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Arvustus raamatule:

"Wreck of the River of Stars"

Michael Flynn

Kirjastus Tor Books

Veebruar, 2017

Mulle näib, et on aina rohkem raamatuid, mis on kirjutatud selliselt, et neid lugedes hakkaks silme ees jooksma justkui film. Selliseid raamatuid on küll kerge lugeda, aga üldiselt on filmi moodi raamat raiskamine, sest raamatu käsutuses on arsenal, millele filmikaamera kuidagi ligi ei pääse.

 

"The Wreck of The River of Stars" ("Tähtede Jõe vare", edaspidi lihtsalt "Vare") on üks raamat, mis seda arsenali demonstreerib.

 

Loos aset leidnud sündmused ja tegelased saaks muidugi kinolinale panna, aga "Vare" vägevus seisneb viisis, kuidas sündmusi ja tegelasi on kirjeldatud, mitte sündmustes ja tegelastes endis.

 

"Vare" jutustab loo planeetidevahelise kosmoselaeva meeskonnast. Pardal on kuusteist inimest (lisaks poolmõistuslik pardaarvuti ja kaks kassi) kes on võrdselt peategelased ja samal ajal ka ainsad tegelased, kuna kogu sündmustik toimub üheainsa laevareisi vältel, kus laevakere on kõik, mis seisab pardalviibijate ja külma kosmoseavaruse vahel. Väide, et kõik inimesed pardal on võrdselt peategelased, peab tõepoolest paika - ka parima tahtmise juures ei suuda ma pärast raamatu lõpetamist osutada suure tegelaskonna seast ühelegi, kes näiks olevat kirjutatud teistest sümpaatsema, parema või olulisemana ning oleks seeläbi tegelik peategelane, kelle kõrval teised olid tagantjärele mõeldes vaid palju tähelepanu saanud kõrvaltegelased (köh-köh, Jon Snow). 

 

Alus, millel meeskond toimetab, kannab nime "Tähtede Jõgi". Kunagi ammu, enne loos aset leidvaid sündmusi ja enne kui enamik tegelasi laeva peale teenima sattus, oli see olnud uhke ja luksuslik reisilaev, millest on nüüdseks jäänud alles põhjakäinud romu. Põhjus? Uue tehnoloogia pealetulek. Nimelt on tegemist vanakooli magnetpurjede ajal ehitatud laevaga. Magnetpurjed jäid aga jalgu uut tüüpi Farsnworth tõukuritele. 

 

Analoog purjelaevade hääbumisele aurumootori kasutuselevõtul on varjamatult ilmne. On peaaegu häiriv, kuidas ükski tegelane seda paralleeli märkima ei vaevu.

 

Kuigi "Tähtede Jõgi" sõidab küll juba ammu üksnes tõukurite abil, kuulub ta siiski, vähemalt paberite järgi, hübriidklassi, ehk laev on viimane, millel on lisaks tõukuritele endiselt olemas päratu (magnet)purjesüsteem, mille heiskamiseks pole pikki aastaid põhjust olnud. Laeva meeskonnas hoitakse seetõttu alles veel paar viimast vana kändu, kes teavad purjetamise põhimõtteid ja tehnikat, kuid kelle kunsti vastu enam nõudlust pole ja kes romantiliselt "vanu häid aegu" meenutavad ning moodsaid mootoreid põlgavad.

 

Pool "Vare" võlust on võimalus unustada, et tegemist on tulevikuga ja asetada ennast vaatlejaks 19. sajandi viimasele purjetavale kommertskaubalaevale aurumootorite ajastul. 

 

***

"There was something unnatural about Farsnworth engines, he believed. Farnsworth pushed a ship through the universe - Man's will cutting a swath across the void. But magsails had submitted to the greater will of Nature and let the universe pull the ship in the natural swathes formed by the leeward thrust of the solar wind against the windward pull of the solar mass. Sailing large, beating off from planetary wells or the more insidious shoals of fieldless asteroids, skipping off the magnetosphere of Earth or Jupiter, a man was at one with the Void - living with it, not defying it."

***

Kogu raamatu sisu seisnebki selles, kuidas väga erinevatest inimestest kokku klopsitud meeskond proovib laeval üha kuhjuvate jamade ja teineteisega toime tulla ning miskitmoodi oma aluse, kaubalaadungi ja eludega sadamasse pärale jõuda.

