Fransız Teğmenin Kadını (Üçüncü Bölüm)

("İkinci, üçüncü tamam da, ilk bölümü nerede bu yazının?" diyenlere adres: http://guzelonlu.com/blog/bir-de/#comments )

Stephen King’in (ne, John Fowles mu?) en büyük yazınsal günahlarından biri, hemen hiçbir kitabını doğru düzgün bitirememesidir. Bu bende satrançta nükseder (çoktandır oynamadığımdan, halen öyle mi, bilemem): açılışı yaparım, oyunu bir yere kadar geliştirir, fakat eğer üstünlük sağladıysam, kör bıçakla tavuğun kafasını kesmeye çalışır gibi (ah bu metaforlar, hele ki ben taze uydurduysam!), süründürür de süründürürüm rakibimi.

John Fowles da bir istisna değil (az evvel "Fransız Teğmen’in Kadını"nı bitirdim). Belki de bu sebeple sonlara karşı bir tepkisi var Fowles’un, halbuki benden rica etseydi (bir 8-9 + 20 sene bekleyip), elimden geldiğince yardıma çalışırdım. Kaldı ki -pek hoşuma gitmese de: Haneke’nin Funny Games’inde yaptığını anımsatacak bir biçimde- ipleri okuyucunun (voyeur) eline veriyor, bir nevi "ben yapabiliyorsam, sen haydi haydi yaparsın…" diyor.

"Neler neler getirir / aklıma / şu kiraz çiçeği!" (Başo’dan bozan bendeniz). Bir dolu şey (demiştim, değil mi?). Bir seçimle karşılaştığınızda, büyük bir ihtimalle seçtiğinize odaklanacak, diğer seçeneği seçseydiniz nelerin olabileceğini pek düşünmeyecektiniz (bilirim sizi). Bir ihtimal de, hangisini seçerseniz seçin aklınız diğerinde kalacaktı (gavurlar buna "the grass is always greener on the other side" diyor, biz de "komşunun tavuğu komşuya kaz görünür"). Bir de, çok afedersiniz, benim gibi manyaklar var: hangisini seçerse seçsin -kötü anlamda- bunun bir şey değiştirmeyeceğini düşünür kesim (vah vah). Dilemma insanı dediğimiz bu insanlar, mesela Estonya’da kalsalardı da pek mutlu olmayacaktı, Çankırı’da kalsalardı da. İki tarafın da olumsuz hallerini ön plana çıkaran bu gibi kişilere, İngilizce’de haklı olarak "you ungrateful little prick!" (ya da duruma göre "you big cat you!") denir, denmelidir.

Kipatımıza dönecek olursak, Sarah, ekşi sözlükteki bir arkadaşın tespit ettiği gibi "gizemini suskunluğunda pekiştiren, aslında pek de numarası olmayan, sıkıcı bir teyze" olabilir, fakat bu bir sorun arz etmekte midir, etmemektedir (yes, all right, sit down please, 10 points). Cemal Süreya bir zamanlar demiş ki:

Seviş yolcu / Büyük sözler söyle ve ayrıl! / Uçurumlar birleştirir yüksek tepeleri

(ezberimden yazdım, yalan yanlış olabilir ama şekil itibarı ile böyle bir şey). Laf aramızda bende böyle bir gerçeklik sorunu var: her şeyin ona yüklediğim anlamlar neticesinde fena halde aslından saptığına (distortion) inanıyorum. Beni kurtaran şey de, başta (ortalarda) lafını ettiğim öyle olmasaydı, böyle olsaydı çok mu farklı olacaktı, olmayacaktı, o zaman bu, o olacaktı; o da bu ("o", "bu" italik)… Amma laf salatası. Ah, bir de bugünden sonra yeni bir kural koyuyorum: İyi İngiliz romanları "sea" kelimesiyle bitecekler bundan sonra, yani yeter-şart olmasa da, gerek-şart.

Alınız bunlar da okurken aldığım notlar: (copy/paste – copy/paste)

“Now, am I not kind to bring you here? And look.” She led him to the side of the rampart, where a line of flat stones inserted sideways into the wall served as rough steps down to a lower walk. “These are the very steps that Jane Austen made Louisa Musgrove fall down in Persuasion.”
“How romantic.”
“Gentlemen were romantic… then.”
All was supremely well. The world would always be this, and this moment.
Sarah was intelligent, but her real intelligence belonged to a rare kind; one that would certainly pass undetected in any of our modern tests of the faculty. It was not in the least analytical or problem-solving, and it is no doubt symptomatic that the one subject that had cost her agonies to master was mathematics. Nor did it manifest itself in the form of any particular vivacity or wit, even in her happier days. It was rather an uncanny—uncanny in one who had never been to London, never mixed in the world—ability to classify other people’s worth: to understand them, in the fullest sense of that word.

