Literaturpreise-Hamburg.de

Isabel Bogdan
Ingo Herzke
Andreas Münzner
Stefan Beuse
Lars Dahms
Dierk Hagedorn
Myriam Keil
Jasmin Ramadan
Friederike Trudzinski

Ingo Herzke

übersetzte aus dem Amerikanischen

Rick Moody: "The Diviners" | Romanauszug

Chapter 28

There are days when the only question in the waiting room of the hospital is about the quality of her consciousness. And yet the victim has no consciousness of her habits and opinions, only the consciousness of the brick. The brick has no consciousness itself, or so it is often believed. And yet here is the brick considering its manifestations. Or perhaps the consciousness of the brick and the consciousness of the victim have become twinned in their perceptions. For the victim, the consciousness of impact is lost. Not so for the brick. The consciousness of the moment of the impact, when the victim is talking on her cell phone, walking briskly to or from the library, depending on the account, is alive for the brick, when it becomes an instrument of death, collides with her, crushes a portion of the side of her skull; when she is face down on the sidewalk, and the cell phone has gone skittering, and the blood flows liberally from her skull; when the brick is cast aside, to return to its formerly inert state. Lost to the victim, lost to history, except that she hears the brick calling to her.
Of course, the victim does not know that she has collided with a brick. She knows only that she is in a serene blackness of indefinite duration and proportion. In this space there are murmurings, and these murmurings are disconnected and without meaning, and they appear amid portions of blackness that have nothing at all associated with them, no variation, no density, no volume. If there are words overheard, murmurings, they are heard at such as distance that they sound more like a massing of insects.
The brick comes from an oven somewhere, a kiln, from some locale plentiful in the labor necessary to produce a brick, an area that offers costs of labor far cheaper than what is available here in the metropolitan region. The brick is from Romania, or the brick is from the Yucatan, or the brick is from a factory in West Virginia, where the brick-producing factories are soon to shutter once and for all. Men and women there have manufactured bricks for forty-five years, but they soon will be looking for work in the service sector. This brick is made of clay, and the brick was fired at high temperatures, and there was a medium that bound the clay and gave it pigment in a giant convectionary bowl of some kind, where the mixture was assembled, and thereafter the brick was shaped and fired. The brick is nothing but earth. It has no history except in recollection, as an agent of death. In this instant of the victim's life after the collision with the brick, the first instant that the victim recognizes as such, what she is conscious of is the brick.
The eruption of color is terrifying. The eruption is painful, and the pain is associated with this perception of the brick and its history. And there is a word written on the side of the brick, it must be that a word that is written there, this occurs to her, a word that will identify the factory where the brick is made; she is aware of wanting to read the word, though words and letters are impenetrable to her, and she is not sure what an alphabet is or if she could ever read from one. Still, this name on the brick will have some kind of lesson for her. The victim has no name, and in the intervals of hearing nothing and feeling nothing and seeing nothing this namelessness is of no consequence. In fact, it's a blessing. Without a name, there is no sense that the not-hearing and not-seeing and not-feeling of the victim are anything but aspects of a system that never loses any energy, never winds down. There's no need in a system like this for a name, so the victim does not know that she has no name, nor does she experience herself as a victim, except as a victim of eruptions of light and color. Light, associating itself with some agony in her skull, implies she has a skull, that she is not simply a brick that has some name written on it, for example, the word "Utica." What a shapely and beautiful word "Utica" is because it must be the name of a something. The name must be other than the brick, it must be a recognition of some other system of things, a system that includes light and sound, and that includes an overheard pageant of insects chirruping words like "Utica," which is or must be a place where bricks are made and which may or may not be the place that this brick was made.