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Excerpts from the Chapter called "The Renaissance":



...In one of the quiet streets of the city, about one hour before midnight, a girl was sitting on a bench. She was expecting someone. About the age of twenty five, tall and quite slim; her hair was black, mussed up and was reaching her shoulders. The girl had an unforgettable face, and it was almost human. Despite the fact that her face could be recognized as one of a woman, the expression on it was giving away a great and unbearable concern that stumbled into her life-it had been there for years. The eyes of that girl were sickly grey, as if her whole spirit had been sucked out through them - those were eyes unsuitable for the living. On that night she was wearing the clothes that were required for a job like hers: a coat, long enough to cover her hips, tight, leather pants and a red shirt, which has lost its color. Brown, winter shoes covered her feet; they were still in a decent state. The fingernails on her bony hands were cracked; still red from a nail polish she was unable to remove. Lying on the bench beside her was the little girl’s little black purse.

She set there on that bench for quite a while, with her legs put together and arms crossed which she was heavily pressing to her chests. It was cold that night, and she felt it. Her body was shaking, and the heat from it was exhaled with her every breath...



...No one was now walking these streets, and, to her eyes, only a faint light in the distance was flickering, revealing her form. The girl was sick; she felt the pain in her limbs, but primarily in her head. The feeling of a bursting flame that had been expanding in her brain for some time seemed inextinguishable. From time to time, while kicking her feet at the ground, it made her shake intensively. That scene would make any random passer-by think that she was having some kind of a seizure. Constantly, she felt anger, and it was as if she wanted to stab something in her own head, she wanted to tear her limbs off, and by doing that, to forever remove the body parts that made her so filthy. And so, she would grab herself, ripping the hair out of its root, trying to somehow drive away the disease that was attacking her weak body. Then, after some time she would finally return to her previous position, covered in sweat and thorn within with fever. She was doing that repeatedly, despite the fact that she knew that salvation was on its way. But, most often, she would again fall into a seizure, shaking and waving her head, then her torso - back and forth, up and down, mumbling some words with her teeth clenched. Her heart was beating hard, crying for help inside of her, raising her insanity.

Illusions were possessing her mind; the surroundings would suddenly start to change. Transparent blue buildings in front of her seemed like they were inflating, then returning to a normal state in different time intervals, like they were following the amplitudes of her heartbeats. Something seemed awfully wrong, intuitively she was aware that these were images her mind had produced, but, despite that, the girl actually felt like her body was also following these contractions. Then, the girl opened her mouth and succeeded in crying out: "Where are you!?"...



...While being in that state the barely functional organism detected light at the end of the street. She jumped from the bench, anticipating, even hoping at this time, although knowing that she should grieve instead of acting in this shameful way.
Watching in great expectation the approaching of the vehicle, she raised her right arm, holding firmly the lapel of the coat with her left one.
The car that was approaching her started slowing down. While it was passing beside the girl, she tried looking through the glass, to observe the driver, despite that she now already knew that this wasn't her ride. She was still holding her right arm in the air, but when she decided to step closer to the vehicle the unknown driver suddenly pushed the gas pedal, speeding away, leaving the pathetic creature behind. She watched the car moving away from her, and then enraged started sreaming. She got carried, but still she kept her balance, bended. She remained standing and waiting.

After few minutes she walked back to the bench, in tears and unhealthy fury that has been exterminating her slowly, but steadily. She sat on the bench, crossed her arms, pushing them again into the torso. Suddenly she started repeating her ritual, she was banging her head to her knees. Then she stopped, sticking it between her knees. Tormented, her breathing required great effort, she was trying to remain conscious - at least that is what she thought. But the feeling of an explosion that was preparing inside her would certainly see to it. It was impossible to handle such a physical emotion, so she started imagining nonsense - what a great thing it would be if she could freeze herself in a great cube of ice! In such a way she would be able to stop the deseased blood that has been running through her brain, nerves, her eyes that were burning. For it was as if her blood was tearing the walls of her veins and arteries, it wanted to set itself free of the little creature through a glorious outburst, who would, no doubt, suffer the inevitable consequences. "Where are you? Where the hell are you?" - she repeated those words again, but trying to pronounce them perfectly, as if that action alone possessed the key which was to end her suffering. The illusion, however, had to abandon her and the madness of the body presented itself one more time, in a form of clenched fists, heavy breathing and again, heavy shaking...



