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Точка зрения (Point of view)

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Наивный читатель зачастую безоговорочно принимает отношение автора к описываемому в рассказе или же отношение персонажей к происходящему за единственно возможное. Однако в произведении может быть представлено несколько контрастирующих «отношений», истинных в одной проекции и сомнительных в другой. В литературоведении этот прием, дающий возможность показать читателю относительность оценок, получил название «точка зрения» (point of view). «Точка зрения становится ощутимым элементом художественной структуры с того момента, как возникает возможность смены ее в пределах повествования (или проекции текста на другой текст с иной точкой зрения)» [5, 320]. Существуют даже целые романы, построенные на контрасте двух точек зрения, например, «Обратная сторона ветра» Милорада Павича, где одни и те же события представлены в одной части с точки зрения мужчины, а в другой – с точки зрения женщины.

В приведенных здесь текстах смена точки зрения не является основным приемом, однако интересно проявляется через язык и другие средства выразительности.

В рассказе ‘Cyber essay’ противопоставлены две проекции: с одной стороны – мир индейцев с его ценностями через сознание индейца же, с другой – мир нашей цивилизации в недалеком будущем через сознание не принимающего его современника. Обе части сильно отличаются синтаксически (индеец и полицейский из будущего, естественно, не могут выражаться одинаково) и лексически (разные ключевые слова). Два персонажа по-разному оценивают свою жизнь и смерть, своё предназначение, цену своих усилий. Мастерски показано, как для представителей разных культур варьируются норма и отклонение.

Рассказ ‘Back for Christmas’ начинается с показа семейной жизни четы Карпентеров глазами жены, миссис Гермионы, а затем в середине повествование резко переключается, и читателю преподается точка зрения на то же самое мужа. Автором обыгрываются слова ‘arrangement’, ‘business’, ‘to manage’, в устах каждого из супругов актуализирующие разные значения. Интересно, что два главных героя используют в речи разные вспомогательные и модальные глаголы. Жена: «He would be in America…She would have a wonderful time, too. She would see the skyscrapers…», «He must be back by Christmas». Муж: «…finished what he had to do», «He had to drive very carefully». Его мировосприятие – всегда с оглядкой на давление обстоятельств, даже когда он убеждает себя, что уже свободен (в такой момент он осмеливается употребить ‘can’). Гермиона выбирает ‘must’, возможно, даже не в смысле долженствования, а в значении наибольшей степени вероятности. Она легко оперирует временами, притягивая будущее к прошедшему во Future-in-the-Past, потому что она уверена, что знает ход жизни своей семьи на значительное время вперед. С учетом характера развития событий можно говорить о создании эффекта иронии, возникающего за счет добавление третьей точки зрения – того, кто уже знает, чем кончится дело. Это «всезнающий автор» (omniscient author) или читатель, не в первый раз обращающийся к рассказу. Заметим, что с этой точки зрения would в начале читается уже как проявление не Future-in-the-Past, а сослагательного наклонения.

Cyber essayby A. Reivakh

The sun has risen. New day has started for the Mohambwas tribe. This day is promising to be just another fine day.

Hunters have just returned with their prey from the night hunt.

Mohambwa wakes up and goes out from his tepee. He is the only elder in his tribe and everyone honors him. When he was young he was the most courageous hunter and warrior. With the ages the wisdom has come and now everyone asks for his advice, as he asked for elder’s advice in youth.

He approaches the bonfire. Kids are sitting here. When they see him they smile and ask him to tell a story. He smiles in turn and starts.

Later that day he is strolling through the village. Young warriors are preparing for their initial ritual, the tribe’s tanner is making clothes and belts of animal skin. Everyone is busy. Everything is fine.

In the evening everyone came to the bonfire to talk and discuss the recent events, when suddenly the palefaces attacked. Panic started. Warriors were trying to fight them off but they were nothing against the invaders’ rifles and revolvers. Chief’s daughter – Nada – was trying to gather everyone and bring them to safety.

Mohambwa took his tomahawk from his tepee and threw it at the nearest paleface.

Gunshot.

Pain burst in the chest.

Mohambwa fell on the ground.

“McGriefe sends you hello,” – said the paleface.

“Be cursed you,” – Mohambwa said as loudly as he could. – “your world will be rotten.”

“What do you say, boy?” – the paleface was mocking at him. – “Boss wants your scalp as the evidence that you’re dead, Injun. And I’ll bring it for him.”