 

Kahjuks ei ole "Varet" kunagi eesti keelde tõlgitud. Autori inglise keel on aga lopsakas ja isegi hea keeleoskuse juures võib lugemine olla kohati väljakutsuv. Kui "Vare" ei lõbusta parasjagu sõnademängude ja kahetimõistetavustega, armastab ta pilduda lugejat vähemalt füüsikaliste terminitega.

 

***

"The inner spherical grid, the anode, had melted. In place of gracile, superconducting geodesics, he found a ragged and warped tangle. In melting,  the hoops had begun to sublime but had quickly frozen in the ambient of space, and they looked now as if they had been drawn in India ink and smudged by God's careless thumb. Filigrees of metaloceramic curled where the radiating vapors had cooled. They were beautiful, like iron ferns. [...] "The hobartium hoops have been thermally stressed," he told his apprentice in a stroke of understatement worthy of the Japanese paintings he favored."

 

***

Kui keeleoskus välja veab, saab "Vare" kirjastiil aga omaette väärtuseks. Näha meistrit oma kunsti viljelemas on alati mõnus ja nii on ka siin nauding olla tunnistajaks osavusele, millega Flynn sõnu ritta seab ja kuidas ta samu sõnu üht ja teistpidi sättides nendega mängib.

 

***

"Fife was possessed of an inquisitive mind. His profession as troubleshooter had made him so, unless it had been his mind's bent that had led him to troubleshooting. It was a happy marriage, however it came about - certainly happier than any of the other marriages he had essayed - and it afforded him multiple opportunities for enjoyment; for if there is one thing of which the world has no insufficiency, it is trouble worth the shooting."

 

***

Isegi lihtsad "Vare" olukorrad on sageli nauditavad mitte niivõrd sellepärast, mida olukord endast kujutab, vaid just sellepärast, kuidas autor need kirja on pannud. Just siin särab raamat viisil, mida pole põhimõtteliselt võimalik filmi teisendada. 

 

***

"I'm trying to help our little 'Kiru to unbutton", LJ told him, handing the both of them a fruit bomb. "I'll help," Rave said, reaching a mischievous hand toward Okoye's coverall. It was only a joke. He only half-meant it; but he meant the wrong half."

 

***

Lisaks olukorrakirjeldustele täidavad "Vare" lehekülgi ka lühidad, kuid taibukad mõtteterad ja repliigid.

 

***

"Wong ran an arm across her face. "I didn't know him long." "Oh, it's not the length that matters, but the depth."

 

***

""He is barely cold in his grave!" "Deep space is a heat sink. He was cold in his grave almost instantly.""

 

***

""The past is like an ass. Everyone has one, but you're mighty particular who you show it to.""

 

***

""A journey of a thousand miles," he told her, "begins with a single step." "So does a journey of a million miles. That doesn't mean there's any hope of finishing.""

 

***

Kõik eelnev on aga ainult näide sellest, kuidas autor sõnade ja mõtetega põhimõtteliselt ringi käia oskab. Oma kirjanikuoskuse paneb ta päriselt kasutusse selle nimel, et näidata lugejatele raamatu peategelaste sisemust.

 

Autor tunneb inimloomusi ja suudab lugejale edasi anda mitte ainult erinevate inimeste käitumise kriisisituatsioonis, vaid ka selle, kuidas iga tegelane sisemiselt toimib.

 

Öeldakse, et hästi kirjutatud lugu ei pane kunagi sõnadesse, et üks tegelane on nii- või naasugune, vaid näitab seda. "Vare" kohta see soovitus ei kehti. Raamat kirjeldab tegelaste iseloome nii kaemuslikult, et võib aidata paremini aru saada inimestest päriselus.

 

***

"Stephan Gorgas was not a man to verbalize his thoughts, let alone his feelings. That did not mean he lacked for either. He was as silent as Okoye, though for different reasons. Satterwaithe believed him haughty; but he was only a man who thought and felt so clearly that he had no need to realize those inner certainties by saying them aloud. When angry, he seldom shouted. When he had an idea, he saw no need to chat about it. Yet no man is of a piece. All are motley. Gorgas awoke one morning to the endless sameness of his quarters and felt the urge to talk. Only there was, as there had been for too many years, no one to talk with. He opened his eyes to the same dull, gray walls, the same worn furniture."

 

***

"Some men find their fears more addicting than their loves and so come to love their fears. They take pride in defying them. Bhatterji could have swum through that reef, or even gone back inside the ship and across the quadrant, but he was more afraid of showing his fear than he was of the fear itself. History has named such men heroes, and at other times fools, and called their behavior brave or self-destructive as intellectual fashion decreed; but whatever she called them, history has always taken note. People write songs about the likes of Ram Bhatterji and whether the song is a ballad or dirge or satire matters less than that it is sung at all."

