com'è disarmante sapere che nulla è come ci si convince che sia.
eppure solo l'autoconvincimento ci può fare andare avanti.

B.H.

 


"How it is disarming to know that nothing is as you are convinced that it is.
yet only the self-conviction can move us forward."

 

AUTORE: Batsceba Hardy
EDITORE: Miraggi 2018

ARTICOLO DI: Erminio Fischetti

Sono passati sei mesi dall’ultima operazione, dal letto di metallo, dall’anestesia, dal candore tutt’intorno, dall’ospedale, dalla voce dell’infermiera, dalla totale asepsi. Andrea guarda il tutor a forma di sesso. Sorride. Apre l’armadietto sotto il lavandino e lo getta nella pattumiera. Ringrazia, ma non ne ha più bisogno. I giorni sono scivolati, uno dopo l’altro, come i grani del rosario di quella nonna il cui unico ricordo è proprio raccolta in preghiera col velo in testa in chiesa. Il caffè borbotta sul fuoco. Allunga una mano, spegne il gas e si ritrova a riflettere sul fatto che compie sempre gli stessi gesti. Tutto è uguale a prima. Eppure ora tutto è completamente diverso. Prende le chiavi di casa. Prima di uscire si guarda nello specchio. Le gambe sono lunghe. La muscolatura è morbida. Sono io, si dice. A voce alta. Di fronte alla sua immagine riflessa. Non appena sul marciapiede inizia a correre. E pensa che se ne vorrebbe andare. Del resto perché si trattiene in quella città che non ama? Non ha nulla lì, ha un padre che si imbarazza della sua presenza, e la madre…

L’arte è un settore in continua evoluzione e ormai, anche se in realtà l’idea del fare della propria esistenza un capolavoro non è certo nuova, si è imposto all’attenzione dei più il concetto di performance: ogni aspetto della vita viene considerato un tassello nella costruzione di una persona/personaggio. Batsceba Hardy è una fotografa, vive a Milano, a lungo è stata a Berlino, parla dell’arte dell’imperfezione, della sottrazione e della sdefinizione e sostiene testualmente nel suo manifesto ‒ che non ama le maiuscole ed è poliglotta come tutto il suo sito Internet, spazio che più d’ogni altro la rappresenta e in cui, solo, sembra vivere davvero ‒ che “l’arte è morta. concettualmente deprivata della sua necessità di esistere. argomentazioni vuote. inutili dissertazioni. bla bla disperante. ma l’artista non morirà mai. l’artista è colui che non sa fare altro che quello che fa: pensare per astrazione ed esprimere astrazione con ogni cosa lo circonda. il diverso non per scelta ma per essenza. colui che sta al di fuori. il raccontatore di storie. l’inefficace”. In questo suo romanzo corale, caleidoscopico e psichedelico, in cui sono fondamentali l’immagine e l’immaginazione, descrive bene e in modo avvincente con la forza di un diario polifonico la storia di due gemelli, Annalia e Andrea, prima fratello e sorella, ora entrambi di sesso femminile, in cerca di sé e di un nuovo reciproco rapporto.

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Since I was a child, I always felt as if I were in a “reserve”, in my own land. Sometimes I meet someone who, like me lives in a reserve and this makes me feel less lonely. The funny thing is, that despite knowing how stupid and accidental life is, I can't help but think that all people could live a better life. I am aware that everything around us is superfluous, even this means of communication which I am using right now. Humanity has made no progress, only in the technology which will destroy it. But maybe my reserve will become the world.

 

I've stopped thinking and i’m dumb waiting for the Great Mystery hug. I've been looking for it, wandering about the streets in a city that doesn't belong to me, I've been looking for it letting water drop on me to stop my pain yet i've just met the other's rage and i've been annihilated. like i was annihilated as a child before someone raising their voice, a slap in the face i didn't understand. i'm not cut out for life. i don't have nails. i always expect understanding, explanations, love. but i can't change. and i'll keep on roaming with my disability to live, listening to the distant echo of the Great Mystery which will ease my pain. i don't know how to live but i know how to love. and i'll keep on walking, trying not to to tread on the ant crossing my path

 

The world is divided into two kinds of people: the executioners and the victims. Yet the difference is hard to understand, even if i don't agree with those who state the victims often end up cooperating with their own executioners. Anyway, i know i was born a victim, helpless and exposed.

That doesn't mean that I'm not able to go on believing, fighting, flying. In fact, as the phoenix each time I'm hurt, I burn, exhaling the sweetest smell, and three days later I get reborn from my ashes.

