Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

A couple of weeks ago I noticed there was Cloud Atlas on TV and I refused to watch it. I have this strange relationship with films. I can’t explain it but if I read the book I don’t want to watch the film. Not to mention that Cloud Atlas was one hell of a book. At first I thought it was similar to Ghostwritten, but I soon discovered it wasn’t. There are six stories entertwining with each other, or better still, being enveloped in each other. We start reading the first one, than in the middle of it the second one starts, than again in the middle of it the third one starts and so on till we reach the sixth one which we read without interruption. Than all the second parts follow each other untill the book ends with the second part of the first story. This may sound confusing, but … well, I don’t have any better idea how to describe this book. The stories reference each other and each seems to be / is part of the previous one. Zachary listens but doesn’t understand Sonmi’s interview, Sonmi wants to see Timothy Cavendish’s film, who wants to read a novel about Luisa Ray’s adventures, she wants to listen to Frobisher’s music and read his letters, Frobisher wants to finish reading a book about Adam Ewing’s travels.

So, what exactly is this book? Is it just six stories or … ? Mitchell mentiones time a lot. Time is civilisation. If we stop winding the clocks, time would stop and civilization will end. Time was invented by the man, so he needs clocks to give him the assurance that time exist. This book can therefore be a model of time:
»an infinite matryoshka doll of painted moments, each "shell" (the present) encased inside a nest of "shells" (previous presents) I call actual past, but which we percieve as the virtual past. The doll of "now" likewise encases a nest of presents yet to be, which I call the actual future but which we percieve as the virtual future.«

Or is it just a sextet, a literary version of Frobisher’s music: A Cloud Atlas Sextet.
»In the first set each solo is interrupted by it's successor: in the second each interruption is recontinued, in order. […] Cloud Atlas Sextet holds my life, is my life, now I'm a spent firework, but at least I've been a firework.«

Speaking of fireworks … One of recurring themes is a birthmark in the shape of a commet, several people in the nove have. So … Dear David. There's something I would like to know. It's personal but I'd like to know anyway. Do you have a birthmark in the shape of a commet in the hollow of your shoulder? Just askin’ ...

*


Pred nekaj tedni, ko sva bila z M-jem na morju, so pozno zvečer, na ne vem več katerem programu vrteli film Clud Atlas. Namesto, da bi ga glaedala, sem se odpravila spat. S filmom imam čuden odnos. Ne morem ga čisto pojasniti, vendar načeloma ne želiim gledati filmov, ki so bili posneti po knjigah, ki sem jih prebrala. Da ne omenjam, da je bila Cloud Atlas hudičevo dobra knjiga. Najprej se mi je zdela ideja podobna Tujemu peresu, vendar sem kmalu ugotovila, da gre za nekaj povsem drugega. Šest zgodb se med seboj prepleta, pravzaprav bi bilo bolje reči, da se ovijajo druga v drugo. Začnemo brati prvo in po polovici se začne druga, na polovici druge se začne tretja in tako naprej do šeste, ki jo preberemo v celoti, potem pa se odvrtijo vse ostale polovice, da branje zaključimo z drugo polovico prve zgodbe. To morda zveni zmedeno, vendar trenutno ne morem najti boljšega načina, da bi knjigo opisala. Zgodbe se nanašajo druga na drugo in za vsako se zdi da je (ali pa se nič ne zdi in preprosto je) del prejšnje. Zachary posluša Sonmino zaslišanje, vendar ga ne razume, Sonmi bi rada videla film Timothyja Cavendisha, ki bi rad prebral roman o dogodivščinah Luise Ray, ki bi rada poslušala skladbo Roberta Frobisherja in prebrala njegova pisma, Frobisher pa bi rad do konca prebral potopis Adama Ewinga.

Kaj je torej ta knjiga? Je res samo zbirka razdeljenih šestih zgodb? Mitchell veliko govori o času. Čas je civilizcija. Če prenehamo navijati ure, se bo čas ustavil, civilizacija pa bo izginila. Čas si je izmislil človek, ki potrebuje ure, da bi mu povedale, da čas obstaja. V knjigi je omenjen model časa, ki je kot neskončna matrjoška, vsaka lupina, lutka, je trenutek v sedanjosti, ki vsebuje druge in vsaka pomeni prejšnjo sedanjost, ki jo razumemo kot preteklost. Lutka, ki jo imenujemo »sedaj« ravno tako vsebuje sedanjosti, ki se bodo šele zgodile, ki pa jih imenujemo prihodnost.

Morda pa je knjiga v resnici sekstet, literarna verzija Frobisherjeve glasbe: A Cloud Atlas Sextet. Pravi, da je v prvem delu vsak solo prekinjen z naslednjim, v drugem delu pa se prekinitve nadaljujejo po vrsti do konca. Cloud Atlas Sextet vsebuje Frobisherevo življenje, je njegovo življenje, tako da je potem, ko ga je napisal, samo še ugasli ognjemet. Je pa vsej bil ognjemet, kot sam pravi. Ko že govorimo o ognjemetih … ena od ponavljajočih se tem je znamenje v obilki kometa, ki ga imajo številne osebe v knjigi.

No … hm … Dragi David. Nekaj bi te vprašala. Vem, da je osebno pa vendar. Ali morda imaš znamenje v obliki kometa na rami? Sam prašam ...

Komentarji

Priljubljene objave iz tega spletnega dnevnika

Imaginarium

Gotske refleksije

Unciala, okvirji in omejitve