...At this point her life was truly a burden, not the way she lead it, but solely life was an agony, in its every disgusting form - as she perceived it. Through the curse that she, without any regrets, had cast upon herself as one of those forms, her conclusions were molded. The only thing she deserved was death, the terrible outburst that has been approaching to end her foul existance. She was imagining it now, while contemplating, judging herself, but without any fear of death - she knew this wasn't the way all this would end. It was the imanent retribution of the Fate that had been frightening the little girl.

After a few minutes another light appeared at the end of the street. This time the girl at her first sight realised - this is him! She rushed from the bench, and in a moment suddenly changed, all of her thoughts vanished, even the pain that had been torturing her now seemed small and insignificant. Joy was expresed on her face while she smiled, listening, recognising the sound of the engine, and then the entire vehicle - a red automobile. She seemed overwhelmed by the feeling of great happiness, reminding of a little girl expecting to be embraced by her long lost father.

The car stopped beside her suddenly, with an upsetting sound of the siren which almost killed the girl. She stood in front of the side window shocked, wearing her little black purse around her right shoulder. But, as she knocked on the glass and started to pull the doorknob, another sign appeared in front of the lifeless blue buildings that were surrounding her. In a matter of seconds she started acting differently again, her feeling of joy expired on the surface of her face. Now she began to believe that she was simulating those exact emotions, something the girl was practicing for a long time. It has been an echo of the true feelings she was afraid to validate. Those have faded away by adopting herself into this once-new experience. She tried to persuade herself into believing that. The girl acted in accordance to her instinct, it was a habbit that had been implemented itself into her by a long-term acceptence of the Fate. In time she learned not to be aware of this...let us say...shameless act..., and succes was achieved...but...all in vain! So many times she lived through this scene that this retreat of her’s into self-abnegation was more than justified from her point of view.

The car siren screamed again, calling her, the girl realised, she stood there for too many seconds holding the doorknob. What was the repulsive reason for that? - She was afraid to answer that. No problem, "I...not too many seconds...to arouse his..." -she opened the door, trying to look not too much happy - not to much unhappy!


The girl looked down through the open door. She smiled, and then set next to the driver. The driver was a man (in his own way) and when the girl came in he tried to seem more unaware of her presence than it was dictated by his own nature. He was about thirty years old, blonde neat hear and a face that would suit more a child than a pimp. Dressed in a leather jacket, masculine and tall, with a silver ring on his thumb, he was giving the impression of a self-made, well-built man of certain possessions that other men appreciated highly. His name was Marko.

When the girl closed the door she said:

-Where were you? - The question made her tremble. Those words sounded so arrogant, even aggressive to her own ears, that she regretted them the second she closed her mouth.

Marko seemed to ignore them; his eyes were concentrated on the road. He was not going to give her the answer..."Is that good...bad?!" -the girl asked herself for a second.
Then she did something that she couldn't explain - she asked one more question: "Why are you late?" - Now, why she kept doing that!

Fortunately for her, she thought, he wasn't answering.

But then Marko, while driving slowly and somehow too cautiously, suddenly stopped, as if he remembered something of great importance. He looked at Natasha's frightened face, smiled, and said:

-I...I'm sorry...I was late...Ok? - He was still smiling, looking at her, asking for forgiveness... Natasha realized at this moment: Somehow this was the answer that could be expected from him. This man always acted in this strange way, as if something was always wrong, he apologized a lot, exclusively to her; but without exceptions she had an impression that a familiar sarcasm had been lurking behind his kind words.

The girl decided to shut up. She grasped her purse, pressing it on her knees. She tried to maintain a steady expression on her face.

Marko was keeping his eyes on the road with, someone would say, great determination, not showing much attention towards the girl any more. This suited her, but at the same time it made her question her own feminine attraction once again (despite the wild illness - always, always!). The girl has been aware of his reserved blind eyes he applied on her, in contrast to those used upon others. It's not that she cared much, but the job did require a certain level of physical commitment (in so many ways)...









































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Comments

The following comments are for "Excerpts"
by Demiurgos

The Renaissance
-Your English translation is showing a marked improvement, but there are still quite a few mistakes. I won't point them all out as I think you will naturally rid yourself of them as you read and write more in English. But if you really want me to, I guess I could.

