W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM
W. SOMERSET MAUGHAM
|William Somerset Maugham (rođen 1874., umro 1965.) postao je siroče u desetoj godini. Studirao je na Sveučilištu Heidelberg, zatim završio tečaj medicine u Londonu. U bolnicama je svjedočio prizorima boli i smrti, a to mu je iskustvo pomoglo u pisanju njegova prvog romana. Njegove kratke priče, mnoge inspirirane životom na istoku, su slavne. U The Dream (San) odvjetnik opisuje događaje koji su doveli do smrti njegove žene.||William Somerset Maugham (born 1874, 1965) was orphaned at the age of ten, studied at Heidelberg University, and then took a course in Medicine at London. In the hospitals he witnessed pain and death, and his experience enabled him to write his first novel. His short stories, many based on life in the east, are famous. In The Dream a lawyer describes the events which led up to his wife’s death.|
|Bio je plemićkog rođenja, odvjetnik po zanimanju. Za njega je bilo neizbježno da puno vremena provede u inozemstvu zbog nekih nevolja s vlastima, no sada je išao kući.
‘Jesi li oženjen?’ pitao me.
Nisam vidio zašto bi njega to bilo briga, ali rekao sam mu da jesam. Tiho je uzdahnuo.
|HE was of noble birth, it appeared, a lawyer by profession. Some trouble with the authorities had made it necessary for him to be much abroad, but now he was on his way home.
‘Are you married?’ he asked me.
‘ I did not see what business it was of his, but I told him that I was. He sighed a little.
|‘Ja sam udovac.’ rekao je. ‘Moja supruga je bila Švicarka, rodom iz Geneve. Bila je vrlo dobro obrazovana žena. Govorila je engleski, njemački i talijanski savršeno. Francuski je, naravno, bio njezin materinji jezik. Njezin ruski je bio znatno iznad prosjeka za strankinju.’||‘I am a widower,” he said. ‘My wife was a Swiss, a native of Geneva. She was a very well educated woman. She spoke English, German and Italian perfectly. French, of course, was her native language. Her Russian was much above the average for a foreigner.’|
|Pozvao je konobara koji je prolazio s pladnjem punim suđa i pitao ga, pretpostavljam, koliko ćemo još čekati na sljedeće jelo. Konobar je, uz neki brzi usklik, požurio i moj prijatelj je opet uzdahnuo.||He called a waiter who was passing with a tray full of dishes and asked him, I suppose, how much longer we were going to wait for the next course. The waiter, with a rapid exclamation, hurried on and my friend sighed.|
|‘Čekanje u restoranima postaje naporno.’ Zapalio je dvadesetu cigaretu, a ja gledajući na sat, zapitao sam se bih li se trebao najesti prije nego što i sam počnem pušiti.||‘The waiting in restaurants has become terribly bad. He lighted his twentieth cigarette and I, looking at my watch, wondered if I should get a good meal before it was time for me to start.|
|‘Moja supruga je bila izvanredna žena.’ nastavio je. ‘Podučavala je jezike u jednoj od najboljih škola za djevojke plemićke krvi. Dobrih nekoliko godina živjeli smo zajedno u savršeno prijateljskim odnosima. Ona je, međutim, bila ljubomorne naravi i nažalost me poprilično ludo voljela.’||‘My wife was a very remarkable woman, he continued. She taught languages at one of the best schools for the daughters of noblemen. For a good many years we lived together on per¬fectly friendly terms. She was, however, of a jealous nature and unfortunately she loved me quite madly.’|
|Bilo mi je teško ostati ozbiljan. On je bio jedan od najružnijih muškaraca koje sam ikada vidio. Ponekada se javi određeni šarm u veselom debeljku crvena lica, ali ova vraška debljina bila je odbojna.||It was difficult for me to keep a straight face. He was one of the ugliest men I had ever seen. There is sometimes a certain charm in a red-faced and cheerful fat man, but this devilish fatness was repulsive.|
