desperados come together. There they meet to plan and organize their ventures, to celebrate and party, or just to drop in to be among themselves, their comrades and like-minded. It is a safe haven and, according to Oliver, laid out generously and suitably comfortable. All kinds of meetings can be organized, big and small. The required spaces are arranged through a central board and, using mobile walls that run in tracks for easy move, all is programmed and monitored electronically. For everyday occupancy rooms are down sized, including the main hall they are just walking through. The cultural habits are evident: Heavy rap and rock music blasting, posters of naked women, motorbikes, cars and, sport heroes on the walls, as well as speakers and huge TV-screens, currently...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
The speaker voice is back again, harsh and leaving no doubt, how the gang would react should they find resistance:  “Save yourself the speeches! You are not on the usual north-route! Dismount! Step forward! Each of you, line up next to the front wheel! Should you have any weapons, hand them over, now! And don’t try anything stupid, except you don’t want to continue travelling!” They do as told with heads and eyes down. Better not to play hero! The Desperado behind the barrier lifts his hands, fingertips pointing straight at them. They light up red as if they had tiny light-bulbs in them. He sweeps them up and down, slowly and repeatedly, all over their bodies, obviously operating a special camera or scanner. Whatever it may be, - anger rushes through Femina. It is a...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Femina finds in Dan and Ger ideal travel companions. They are vanilla and chocolate while she is the cream, the enrichment and embellishment. Ger is the simple, straight forward guy, Dan the closed up, complex one. Both are handsome if not attractive, but only Dan pays attention to his appearance and social standing, admittedly, very successfully. Wherever he goes, eyes follow him, particularly the female ones and though everyone likes vanilla, who can resist chocolate, when it is as beautifully packaged as he is. He laps up the attention like the cat laps its milk but, he leaves no doubt that he knows his worth and that he can do as good without. Besides, knowingly or not, he never provokes other men’s jealousy. To the contrary, even they seem to be impressed by him. Femina...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Baba nudges Femina to get her attention. She was still in thought staring at the curtain as if there was some kind of message. She turns to Baba who indicates gesturing how much he had enjoyed the performance. With his broad smile and twinkling eyes he rids her of her thoughtfulness. Repeating the last action, the ‘death blow’, he rolls up his eyes, but not to imitate the dying, rather as a comment, or statement of mockery as if to say that he considered it particularly ridiculous. Obviously, he found the performance more amusing than the content interesting, - in contrast to her. Never mind! It is good to be reminded of how little it takes to communicate and what it means to see with his eyes.  The curtain opens again. Black sits still at...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Femina notices the lack of color. Everything seems to be in black and white. That is confirmed having the stage in full view after the translucent blind was raised too. The scene is of a spacious room if not a small hall with white walls and large windows on each side. These are covered by white thin curtains, letting bright light shine through, and they move as if there was a breeze too. It creates a fresh airy atmosphere even more so as the floor-covering is of big black and white tiles for most of the floor except for a white rim along all sides, framing in a black and white field. The wall at the back has a big door, its wings closed, and the stage is empty apart from a small table in...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Finally, Femina gives up to stare at the empty wall. Pulling up her legs, embracing them with both her arms, she rests the head on the knees, and closes her tired eyes. She inhales the silence in the room like the fragrance of a flower and immerses her thoughts in it. Trickles of springs that disappear in rich mossy soil only to be collected in clear waters underground. She must have fallen in just the same as she finds herself in a wooden boat in the middle of a lake when she opens her eyes again. The oars lay at the sides and the water gleams silvery smooth as if it was a mirror. A warm sun brushes over her cheeks and the water gurgles and splashes in laughter when she moves to stretch her...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Femina wonders if she was willing to exchange this life for another that she could not know. It is certainly not the solution to her problem. Even being ignorant of what this new existence would be, it is not the escape she was looking or longing for. To end this life makes only sense, if really all was ended, full stop, with nothing to follow, whatever it might be. Damn it, and damn it again! She is pushed and torn, feels like a tennis ball that is slammed from one side to the other, with no rest in between. She just flies from here to there, hardly touching ground. Besides, Phil has not really expressed his views on the question of rebirth nor reincarnation. She obviously had been far too absorbed in her own reasoning...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Of course, that does not change the fact that she sits now in this room all by herself trying to find the answers to the essential questions of life, or death, her life anyway. As comforting as it may be to know that there are the like-minded who would understand; that she has friends she could talk to; and that she also would find support and care from the ones who love her, who would share any wooden bench with her if they believed or assumed she needed help, - Femina is glad to be alone, that nobody is sitting next to her to hold her hand. Dying is a lonely business, a one person job only. And she would not even bear to see the ones she loves being overwhelmed by grief. Particularly Pia,...