With that words he took out the knife. It touched the skin.

 

 

Dough Jones woke up. This dream again. It was following him for all his life. He stood up and tried to smoke. Cyber prostheses were shaking. It meant they needed synchronization. But Dough really needed a cigarette. Synchronization could wait.

He lit the cigarette and looked at the window: the same “prosperous” American City. Neon signs were promising almost everything – from alcohol to cheap love. Everything, except drugs, but they are from the sort of products that have no need in commercial – everyone knows, where it could be found. Streets were covered with the shadows, people were walking in those shadows.

But Dough wasn’t interested in the scenery. He was thinking about what that old Indian meant by saying: “Your world will be rotten”.

The alarm clock rang. It was time to move out.

9:37 am. Garbage on the streets, night scum hadn’t got home yet.

Dough was walking down the street, to the police station – the place where he worked. It was not his childhood dream, but at least he was trying to make the world a better place.

News station was informing citizens that everything was alright – president was saying his inauguration speech; “brave” troops fighting against “enemies of democracy” at the Middle East, and the cat found in small Australian town. Everything was fine.

And just at front of it – the kid. 10, maybe 11, years old. When Dough looked at his face, he felt shocked. Dough never saw such a terrible mixture of scorn and despair. The boy’s clothes were from one of the orphanages, where wardens were only for teaching kids to hate adults, especially their own parents. Dough forgot how this shit was named.

He passed the kid. This is what Dough was taught – nonchalance.

9:47 am

The same old bureaucracy. From day to day. Dough almost forgot when he had been on combat mission last time. Once he was a SWAT member, risking his life to save hostages, but after severe injury last year, and after the augmentation, he became another Jack in the office.

He looked at the pile of papers at his desk. ‘Damn it!’ He took a break.

10:02 am

Bruce Pitchkroft – the only person who Dough could call him best friend.

Noisy, funny, even comic, but locked-in like a hound. He was the best cop in this city, well, may be sometimes he was a little cruel with criminals, but he always wanted to be sure that they couldn’t make harm to anyone else. Nobody knew why he still had a job and there were different rumors about it. Dough never believed them.

They were walking from the bar, when Bruce felt an urge. They came into the dark street.

“Hey, Doughy boy,” - Bruce suddenly asked. - “do you remember McGriefes case?”

“That case, that I was working voluntary?” – Dough answered. – “Yep, I remember it.”

“What was in it?”

“Lionel McGriefe was in it. On one hand – smuggling of prohibited drugs. On the other – patron saint of orphanages.”

“You haven’t found any evidence, have you?” – Bruce asked.

“No,” – Dough grinned bitterly. – “Have you forgotten WHAT happened when our team went for searching?”

“No. No I haven’t,” – Bruce answered. – “But… Do you know, what is the bad thing in all that case, pal?”

“What?”

“That you have survived.”

Dough rapidly turned around.

Gunshot.

Pain burst in the chest.

Dough fell on the ground.

“McGriefe sends you hello” – Bruce said slowly approaching.

“The old Indian was right,” – Dough whispered. – “our world is rotten…”

“What are you saying, Doughy boy?” – Bruce was mocking at him. – “McGriefe wants to be sure you’re dead. And I’m like to be sure…”

Bruce is taking aim.

Gunshot.

Dough is slowly falling on his knees. His arm wants to close a hole at his neck.

Dough is dead.

 

 

Back for Christmas by John Collier

’Doctor’ said Major Sinclair, ‘we certainly must have you with us for Christmas. Tea was being poured, and the Carpenters' living-room was filled with friends who had come to say last-minute farewells to the Doctor and his wife.

'He shall be back,' said Mrs. Carpenter. 'I promise you.'

'It's hardly certain,' said Dr. Carpenter. Td like nothing better, of course.'

'After all,' said Mr. Hewitt, 'you've contracted to lecture only for three months.'

'Anything may happen,' said Dr. Carpenter.

'Whatever happens,' said Mrs. Carpenter, beaming at them, 'he shall be back in England for Christmas. You may all believe me.'

They all believed her. The Doctor himself almost believed her. For ten years she had been promising him for dinner parties, garden parties, committees, heaven knows what, and the promises had always been kept.