|‘Ne pretvaram se da sam joj bio vjeran. Kada sam ju oženio više nije bila mlada, a bili smo u braku sljedećih deset godina. Bila je mala i mršava, i imala je lošu kožu. Bila je oštra. Ona je bila žena koja me je željela potpuno posjedovati, i nije mogla podnijeti to da bi me privlačio itko osim nje. Bila je ljubomorna ne samo na žene koje sam poznavao, već i na moje prijatelje, moju mačku i moje knjige. Jednom prilikom, dok nisam bio prisutan, dala je moj kaput nekomu samo zato što mi se nijedan od mojih kaputa nije toliko sviđao kao taj. Ali ja sam smirene naravi. Neću poricati da mi je bila dosadna, ali prihvatio sam njeno ogorčeno ponašanje kao Božji čin i nisam mislio boriti se protiv toga ništa više no što sam mislio o borbi protiv lošeg vremena ili boli u glavi zbog hladnoće. Poricao sam njene optužbe sve dok ih je bilo moguće poricati, a kad je postalo nemoguće, slijegao bih ramenima i popušio cigaretu.||‘I do not pretend that I was faithful to her. She was not young when I married her and we had been married for ten years. She was small and thin, and she had a bad skin. She had a bitter tongue. She was a woman who wanted to possess completely, and she could not bear me to be attracted to anyone but her. She was jealous not only of the women I knew, but of my friends, my cat and my books. On one occasion in my absence she gave away a coat of mine merely because I liked none of my coats so well. But I am of a calm nature. I will not deny that she bored me, but I accepted her bitter behaviour as an act of God and no more thought of fighting against it than I thought of fighting against bad weather or a cold in the head. I denied her accusations as long as it was possible to deny them, and when it was im¬possible I raised my shoulders and smoked a cigarette.|
|‘Naše uzastopne svađe nisu jako utjecale na mene. Vodio sam vlastiti život. Ponekad sam se doista pitao je li prema meni osjećala veliku ljubav ili veliku mržnju. Činilo mi se da su ljubav i mržnja vrlo usko povezane.’||‘The continual quarrels we had did not very much affect me. I led my own life. Sometimes, indeed, I wondered if it was great love she felt for me or great hate. It seemed to me that love and hate were very closely connected.|
|‘Pa možda bismo ostali zajedno do kraja, da se jedne noći nije dogodila jedna vrlo zanimljiva stvar. Probudio me njen vrisak. Potresen, pitao sam je što je bilo. Rekla mi je da je imala strašan san; sanjala je da sam je pokušavao ubiti. Živjeli smo na vrhu velike kuće, i kružni hodnik kojim se penju stepenice bio je širok. Sanjala je da sam je, kada smo stigli na naš kat, zgrabio i pokušao baciti niz hodnik. To je šest katova do kamenog dna i značilo je sigurnu smrt.||‘So we might have continued to the end, if one night a very curious thing had not happened. I was awakened by a scream from my wife. Startled, I asked her what was the matter. She told me that she had had a fearful dream; she had dreamt that I was trying to kill her. We lived at the top of a large house, and the well2 round which the stairs climbed was broad. She had dreamt that just as we had arrived at our own floor I had caught hold of her and attempted to throw her over the side. It was six floors to the stone bottom and it meant certain death.|
|‘Bila je jako potresena. Dao sam sve od sebe da ju smirim. Ali sljedećeg jutra, i kroz sljedeća dva ili tri dana, opet je spominjala tu temu i, unatoč mome smijehu, vidio sam da je opsjednuta time. Ni sam nisam mogao ne misliti o tome, jer je taj san otkrio nešto u što nisam nikada ni posumnjao. Mislila je da ju mrzim, mislila je da bih je se dragovoljno riješio; naravno, znala je da se ponašala nepodnošljivo, i odjednom joj je sinula ideja da sam sposoban ubiti ju. Misli muškaraca teške su za razumjeti, i trebali bismo se sramiti priznati kakve sve ideje nam padaju na pamet. Ponekad sam priželjkivao da možda pobjegne s ljubavnikom, ponekad da će mi bezbolna i nenadana smrt osigurati slobodu; ali nikad, nikad mi nije sinulo da bih se namjerno mogao riješiti nepodnošljivih veriga.||‘She was much shaken. I did my best to calm her. But next morning, and for two or three days after, she mentioned the subject again and, in spite of my laughter, I saw that it stayed in her mind. I could not help linking of it myself, for this dream showed something that I had never suspected. She thought I hated her, she thought I would gladly be rid of her; she knew of course that she was unbearable, and at some time or other the idea had evidently occurred to her that I was capable of murder¬ing her. The thoughts of men are hard to understand, and ideas enter our minds that we should be ashamed to confess. Some¬times I had wished that she might run away with a lover, sometimes that a painless and sudden death might give me my freedom; but never, never had the idea come to me that I might knowingly rid myself of my unbearable chains.|