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Phil’s voice calls Femina from her thoughts: “Now, if we don’t believe in fate and having no proof or any signs that could give us an understanding why indeed an illness occurs then only one explanation appears reasonable: It is by chance that illness arises, chance that it happens to one plant and not the other, chance that it occurs at this time but not that one. Even if we know the obvious causes, not everyone for instance gets the cold, despite an epidemic outbreak. How come, one gets it and the other does not?!” He halts for a moment, but continues not waiting for a comment: “Of course to hypothesize that illness occurs randomly has its problems. For one, it may lead to either carelessness or worse, resignation, as far as human behavior is...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  A faint noise creeps into the silence of the frozen world. Femina does not listen believing that it was only the ice adjusting itself. But it becomes more frequent and has different tones, and there is a trace of movement, faint and light-footed, it prompts her to take notice after all. She feels the ice cracking and fissuring as if it was going to let go of its tight grip. Femina does not react, she waits. After all, she is in the waiting-room. Waiting is all you do there. So she listens, to the creaking, and groaning, and crepitation, and she follows the appearing wounds as they spread and fragment the ice. Slowly she realizes that these changes are not initiated by the ice itself. They are only answers to something that comes out of...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Femina wonders if Adam and Eve found it as hard being driven from paradise as she does, considering they did not know what to expect in contrast to her. She is after all back to where she lived before, where the world is fenced in with bars not framed by palm leaves, where dissension and doubt rule, and where peace and harmony have little opportunity to unfold. She has not found freedom despite the happiness she experienced. It was just another room in the house where she is caught in. On her return she had to look for a new place to live and was lucky to find something quicker and even better than expected. It is a very nice place for her and Gordon, a house with two floors and a room under the...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Femina has found the beach she had been dreaming about, and has been there for weeks now but she has given up the count. Why would she, being as happy as she is? She enjoys every minute, whatever she does; lying in the shade of the palm trees gazing out over the sea, or cooling off in the water, or competing with the fish for a race she could never win. Her skin has turned golden brown and her hair has become lighter in colour, bleached from sun and sea. One glorious day follows the other. She is surrounded by water, white sand and palm trees. Some of them lean over the beach and a few are bent right over the water, with their green heads just high enough above to prevent those from getting...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  As it was then, a wave of happiness sweeps through her, without a barrier in her body or mind, leaving an impression as if time was standing still. Baba is as always barefoot. His orange lungi bleached from the sun, wrapped around his hips, has one end slung over his shoulder; his hair is covered by a turban of the same washed out color with a couple of strands defiantly escaping their constraint. They are of a light brown color and only a meager hint of the mass of dreadlocks that are hidden away. When allowed to fall freely, they reach far below his back. She is crazy about his hair though she has never touched it. It is of such an abundance, and despite its felt like matting it has parts of lighter, even...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Femina does not know how long she had been sleeping. It sure was long enough. She is still in the hallway, but it is low lit and uninviting again. A cold drought flows along the stone floor and though it is no more than the breath of chilly nights, it makes her shiver and sad. She watches the to and fro of the softly swinging and dreary shining lamps, but they have nothing new to tell. She is still alone, she is still not free and everything is two-sided.  What did Dimitri call her? An egoistic bitch? Is the cage not golden enough? How could she ever explain to him that she suffers because she was lost, subdued and defenseless? Deep in her soul lies a sadness that does not go away, no matter what...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  Femina must accept that she still cannot leave this house. Not giving up hope, she decides, she is better off, not to spend time in frustration but rather fill it with things she is interested in. Being always thirsty for knowledge she enrolls into one of the highest educational centers of its kind that emphasizes on science and critical thought, in fact, encouraging it. The lecturers don’t care what private life their students have, as long as they take their subjects seriously and pass the rigorous exams. She can live with that as it allows her to let her mind fly, instead of being forced to press it into a certain mold. She has not much money to live on. Pia supports her as well as she can. Dimitri stays true to his word, he...
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Posted by on in Book Translations
  The corridor is terribly cold. The lamps shine ever so tired if not worse. She has slipped out into this unfriendly passage to investigate again if there was not after all a way out of this house. But it is as before, no change or indication of change. Or is it? She stops hearing voices coming from one of the other doors. So far she had not been interested in exploring any of them as they did not promise anything she was interested in, mainly how to get out of here. But maybe she is wrong and there is another possibility though not an obvious one. She should at least investigate.   She follows the voices and stops in front of a simple wooden door that lies in the shadow of an already poorly lit...
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