Quote:
Then, the girl opened her mouth and succeeded in crying out: "Where are you!?"...


-I believe the colon is misplaced here. I've seen this done three ways; semicolon, comma or nothing at all. By the way, I see you share my new found infatuation with semicolons; they aren't utilised nearly enough in my opinion.

-The influence of Dostoevsky is really evident here, and that's nothing but a good thing. I was immeadiatly reminded of Crime and Punishment, and that speaks for itself.

-Before I comment further, could you give me a little background? Also, could you post this in its original Serbian text (I assume it's Serbian)? Mine is mediocre at best, but my cousin is an editor and I can ask him to take a look at it if you want. Plus there could be a few Serbs here at Lit that could read it.

Regards,
Jason

( Posted by: eleutheromaniac [Member] On: September 7, 2004 )

Thanks!
Thanks for the help. Yes, it's on Serbian, but it's somewhat different from this version on English. While I was translating this text I was forced (by my own nature) to perfect it. I can still post the original text, but because this chapter is still in progress would it be a problem to post it tomorrow? Also if you like I could post the entire chapter?

The background...well that's the hard part, it is pretty complicated so if you want the whole story it's not problem, just tell me so I know, I'll inform you on Natasha now. The problem is that there are some things I'm trying to develop here, and in this form those are not so common in literature. For example, one of the things is that I behave towards different character of mine in a completely different way (that is one of the standing points of the story). Natasha, the girl I presented here is somewhat of a pet of mine, to put it in that way, the Fate is a name this character uses to describe me. I play God in my novel in a true sense of the word. Natasha is a prostitute, drug addict, slightly insane and split personality character-a movie stereotype (one of the working titles for this chapter is "The Renaissance of the Stereotype", but I will not use it-doesn't sound right to me). I am trying to break her and dig deep inside of her, into her own memories, her own philosophy-which was actually mine when I was 14 years old). I am trying to prove that she is not a stereotype-against her own will. The other "Marko's" girls see her as different, as an outcast because she is, as I mentioned, insane, and Marko is in love in her (there is a background story that follows his emotions, thoughts...) and Natasha does not want to be isolated from the rest-she wants to remain believing she is a the same as others are. I'm sort of a conscience of hers (well...more or less). One more thing about Natasha is that (in this chapter) she is one of the main characters, the two others are Petar-her brother, and Hans-who is a bum, homeless philosopher, psychologist, scientist, writer...Natasha, her life is a prototype for another character which will be created by Hans in "his own" book (the second part of the book).

It's a work in progress, I have about 400 pages (all in an early stage of development) and about 300-400 will be required to finish it.

I'll post the Serbian text tomorrow, and if you like the entire chapter (it's long as this x3).

I'm not really familiar with publishing, editoring..., but whatever you friend would like to do, sure, all the help I can get is highly appreciated. I'm an amateur and as I like to call myself an apprentice writer. I've been writing this book (over and over re-writing it) since I was 13 and no one ever really read anything from it, so this would be really great. Thanks Jason, and thank you Internet :)


By the way, as you can see, my English still sucks, my friend helped me out when it camed to Tenses and some sentence structures, and Word when it camed to spelling.

Anyway, thanks for all your advices and help,
George

( Posted by: demiurgos [Member] On: September 7, 2004 )

Stereotype
Thanks for the background; I just wanted to get an idea of where the story was heading. It sounds fascinating and definately something I would like to read. I especially like the idea of having a character's book within the book.

'The Renaissance of the Stereotype'? It's not a bad title. Maybe 'The Rebirth of the Stereotype'? What's the title of the book?

I want to see what my cousin says about the original text before I comment further (just to see what the differences are in the translation). It might take awhile (say a week or two) before he can get around to reading and critiqueing it.

Take your time posting it; no rush. And hopefully there's a few writers here who can read Serbian and comment on it. You never know.