|‘Taj je san imao izvanredni utjecaj na nas oboje. Prestrašio je moju ženu, i postala je manje ogorčena neko vrijeme. Ali kada sam hodao uz stube do naših soba bilo je nemoguće da ne pogledam preko ograde i pomislim kako bi bilo lako učiniti ono što je sanjala. Jedan brzi pokret, i moglo bi sve biti svršeno. Bilo je teško izbaciti tu pomisao iz glave. Par mjeseci kasnije me supruga probudila jedne noći. Bio sam jako umoran i ljut. Ona je bila blijeda i drhtala je. Opet je sanjala taj san. Počela je plakati i pitala me mrzim li ju. Zakleo sam se da je volim. Naposljetku je opet utonula u san. Bilo je to sve što sam mogao učiniti. Ležao sam budan. Vidio sam je kako pada niz stepenište, i čuo sam njen vrisak te težak zvuk kad je udarila o kameni pod. Nisam mogao ne zadrhtati.’||‘The dream had an extraordinary effect upon both of us. It frightened my wife, and she became for a little time less bitter. But when I walked upstairs to our rooms it was impossible for me not to look over the side and think how easy it would be to do what she had dreamt. A quick movement and the thing could be done. It was hard to put the thought out of my mind. Then some months later my wife awakened me one night. I was very tired and I was angry. She was white and trembling. She had had the dream again. She burst into tears and asked me if I hated her. I swore that I loved her. At last she went to sleep again. It was more than I could do. I lay awake. I seemed to see her falling down the well of the stairs, and I heard her scream and the heavy sound as she struck the stone floor. I could not help trembling.’|
|Stao je, a čelo mu je bilo znojno. Vješto je pričao priču pa sam pažljivo slušao. Još je bilo nešto pića u boci, sve je strusio i progutao u jednom gutljaju.||He stopped, and sweat stood on his forehead. He had told the story well so that I had listened with attention. There was still some drink in the bottle; he poured it out and swallowed it at once.|
|‘I kako ti je na kraju umrla supruga?’ pitao sam nakon pauze.||‘And how did your wife die in the end?’ I asked after a pause.|
|Izvadio je prljavi rupčić i obrisao si čelo.||He took out a dirty handkerchief and wiped his forehead.|
|‘Zahvaljujući nevjerojatnim okolnostima, bila je nađena kasno jedne noći na dnu stepenica sa slomljenim vratom.||‘By an extraordinary chance, she was found late one night at the bottom of the stairs with her neck broken.’|
|‘Tko ju je pronašao?’
‘Pronašao ju je jedan od stanara koji je došao kratko nakon nesreće.’
‘A gdje si ti bio?’
|‘Who found her?’
‘She was found by one of the lodgers who came in a short time after the disaster.’
‘And where were you?’
|Ne mogu opisati njegov pogled opake lukavosti. Njegove male crne oči zasjale su.||I cannot describe the look he gave me of wicked cunning. His little black eyes shone brightly.|
|‘Provodio sam večer s prijateljem. Došao sam tek sat vremena kasnije.’||‘I was spending the evening with a friend of mine. I did not come in till an hour later.’|
|Tog trenutka nam je konobar donio glavno jelo koje smo naručili, i on je hlapljivo počeo jesti. Stavljao je hranu u usta u ogromnim zalogajima.||At that moment the waiter brought us the dish of meat that we had ordered, and he started to eat hungrily. He put the food into his mouth in enormous mouthfuls.|
|Bio sam osupnut. Je li mi on to priznao na neki upola tajanstveni način da je ubio svoju suprugu? Ili se samo našalio?||I was very surprised. Had he really been telling me in this half-secret manner that he had murdered his wife? The fat, slow man did not look like a murderer; I could not believe that he would have had the courage. Or was he making a bitter joke?|
|Nekoliko minuta kasnije bilo je vrijeme da pođem do svog vlaka. Napustio sam ga i od tad ga nisam vidio. Ali nikada nisam mogao odlučiti je li bio ozbiljan ili se šalio.||In a few minutes it was time for me to go and catch my train. I left him and I have not seen him since. But I have never been able to make up my mind whether he was serious or joking.|
Prevela: Larisa Ana Sabolić, 1. b
Practice Your English, OUP, London, 1968, page 61-64.