The farewells began. There was a fluting of compliments on dear Hermione's marvelous arrangements. She and her husband would drive to Southampton that evening. They would embark the following day. No trains, no bustle, no last-minute worries. Certain the Doctor was marvelously looked after. He would be a great success in America. Especially with Hermione to see to everything. She would have a wonderful time, too. She would see the skyscrapers. Nothing like that in Little Godwearing. But she must be very sure to bring him back. 'Yes, I will bring him back. You may rely upon it.' He mustn't be persuaded. No extensions. No wonderful post at some super-American hospital. Our infirmary needs him. And he. must be back by Christmas. 'Yes,' Mrs. Carpenter called to the last departing guest, ‘I shall see to it. He shall be back by Christmas.'

The final arrangements for closing the house were very well managed. The maids soon had the tea things washed up; they came in, said goodbye, and were in time to catch the afternoon bus to Devizes.

Nothing remained but odds and ends, locking doors, seeing that everything was tidy. 'Go upstairs,' said Hermione, 'and change into your brown tweeds. Empty the pockets of that suit before you put it in your bag. I’ll see to everything else. All you have to do is not to get in the way.'

The Doctor went upstairs and took off the suit he was wearing, but instead of the brown tweeds, he put on an old, dirty bath gown, which he took from the back of his wardrobe. Then, after making one or two little arrangements, he leaned over the head of the stairs and called to his wife, 'Hermione! Have you a moment to spare?'

'Of course, dear. I'm just finished.'

'Just come up here for a moment. There’s something rather extraordinary up here.'

Hermione immediately came up. ’Good heavens, my dear man!’ she said when she saw her husband. ’What are you lounging about in that filthy old thing for? I told you to have it burned long ago,'

'Who in the world,' said the Doctor, 'has dropped a gold chain down the bathtub drain?’

’Nobody has, of course,’ said Hermione. ’Nobody wears such a thing.’

’Then what is it doing there?’ said the Doctor. ’Take this flashlight. If you lean right over, you can see it shining, deep down.’

’Some Woolworth’s bangle of one of the maids,’ said Hermione. ’It can be nothing else.’ However, she took the flashlight and leaned over, squinting into the drain. The Doctor, raising a short length of lead pipe, struck two or three times with great force and precision, and tilting the body by the knees, tumbled it into the tub.

He then slipped off the bathrobe and, standing completely naked, unwrapped a towel full of implements and put them into the washbasin. He spread several sheets of newspaper on the floor and turned once more to his victim.

She was dead, of course — horribly doubled up, like a somersaulter, at one end of the tub. He stood looking at her for a very long time, thinking of absolutely nothing at all. Then he saw how much blood there was and his mind began to move again.

First he pushed and pulled until she lay straight in the bath, then he removed her clothing. In a narrow bathtub this was an extremely clumsy business, but he managed it at last and then turned on the taps. The water rushed into the tub, then dwindled, then died away, and the last of it gurgled down the drain.

’Good God!’ he said. ’She turned it off at the main.’

There was only one thing to do: the Doctor hastily wiped his hands on a towel, opened the bathroom door with a clean corner of the towel, threw it back onto the bath stool, and ran downstairs, barefoot, light as a cat. The cellar door was in a comer of the entrance hall, under the stairs. He knew just where the cut-off was. He had reason to: he had been pottering about down there for some time past — trying to scrape out a bin for wine, he had told Hermione. He pushed open the cellar door, went down the steep steps, and just before the closing door plunged the cellar into pitch darkness, he put his hand on the tap and turned it on. Then he felt his way back along the grimy wall till he came to the steps. He was about to ascend them when the bell rang.

The Doctor was scarcely aware of the ringing as a sound. It was like a spike of iron pushed slowly up through his stomach. It went on until it reached his brain. Then something broke. He threw himself down in the coal dust on the floor and said, ’I’m through. I’m through!’

’They’ve got no right to come,’ he said. Then he heard himself panting. ’None of this,’ he said to himself. None of this.’

He began to revive. He got to his feet, and when the bell rang again, the sound passed through him almost painlessly. ’Let them go away,’ he said. Then he heard the front door open. He said, ’I don’t care.’ His shoulder came up, like that of a boxer, to shield his face. ’I give up,’ he said.

He heard people calling. ’Herbert!’ ’Hermione!’ It was the Wallingfords. ’Damn them! They come butting in. People anxious to get off. All naked! And blood and coal dust! I’m done! I’m through! I can’t do it’

’Herbert!’