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realismo immaginario - imaginary realism

 

" Ci sono un paio di aspetti che trovo molto interessanti nelle tue storie: l'istintività con la quale i personaggi tendono a vivere le loro passioni e pulsioni sessuali, senza farsi troppi problemi, e la sicurezza e determinazione con la quale vengono compiute alcune scelte e messe in atto delle azioni tutt'altro che semplici... Insomma, gente che evidentemente non teme possibili rimorsi, o comunque capace di compiere gesti estremi con lucida volontà."

- Ian, un lettore del destino

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" Dovessi proprio dare una tua descrizione.... non facile tra l'altro, potrei azzardare .... i suoi romanzi sono vividi come fotografie, catturano in ogni pagina l'essenza del momento stesso in cui vengono raccontati, e le sue fotografie, sono come dei brevi racconti, dove ogni attore, inconsapevole, è esattamente dove dovrebbe essere...  e poi si, sei una ca**ona, ovvio "     

Grazie, Fabio Balestra

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"A mio avviso sono vari libri, tutti molto ben pensati e scritti, capaci di integrarsi pienamente tra loro …C’è un bildungroman degno, per delicatezza di tono e per la convinta adesione, della grande tradizione … le parti parigine sono davvero benedette dall'indescrivibile "dolce ala della giovinezza" …C'è un "romanzo di montagna" nella scia del sommo Stifter o della nostra Zangrandi …C'è lo sviluppo finale, reso con grazia e delicatezza…. Insomma un risultato maturo e significativo, espresso nelle varie lingue che i testi diversi richiedevano, e con una complessiva atmosfera, come di Kairos ineluttabile, che collega poi molto il libro ai nostri tempi. … Infine lo stile, alieno da qualsiasi 'ruffianismo'..."

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Emma Books

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Short story Language: English

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[Question 010]

I wonder
how Human Thought will be
when no God will save us
and Science will have definitely lost its confidence.
We will be others.
B.H.


[domanda 010]

mi chiedo
come sarà il pensiero umano
quando nessun dio ci salverà
e la scienza avrà perso definitivamente le sue certezze.
saremo altri.
B.H.

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One love
by Batsceba Hardy  ®