She had some sort of psychological equivalent of the experienced horse dealer’s skill—the ability to know almost at the first glance the good horse from the bad one; or as if, jumping a century, she was born with a computer in her heart. I say her heart, since the values she computed belong more there than in the mind. She could sense the pretensions of a hollow argument, a false scholarship, a biased logic when she came across them; but she also saw through people in subtler ways. Without being able to say how, any more than a computer can explain its own processes, she saw them as they were and not as they tried to seem. It would not be enough to say she was a fine moral judge of people. Her comprehension was broader than that, and if mere morality had been her touchstone she would not have behaved as she did—the simple fact of the matter being that she had not lodged with a female cousin at Weymouth.

This instinctual profundity of insight was the first curse of her life; the second was her education. It was not a very great education, no better than could be got in a third-rate young ladies’ seminary in Exeter, where she had learned during the day and paid for her learning during the evening—and sometimes well into the night—by darning and other menial tasks. She did not get on well with the other pupils. They looked down on her; and she looked up through them. Thus it had come about that she had read far more fiction, and far more poetry, those two sanctuaries of the lonely, than most of her kind. They served as a substitute for experience. Without realizing it she judged people as much by the standards of Walter Scott and Jane Austen as by any empirically arrived at; seeing those around her as fictional characters, and making poetic judgments on them. But alas, what she had thus taught herself had been very largely vitiated by what she had been taught. Given the veneer of a lady, she was made the perfect victim of a caste society. Her father had forced her out of her own class, but could not raise her to the next. To the young men of the one she had left she had become too select to marry; to those of the one she aspired to, she remained too banal.

Of the three young women who pass through these pages Mary was, in my opinion, by far the prettiest. She had infinitely the most life, and infinitely the least selfishness; and physical charms to match… an exquisitely pure, if pink complexion, corn-colored hair and delectably wide gray-blue eyes, eyes that invited male provocation and returned it as gaily as it was given. They bubbled as the best champagne bubbles, irrepressibly; and without causing flatulence. Not even the sad Victorian clothes she had so often to wear could hide the trim, plump promise of her figure—indeed, “plump” is unkind. I brought up Ronsard’s name just now; and her figure required a word from his vocabulary, one for which we have no equivalent in English: rondelet—all that is seductive in plumpness without losing all that is nice in slimness.
Later that night Sarah might have been seen—though I cannot think by whom, unless a passing owl—standing at the open window of her unlit bedroom.
I will not make her teeter on the windowsill; or sway forward, and then collapse sobbing back onto the worn carpet of her room. We know she was alive a fortnight after this incident, and therefore she did not jump. Nor were hers the sobbing, hysterical sort of tears that presage violent action; but those produced by a profound conditional, rather than emotional, misery—slow-welling, unstoppable, creeping like blood through a bandage.

Who is Sarah?

Out of what shadows does she come?

13
For the drift of the Maker is dark, an Isis hid by the veil…
Tennyson, Maud (1855)

I do not know. This story I am telling is all imagination. These characters I create never existed outside my own mind. If I have pretended until now to know my characters’ minds and innermost thoughts, it is because I am writing in (just as I have assumed some of the vocabulary and “voice” of) a convention universally accepted at the time of my story: that the novelist stands next to God. He may not know all, yet he tries to pretend that he does. But I live in the age of Alain Robbe-Grillet and Roland Barthes; if this is a novel, it cannot be a novel in the modern sense of the word.

So perhaps I am writing a transposed autobiography; perhaps I now live in one of the houses I have brought into the fiction; perhaps Charles is myself disguised. Perhaps it is only a game. Modern women like Sarah exist, and I have never understood them. Or perhaps I am trying to pass off a concealed book of essays on you. Instead of chapter headings, perhaps I should have written “On the Horizontality of Existence,” “The Illusions of Progress,” “The History of the Novel Form,” “The Aetiology of Freedom,” “Some Forgotten Aspects of the Victorian Age”… what you will.

Perhaps you suppose that a novelist has only to pull the right strings and his puppets will behave in a lifelike manner; and produce on request a thorough analysis of their motives and intentions. Certainly I intended at this stage (Chap. Thirteen—unfolding of Sarah’s true state of mind) to tell all—or all that matters. But I find myself suddenly like a man in the sharp spring night, watching from the lawn beneath that dim upper window in Marlborough House; I know in the context of my book’s reality that Sarah would never have brushed away her tears and leaned down and delivered a chapter of revelation. She would instantly have turned, had she seen me there just as the old moon rose, and disappeared into the interior shadows.