 

***

Mõnikord ei vaja "Vare" mõnele iseloomule tabava seletuse haakimiseks isegi eriti paberiruumi ja saab hakkama üksiku või paari lausega.

 

***

"Even yet, she did not understand the intensity of his reaction. She was no navigator and knew nothing of that wild and notoriously eccentric body. A possible brush with a frozen rock meant less to her than this brush with a frozen man."

 

***

"His thoughts were like icebergs, only the tips of them showed, which was why many in the crew thought him cold".

 

***

"The routines of shipboard life had given her structure for the first time in her life and she clung to them as one falling into an abyss clings to close-by branches."

 

***

"Birds of a feather flock together, is what Fife might have said, had he pondered the matter. But Gorgas did not think in clichés. Or he did, but they were a different order of cliché; namely: The multiplication of probabilities applies only to independent, random events."

***

"She enjoyed life more fully than her own life could hold, and so some of it always spilled over to others'. She delighted in making people happy. Sometimes that meant nothing more than laughing at a joke or doing a small favor. Sometimes it meant a pleasant word or a pleasant glimpse."

 

***

"Vare" tõeline sära lööb minu jaoks välja siis, kui kõik need põhjalikult mõtestatud tegelased omavahel suhtlema pannakse. "Vare" ei edasta mitte ainult dialoogi, vaid pakub lugejale võimalust aru saada, kuidas üks või teine pool öeldut tõlgendab.

 

"Vare" kommenteerib analüüsivalt ning samas kaunilt tegelaste möödarääkimisi. Kirjeldus vahendab mõtteid ja emotsioone, mida üks osapool kogeb ning vahetab siis kohe positsiooni pannes lugeja sama konflikti vastaspoolele.

 

***

"Bhatterji had read the lack of summons from Gorgas as a lack of urgency and therefore was puzzled and upset when the captain grilled him over his whereabouts when he finally did report. [...] Gorgas would neither plead nor rage. His practice was to inform people of their transgressions and let their own sense of duty shame them. [...] "You didn't think the ship's condition important enough to warrant an immediate report?" [...] Bhatterji, who had no shame to appeal to, took the brevity of Gorgas' reprimand as a further sign of unimportance. If Gorgas had really wanted an immediate report, he would have spent more words on it. But that was only because Bhatterji nearly always said what was on his mind, while Gorgas let it remain there until it was ready to be said. Consequently, each judged the other irresolute, though for opposite reasons."

 

***

""So what was it you two were doing inventory on?" 'Kiru almost turned around, for it seemed the question had snuck up on her from behind. Evermore was still trying to connect the dots. Here are the dots. One: His sexual desires were in a more or less permanent state of eager frustration. Two: Girls his age were said to have the same sexual desires as boys. Three: 'Kiru was pledged not to be with a boy. Four: 'Kiru had just spent long hours alone with LJ. The one thing that he never thought of was that those particular dots might not belong in the same picture. "I ran the accounts," LJ said "and the engine repairs are going to cost us a sack of troy once we hit Port Galileo. Corrigan wanted to see what we still have on board that we can sell off." It sounded true, and it even might be true. A deception works better when it is true.

 

***

"He had bought a number of dressed and frozen birds at Callisto Market, for Marta, his late wife, had prepared an unparalleled paprikàs csirke that he sought constantly to recapture on his plate. He could picture it in his mind, recollect the enjoyment, though the precise taste and smell of it eluded him. [...] Grubb always tried his best to prepare the chicken to the captain's liking. He took great pains with the proportions and the ingredients and the temperatures and all the arts of the kitchen. And yet the result always fell short of those meals that the captain remembered from the Bakony mountains, for it was not the meal at all that he remembered."

 

***

"Vare" on kõige huvitavam ja nauditavam raamat, mida ma sellel aastal lugenud olen. Raamatu tempo on aeglasevõitu, aga see-eest sügav. Tegelased on hästi läbimõeldud. Inimloomust käsitletakse realistlikult küünilises võtmes. Jutus oli paar sündmust, mis tekitasid minu jaoks küsitavusi, kuid mis ei olnud nii rängad, et oleksid loo lõhkunud. Paaril korral kasutas autor eluvõõralt kõlavaid võrdlusi. Vähesed seksuaalsed kohtumised jätsid oma olemuselt ja kirjelduselt soovida. Lõpplahendus oli hea, aga selleni jõudmisel olin hakanud ootama juba midagi veel vägevamat. 

 

Hinnang: väga hea

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