One Love…

The windscreen wiper was going up and down to the rhythm of the song and the gliding water was singing along with Bono:
One love…
She smiled.
It had been raining for a week, without any interruption. Hundreds of tiny, twin but annoying drops, she thought. The summer season was coming to an end or was it the end of the world? She turned up the volume and started singing along. Her wet hair, clinging to her neck, was her only link with reality. She felt like a fragment of celluloid, a sound track; she felt like being a part of her car. Even her limbs were lost in a boundless space, completely mingled with the seat.
She blinked her eyes at the fog when she saw two headlights which were hurting her. And she caught a glimpse of him, like an apparition. He was there, bare headed, as stiff as a rod in the rain. He looked like a pagan God. One of his fingers was up in the air and his eyes were empty. She left him behind so quickly that she did not have enough time to make a decision. Then, she stopped on the brakes. While she was waiting for him to join her, she looked at him in the rear mirror and she had enough time to think that behind every white young man who’s respectable and good looking there might be a serial killer.
The door burst open and she jumped out the film.
-In American films only. – she whispered.
-How…?- his voice was deep and kind.
-Nothing…- he locked out the rain – on the back seat there’s a pullover which you can use to dry yourself.
-Thank you.- he didn’t say anything else but stretched his legs until his figure was straight.
-Where shall I take you? – she turned. The colour of his eyes was too light. Very common, she thought.
-Wherever you like…
Then, she started the engine and the music restarted. He didn’t even move a muscle.
-I like driving in the rain – she smiled – but I cannot stand the rain.
-Why on earth wasn’t he saying anything? – she thought, beginning to
be afraid.
-When I can, I just jump into my car and I drive without any aim and I feel free… - she revealed – My husband is out of the house all day long – then, she bit her tongue. She didn’t want to be mistaken for the usual, old insignificant woman who’s really unsatisfied and who’s always looking for new love affairs. That man might have been a fugitive, a killer, a member of the Mafia, a lunatic… She imagined that he was grinning and she gripped onto the wheel. That’s it – she thought – as usual, I end up looking a proper fool. Why don’t I just shut up?
-Have you ever thought about going on a world tour? – he abruptly asked.
The tone of his voice was monotonous. This didn’t even sound like a question.
-A world tour? – she had to think about it – driving, yes.. she
stammered.
-I’ve just began… - he admitted and then turned his head and stared at her.
For a split second she didn’t pay attention to the road and she met his eyes. Their colour was really too light.
-You’re not pulling my leg, are you? She didn’t like being teased. She could feel a blush able to control it. Some people event found that fascinating. Goodness knows what her companion might have thought!
The music took her mind off him. Oh, how often she’d dreamt about leaving! Alone, with her contact lenses and her bleaching cream for hairs! But in the end, she’d stayed there among those hills, dreaming to be somewhere else every time she heard somebody speaking English (which was not unusual in Chiantishire).
-I never joke – he said with his monotonous voice and she thought he sounded like one of those Clint Eastwood types.
-I’d like to be funny but I can’t__ - he simply added a few minutes later and she was really surprised. They remained silent.
His foot started beating time together with the wipers. The car wheels seemed to dance on the wet asphalt, like in a cartoon.
I’m really stupid, she thought. The music suddenly stopped. The cassette had finished and the side was changing automatically.
-We haven’t even introduced each other.
During that pause, she felt an urge to speak. Silence was bothering her.
-I don’t like my name. And you?
Bono had already started again to sing but when he realized he had to raise his voice, he just held out his hand and turned down the volume.
Gosh, I can’t believe this is true, she thought. It look like the script of a film directed by Antonioni, that is to say too stupid to be real. But she did answer because she had never really liked her name.
-Sara- she said –my name’s Sara… - and she laughed. –But I’d rather be called ‘Selvaggia’ and pilot an helicopter…
-And why don’t you do it? – he was now on familiar terms with her even if he hadn’t even told the woman his name.
It’s expansive…- she mumbled, though not being positive about the answer.
-It could be an investment – he suggested – and your husband, what does he do.
She didn’t expect the question and decided she wouldn’t answer but then changed her mind.
-The lorry driver – she said, while she was imagining a truck driver: tall, strong, his face reminding us of Nick Nolte when the actor was young.
-And you? – she asked.
-The tramp – he laughed – or you would prefer a robber?
She didn’t say anything and she concentrated on the road. Now, it was pouring.
-If I told you that I’ve just committed a robbery at a petrol station?
-I wouldn’t believe you. – she answered in one go.
-Why?
-You’ve got such a nice voice.- she said. And she didn’t believe him at all.
She got the impression he was smiling.
He started humming and he could sing in tune.
-He’s a vet. – she admitted after a while. Her companion didn’t hear or, as she thought, pretended not to hear because he didn’t want to make her feel awkward.
Anyway, she would have expected him to speak frankly as well but that didn’t happen. The road was empty now. Everybody was having lunch, she thought. And actually, she herself started being hungry.
-What about eating something? – she asked.
-I’d love to, if you pay. - He’d put on unpleasant and almost challenging air. Yes, he was indeed a cheeky penniless man, she thought and she was sorry about that. But this is how I may get rid of him.
-I have to get back to the prison now, my time off is almost over… - she replied. She was using that playful tone she deeply hated.
-If you tell me which direction you’d like to go, I’ll drop you at a trattoria on the way – she was trying hard to be nice.
He shrugged his shoulders and kept the secret for himself. He’s going nowhere, she thought.
Heaven knows whether he’s escaping from something.
-And you? What do you usually do? Do you just wait for him to come back in the evening? – he suddenly asked.
-Oh no! I’ve got my ceramics workshop, I do gardening… hundreds of things – she replied but she felt insulted.
Here am I.
Once again, I look like a proper fool, she thought. But then, she cheered up. Why should she be embarrassed in front of that stranger, sitting there soaked to the skin? She shook her head.
-I didn’t want to be impolite – he was saying – I thought you could understand me… I never feel at ease anywhere. If I stop, I always wait for something to happen… and I don’t want to spend my life waiting – he was the first one to laugh about what he’d just said.