’Hermione!’

’Where the dickens can they be?’

’The car's there.’

’Maybe they've popped round to Mrs. Liddell's.'

'We must see them.'

'Or to the shops, maybe. Something at the last minute.'

'Not Hermione. I say, listen! Isn’t that someone having a bath? Shall I shout? What about whanging on the door?’

’Sh-h-h! Don't. It might not be tactful."

'No harm in a shout.'

'Look, dear. Let’s come in on our way back. Hermione said they wouldn't be leaving before seven. They're dining on the way, in Salisbury.'

’Think so? All right. Only I want a last drink with old Herbert. He’d be hurt.’

’Let’s hurry. We can be back by halt-past six.’

The Doctor heard them walk out and the front door close quietly behind them. He thought, ’Half-past six. Let’s do it.’

He crossed the hall, sprang the latch of the front door, went upstairs, and taking his instruments from the washbasin, finished what he had to do. He came down again, clad in his bath gown, carrying parcel after parcel of toweling or newspaper neatly secured with safety pins. These he packed carefully into the narrow, deep hole he had made in the corner of the cellar, shoveled in the soil, spread coal dust over all, satisfied himself that everything was in order, and went upstairs again. He then thoroughly cleansed the bath, and himself, and the bath again, dressed, and took his wife's clothing and his bath gown to the incinerator.

One or two more little touches and everything was in order. It was only quarter past six. The Wallingfords were always late, he had only to get into the car and drive off. It was a pity he couldn't wait till after dusk, but he could make a detour to avoid passing through the main street, and even if he was seen driving alone, people would only think Hermione had gone on ahead for some reason and they would forget about it.

Still, he was glad when he had finally got away, entirely unobserved, on the open road, driving into the gathering dusk. He had to drive very carefully; he found himself unable to judge distances, his reactions were abnormally delayed, but that was a detail. When it was quite dark he allowed himself to stop the car on the top of the downs, in order to think.

The stars were superb. He could see the lights of one or two little towns far away on the plain below him. He was exultant. Everything that was to follow was perfectly simple. Marion was waiting in Chicago. She already believed him to be a widower. The lecture people could be put off with a word. He had nothing to do but establish himself in some thriving out-of-the-way town in America and he was safe for ever. There were Hermione's clothes, of course, in the suitcases; they could be disposed of through the porthole. Thank heaven she wrote her letters on the typewriter — a little thing like handwriting might have prevented everything. 'But there you are,' he said. 'She was up-to-date, efficient all along the line. Managed everything. Managed herself to death, damn her!'

'There's no reason to get excited,' he thought. Til write a few letters for her, then fewer and fewer. Write myself — always expecting to get back, never quite able to. Keep the house one year, then another, then another; they'll get used to it. Might even come back alone in a year or two and clear it up properly. Nothing easier. But not for Christmas!' He started up the engine and was off.

In New York he felt free at last, really free. He was safe. He could look back with pleasure — at least after a meal, lighting his cigarette, he could look back with a sort of pleasure — to the minute he had passed in the cellar listening to the bell, the door, and the voices. He could look forward to Marion.

As he strolled through the lobby of his hotel, the clerk, smiling, held up letters for him. It was the first batch from England. Well, what did that matter? It would be fun dashing off the typewritten sheets in Hermione's downright style, signing them with her squiggle, telling everyone what a success his first lecture had been, how thrilled he was with America but how certainly she'd bring him back for Christmas. Doubts could creep in later.

He glanced over the letters. Most were for Hermione. From the Sinclairs, the Wallingfords, the vicar, and a business letter from Holt & Sons, Builders and Decorators.

He stood in the lounge, people brushing by him. He opened the letters with his thumb, reading here and there, smiling. They all seemed very confident he would be back for Christmas. They relied on Hermione. 'That's where they make their big mistake,' said the Doctor, who had taken to American phrases. The builders' letter he kept to the last. Some bill, probably. It was:

 

Dear Madam,

We are in receipt of your kind acceptance of estimate as below and also of key.

We beg to repeat you may have every confidence in same being ready in ample time for Christmas present as stated. We are setting men to work this week.

We are, Madam,

Yours faithfully,

PAUL HOLT & SONS

To excavating, building up, suitably lining one sunken wine bin in cellar as indicated, using best materials, making good, etc.

£18/0/0

 


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