30/08/2018

Ben Okri (liigagi) lummav maagia


Ben Okri raamatute vastu tekkis mul huvi paar aastat tagasi, kuid alles nüüd lugesin neist kahte. Esimesena  „Astonishing the Gods“* (1996) ja teisena „The Age of Magic“ (2015).

Mõlemad on sedavõrd ilusad romaanid, et järjestikku lugedes tekib oht, et liiga suures annuses võib maagilise realismi peen ilu, nähtamatuse ja muutumise kogemine muutuda tüütuks. Neist aimub kirjaniku suhe transtsendentaalsega. Ta on peene ja poeetilise tajuga, ilmeka sõnaseadmise oskusega ja sügavate meditatiivsete kogemustega. Need raamatud ongi meditatsioon.

„Astonishing the Gods“ kohta on Okri öelnud, et see on muinasjutt nähtavast ja nähtamatust, ideaalidest ja ideedest, olemise poeesiast. Ja sellest, et meie olemust ei kujunda tegelikkus, vaid teadvus.

„Things are what they are. That is their power. They are all the things we think they are, all the things we sense they are, and more. They are themselves. If they meant something they would be less.“

„Towards the end of the street he saw angels taking flight in the last mirrors. They had rainbow wings. The upward rush of their lights, their mighty glowing presence, terrified him and almost made his heart stop.“

„...he seemed to feel an understanding of things before his time, beyond his time, beyond his life and quest, an understanding that flowed through from all the past and future ages.
It frightened him that there were gradations of invisibility, gradations and depths.“

„Silence is a sort of melody.“

„The suffering was there in the beauty of everything. It was there in the infinite care of the city’s planning, in its clarity.“


Kui „Astonishing the Gods“ on üksildase uitaja eneseotsimise lugu, siis „The Age of Magic“ pajatab filmigrupist, kes otsib oma imedemaad Arkaadiat ja on seda filmima sõitnud Šveitsi, kus lummavate mägede taustal nõiduslikult värvimuutva järve kaldal võõrastemajas elatakse ja ümbruskonnaga tutvutakse. Iga niisugune tutvumisretk on seiklus.

See romaan meenutas mulle väga puhaste värvide ja selgete piirjoontega multikat, mille tegelaskujud askeldavad, kuid need askeldused ei ole kuigi olulised ega elulised, tähtsam on nende mõttemaailm ja ümberkujunemine.

Nigeeria päritolu inglise kirjanik Ben Okri teeb oma raamatutes mitmesuguseid kultuuripõikeid. Näiteks sisaldab „The Age of Magic“ rohkesti viiteid Goethe „Faustile“. Olulisel kohal on ka prantsuse kunstniku Nicolas Poussin'i (1594-1665) maal „Et in Arcadia ego“ ehk „Arkaadia karjased“ (1630ndad, Louvre), mille kohta on kirjutatud:

„It seemed to him that, like the shepherds, we wander through the dream-like landscape of life, through days that pass so inevitably until one day we come upon the unavoidable fact of death. Then, like the shepherds, we try to read the mysterious inscription that is written on all mortal things. /---/ Lao realised, with a small shock, that the shepherds in the painting are engaged in an eternal act of reading. All they will ever do is read that inscription and try to make sense of it. They are perpetual readers. And in their endless deciphering something awakes in them.“

„The way you live depends on the pact you made with your spirit.“

„To know something means needing no explanation and having no need to explain to others. Life is coloured by such knowledge. To know one thing is to know many others. To know is to be silent.“


* „Astonishing the Gods“ on Mathura tõlgituna ilmunud ka eesti keeles pealkirjaga „Jumalaid hämmastades“ (2012).

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