Ghostwritten by David Mitchell


Ghostwritten in one of those books I feel like were written for me and for my obsession about everything happening at the same time, as if time was an infinite number of superimposed layers, to paraphrase Brian O'Doherty. 

The novel consists of nine chapters, each covering an event on a certain place on earth. There's a lawyer in Hong Kong involved in money laundering, whose wife recently left him, an old woman in The Holy Mountain running a tea shack, remembering various historical events she witnesed through her life, a physicist in The Clear Island running away from american governmental agents, a musician and ghostwriter in London, a noncorpum inhabiting various hosts in Mongolia, a member of the cult in Okinawa, a young saxophone player and jazz lover in Tokyo, a museum employee involved in an art heist in Saint Petersburg, a DJ talking to the Zookeeper in a late night radio show in The Night Train. The novel ends with Underground in which Quasar, the member of the cult we met in Okinawa, releases a nerve gas in Tokyo subway. How do they connect with each other? 

The chapters are intertwined with each other, sometimes they overlap. They are connected by references to the events described in other chapters as well as with the characters appearing in various chapters. There's an all present question throughout the book: why do things happen the way they do, what controls our lives? We think we do, but we don't. Marco in the London chapter has a theory: the past, present and future exist at the same time, there can be no chance, because every human decision is already fated. So, what does control our lives, chance or fate? If you are in your life, chance, viewed from the outside, like a book you are reading, fate. Our lives are pre-ghostwritten by forces around us: chance, fate, emanations ... you name it. All of us are ghostwriters, the act of memory is ghostwriting.

Not only are the chapters on Ghostwritten intertwined with each other, there are refferences to other works by David Mitchell. No, it's the other way around, since Ghostwritten in his first novel. The Tokyo chapter reminded me of number9dream. Neil Brose, a corrupt lawyer from the Hong Kong chapter appears as a boy in Black Swan Green and Tim Cavendish from London chapter apears in Cloud Atlas, which I borrowed from the library a couple of days ago. Everything seems to be connected, things overlap, intertwine with each other. The world works in the same way, if we want to think about it.

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Zdi se mi, da je Tuje pero ena od tistih knjig, ki bi bila lahko napisana ravno zame in za mojo obsedenost s tem, da se vse dogaja hkrati, kot da bi bil čas v resnici nešteto plasti, ki se med seboj prekrivajo, če parafraziram Briana O'Dohertyja.

Roman sestavlja devet poglavij, vsako se dogaja v drugem kraju na Zemlji. V Hong Kongu živi pokvarjen odvetnik, vpleten v pranje denarja, ki ga je pred kratkim zapustila žena. Na kitajski Sveti gori starka prodaja čaj in se spominja različnih zgodovinskih obdobij, ki jih je preživela. Irska fizičarka se je v begu pred agenti ameriške vlade, vrnila domov, na Clear Island. V Londonu beremo o glasbeniku in pisatelju, ki ga najamejo, da v imenu nekoga drugega napiše knjigo (tuje pero iz naslova). Po Mongoliji se noncorpum prestavlja iz enega gostitelja v drugega, v Okinawi član sekte čaka nadaljnja navodila, v Tokiju je mladi skasofonist in ljubitelj jazza pred življenjsko določitvijo, varnostnica v muzeju v Sankt Peterburgu je vpletena v mafijske posle, ki vključujejo krajo umetnin, v radijskem nočnem programu Nočni vlak pa se DJ pogovarja z Upraviteljem živalskega vrta (ki to v resnici ni). Roman se konča s Podzemno železnico, v kateri Quasar, član sekte, ki smo ga spoznali v Okinawi, sprosti živčni plin v tokijski podzemni. Kako so ti ljudje in dogodki povezani med seboj?

Poglavja se med seboj povezujejo, včasih se dogajanje prekriva z dogajanji v drugih poglavjih, srečujemo iste ljudi, ki se pogovarjajo o dogodkih, o katerih smo že brali ali pa šele bomo. Rdeča nit romana je vprašanje zakaj se stvari dogajajo tako kot se. Kaj usmerja naša življenja? Mislimo, da to počnemo sami, vendar ne. Marco v Londonu ima teorijo: preteklost, sedanjost in prihodnost obstajajo hkrati, torej naključja ni, vse je vnaprej odločeno. Kaj potem usmerja naša življenja, naključje ali usoda? Če gledaš iz svojega življenja, od znotraj, naključje, če pa gledaš od zunaj, kot da bi bral knjigo, definitivno usoda. Naša življenja so prednapisale sile okoli nas: naključje, usodna, sevanja ... kar koli pravzaprav. Vsi smo tuja peresa, vsi pišemo v imenu nekoga ali nečesa drugega. Že samo spominjanje je pisanje v imenu nekoga ali nečesa drugega.

Niso samo poglavja v Tujem peresu prepletena, tudi sama knjiga se preleta z Mitchellovimi drugimi deli. Pravzaprav je obratno, glede na to, da je to njegov prvi roman. Poglavje o Tokiju me je spominjalo na njegovo delo number9dream. Neil Brose, skorumpirani odvetnik in Hong Konga se pojavi v njegovi knjigi Black Swan Green, kot šolar. Tim Cavendish iz Londona je ena od oseb v knjigi Cloud Atlas, ki sem si jo pred nekaj dnevi izposodila iz knjižnice. Vse je povezano, stvari se prepletajo, prekrivajo. Sicer pa, svet tako funkcionira, če hočemo tako razmišljati.


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