Regards,
Jason

( Posted by: eleutheromaniac [Member] On: September 7, 2004 )

Thanks!
The working title is "Minus Human", I picked it up from one of the Metallica's songs and it suits the book. (The other candidate is: "The Academy")

Yeah, in English, definitely "The Rebirth of the Stereotype". That's much better, I don't know, in Serbian "The Renaissance..." sounds OK, but in English it's to much poetic (I don't know why). That's my personal impression, I'm probably
wrong. But the titles are not my great concern at this time, that's the easy part.

About where the story is going, well there's another problem there. I've decided to split the book. For example at one point in the story something that is determined by characters nature, and the nature of his relationships with others creates the action. But when that action is executed, and all of it's consequences are completed, I return to the starting point of the action and import some other factors (coincidence for example) and than present a different process. I, myself don't really know all the endings, so that's probably one of the reasons I can't easily tell a person what it is about when they ask me.

If you want to know more about Natasha, read a story called "Krotka" by Dostoevsky, the title is in Serbian, but I think it's pretty much similar as the original. (In English this word means tame, gentle..) It's one of the stories under the "White Nights". As much as I don't want to admit it sometimes, here I stole Dostoevsky's character, which is an irony because I'm trying to reveal Natasha trough the novel as a unique person. I say to myself it's just an expanding of his character, experimenting, and so on...it is a rip-off. But, in my defense: it's really hard writing something like this and trying not to rip-off Dostoevsky at the same time.

Anyway, I'll post it soon, so you cousin could take a look, thanks again.

By the way should I post it here, or as a new thread? I don't know, is there a rule or it doesn't matter?

And what happened to Nietzsche, who's this new guy?

( Posted by: demiurgos [Member] On: September 7, 2004 )

I would suggest
Posting the Serbian part as a seperate thread.

I'll check out that Dostoevsky story. It's interesting that you talk about it being a rip-off; that was the topic of an opinion piece I posted here at Lit (Homage or Blatant Rip-off?). I'm not sure if this character would be defined as an homage or a rip-off (as I haven't read the story yet), but as I said the influence is obvious. It's difficult sometimes to read a lot from one author, and not to have your writing influenced by him. I don't think basing a character on another writer's character is necessarily a rip-off, though I would suggest paying the proper tribute to Dostoevsky. Maybe dedicate the book to him or something.

Quote:
And what happened to Nietzsche, who's this new guy?


The new guy and Nietzsche are really the same: Superman (ubermensch). I liked the defeated and lonesome look Superman has in this pic; it has a sort of irony with regards to Nietzsche's philosophy, I think.

Regards,
Jason

( Posted by: eleutheromaniac [Member] On: September 8, 2004 )

Thanks!
Considering that my book couldn't even exist in a form in which I plan to finish it if some people in history hadn't done what they had done, attributing it to them should be the first thing I should do. That has been decided a long time ago. The irony however is that when you get an idea and you think it's original, when you look better and remember something you read for example two years ago, you realize that the idea it's not really original. I'm overestimating myself constantly, or am I underestimating history? Nietzsche was right: history is repeating:) Nietzsche ripped-off Dostoevsky as well (at some point), but it's more of a influence from which derived something really new. I'm doing the same (I hope). I stole the character but it isn't the same character in the end, Dostoevsky story is the inspiration, but the feeling that you committed a crime against him still remains. The book is dedicated to him in the first place (it's not obvious, because I tell that trough character dialogues). And off course, considering that I crucify (in a true sense of the word) his evolved character in the end I would say I repaid him enough (for this character).

By the way, the title in the original is "Krotkaya", and in English "The Gentle Maiden".

( Posted by: demiurgos [Member] On: September 8, 2004 )

Well...
I sent the Serbian version to be posted. If it is accepted it will be in this Fiction forum, under the name "Renesansa Stereotipa". I sent the entire chapter, but if you want only the part which was later translated it ends with the sentence:

"To je bio imperativ njene egzistencije u svakom pogledu i ona je to savršeno znala.", on the fourth page.

This version is different at some points from the translated one, but it's the same thing. Thanks again!

George

( Posted by: demiurgos [Member] On: September 8, 2004 )





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