But I am a novelist, not a man in a garden—I can follow her where I like? But possibility is not permissibility. Husbands could often murder their wives—and the reverse—and get away with it. But they don’t.

You may think novelists always have fixed plans to which they work, so that the future predicted by Chapter One is always inexorably the actuality of Chapter Thirteen. But novelists write for countless different reasons: for money, for fame, for reviewers, for parents, for friends, for loved ones; for vanity, for pride, for curiosity, for amusement: as skilled furniture makers enjoy making furniture, as drunkards like drinking, as judges like judging, as Sicilians like emptying a shotgun into an enemy’s back. I could fill a book with reasons, and they would all be true, though not true of all. Only one same reason is shared by all of us: we wish to create worlds as real as, but other than the world that is. Or was. This is why we cannot plan. We know a world is an organism, not a machine. We also know that a genuinely created world must be independent of its creator; a planned world (a world that fully reveals its planning) is a dead world. It is only when our characters and events begin to disobey us that they begin to live. When Charles left Sarah on her cliff edge, I ordered him to walk straight back to Lyme Regis. But he did not; he gratuitously turned and went down to the Dairy.

It was thus that a look unseen by these ladies did at last pass between Sarah and Charles. It was very brief, but it spoke worlds; two strangers had recognized they shared a common enemy. For the first time she did not look through him, but at him; and Charles resolved that he would have his revenge on Mrs. Poulteney, and teach Ernestina an evidently needed lesson in common humanity.
It is a best seller of the 1860s: the Honorable Mrs. Caroline Norton’s The Lady of La Garaye, of which The Edinburgh Review, no less, has pronounced: “The poem is a pure, tender, touching tale of pain, sorrow, love, duty, piety and death”—surely as pretty a string of key mid-Victorian adjectives and nouns as one could ever hope to light on (and much too good for me to invent, let me add).
“Mr. Smithson, I know my folly, my blindness to his real character, must seem to a stranger to my nature and circumstances at that time so great that it cannot be but criminal. I can’t hide that. Perhaps I always knew. Certainly some deep flaw in my soul wished my better self to be blinded. And then we had begun by deceiving. Such a path is difficult to reascend, once engaged upon.”

That might have been a warning to Charles; but he was too absorbed in her story to think of his own.

he detected in her eye that pitying shadow the kind-hearted poor sometimes reserve for the favored rich.
that evolution was not vertical, ascending to a perfection, but horizontal. Time was the great fallacy; existence was without history, was always now, was always this being caught in the same fiendish machine.
For him the tragedy of Homo sapiens is that the least fit to survive breed the most.
“I shall never see you again.”

“You cannot expect me to deny that.”

“Though seeing you is all I live for.”

She raised her face to his, with an imperceptible yet searching movement of her eyes; as if there was something he must see, it was not too late: a truth beyond his truths, an emotion beyond his emotions, a history beyond all his conceptions of history. As if she could say worlds; yet at the same time knew that if he could not apprehend those words without her saying them…
Sam’s surprise makes one suspect that his real ambition should have been in the theater. He did everything but drop the tray that he was carrying; but this was of course ante Stanislavski.
I say “her,” but the pronoun is one of the most terrifying masks man has invented; what came to Charles was not a pronoun, but eyes, looks, the line of the hair over a temple, a nimble step, a sleeping face.

Ben siz okuyun diye yazmadım, siz de ben yazdım diye okumayın. Yazmasam da olurdu ama işte neler neler getirir aklıma / şu açan / kiraz çiçeği! (obladi oblada…)

Fotoğraf koymalı ama gecenin bu saatinde nereden bulacağız şimdi fotoğrafı…


 


(haydi iyisiniz yine…)

 

“Fransız Teğmenin Kadını (Üçüncü Bölüm)” için 3 yorum

  1. Oğlum motoru ısıt / İyi geceler Van / Yolumuz bir başka Van’ — – Sırada ne var?
    – Hande’nin tavsiyesiyle “The Luminaries” / Eleanor Catton..
    – “Illuminaries?”
    “Luminaries”, Booker alan.
    – Doris Lessing de ölmüş.
    – E daha ne yapacaktı ya? (benzer bir cevabı Lou Reed’e dair verdiydim geçen gün)

  2. Çin’de budistlerle çorba içerken — Yaptığın şeylerin aslında hiç bir öneminin olmadığı doğru, ama o şeyleri yapman hayati derecede önemli. (Sonra da enseye tokat)

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