-I bet you’re a student… - she tasted him. She felt she’d known him for ages now.
-You’re wrong… I’m unemployed – he interrupted but picked up the thread straight away – but in some ways you’re right: I’ve just left university, after taking a degree in philosophy before the summer.
-Philosophers and architects ..all crazy. - That’s what my mother used to say and she was right, she thought.
-Look, there is a bar. Are we going to stop by?
-Yes. – he baldly agreed to.
She stepped on the brakes and drove her car to the left, put out the indicator and then turned into the large square. A red sign “Bar-Trattoria da Pino” stood out on the building which looked squat as if the surveyor had forgotten to finish it. She parked her Twingo car under a porch. It was still raining, which was annoying, but none of them thought about finding a shelter, instead they continued walking to the bar. They tried to avoid a lot of puddles without being successful. Her shoes were covered in mud and his trousers were spotted but they were both cheerful.
It was smoky inside the bar. All the customers turned and stared at them.
-Good morning.- she said. Some of them nodded but all of them soon started to think about their own business. She gave them a quick glance. She didn’t know anybody there. I’m lucky, she thought.
The owner, a white-haired man, drew near: he was smiling.
-You could sit over there. – he pointed to a secluded small table. He must have thought they were two sweethearts.
- What you would you like to have?
-Oh, two toasted sandwiches would go, thanks. I’ll have a beer and you?
She felt very excited and cheeky, simply because she’d dared to order something for him as well.
-Some plain water, please… - while the old man was going away, he smiled in such a way that she found him irresistible.
That’s it, she thought, I’ve fallen from a thriller to a romance.
How is it possible that I cannot lead my life without such a rich imagination? I’m in a bar with a nice stranger and I’m ready to make up a fantastic story. Beforehand, he was a killer and now he’s a seducer.
-Have you ever thought of becoming a writer? – he asked, interrupting her thoughts.
-A writer?- she stammered – No… why? - Suddenly, she saw him as an intruder who was rummaging in her mind, so he challenged him with her eyes but she only found a genuine look.
-Because doing so…- he didn’t give her satisfaction. When they sat down, they realized that they were soaking wet and they had water running down their backs.
-Have you forgotten your umbrellas? – the old man asked while he was noisily putting down a tray. As an answer, they laughed and then started eating. The old man left them, without adding a word.
-If you don’t want to tell me where you’re going, at least you can tell me where you come from… - she abruptly asked. She had made a great effort.
-Would I be a stranger if I told you these things?
And the, he touched her hands as if they were on intimate terms. She didn’t draw her hand back. What is important is that he’s here, now, with me. And she suddenly felt different, totally free: she was a stranger, too. And being a stranger, she forgot to go home. They laughed and ordered a coffee. The, he started talking about his wanderings which he compared to the monks’ in Medieval times. He told her about Ireland and the towers they had built to protect themselves against the Vikings.
She thought about Saracen pirates. They even talked about monasteries. She’d always desired to live in a monastery just for a few weeks: it was a way of relaxing. He told her he’ done so in Greece on Mount Athos. She didn’t believe him, but she didn’t show. When they decided to say goodbye to the old man, they were lively talking about faith. He wasn’t a man of faith, nor was she, but the old man was and he was also very trustful. They set out in the rain. She took every single country road, driving here and there, without any aim. She was dancing to the rhythm of the music, while he sang at the top of his voice.
They both ended up chatting and chatting about their childhood. She used to have a beloved teddy bear (and she’d cut his fringe) whereas he had a paper theatre whose characters had been cut out from his old Topolino magazines.
And suddenly, she stopped thinking. She recollected her past and she was talking without listening to her: she was ready to believe everything he told her. At dusk, she took him to a motel. She had simply decided to spend the night with him. The lady at the reception did not ask for any papers. She just wanted some money in advance for the night and the two breakfasts; she then handed the key to them.
-Number eleven and have a good night- she took her leave.
The room was unusually big and there was a sweet violet smell. Then, she also switched off her conscience. The following morning, she found herself alone in an unknown bed. First of all, she noticed al the cracks on the wall in front of her. On the pillow, she saw one of those golden bracelets with a blood group identity disc. She thought that was his only belongings and she put it on her wrist. Since it was too big, it slipped on the floor straight away. She tried to tie it to the ankle but it was only a game. She was lying on the bed completely naked, she stood up and raised her leg. She looked into the mirror and decided to keep it. After all, they had the same blood group.
It wasn’t raining any longer. She got into her car and went back home.
Bono had started singing again. She didn’t have to make up any excuse because no-one was there waiting for her and when she listened to the answering machine, she even fount out that her husband had been out all night long.
A cow had had a difficult delivery and on his way back home, the vet’s van got stuck in the mud. Luckily, some friends of his had invited him to spend the night at their farm. The following morning, the break-down van would arrive and in the evening he would finally manage to go home. He would try top give her a buzz later, as the message on the answering machine said.
And the tone of his voice was as sweet as usual. So, she totally lost her memory and forgot everything about the hitchhiker.
No-one knows how, but the following week she also lost her U2 cassette.
Her husband gave her as a present a U2 CD but she refused to listen to it again.
After one month, she realized she was expecting a baby.
-That’s impossible!- she said to the gynaecologist who was staring and smiling at her.
-What?- she was getting angry. –You’re never satisfied! You’ve always wanted a baby and now you’re complaining whereas you should be mad with joy!- she then became more sympathetic and reassuring. The gynaecologist’s eyes met hers while she was crossing her hands on the desk.
-Sometimes it happens, just like that, out of the blue. When there are no physical impediments but only mental block, like in your case. You know, you cannot give orders to the mind… - By what she’d just said, she intended to tell her a secret.
She thought it wouldn’t be nice to burst into laughter and she pretended to listen carefully to all the pieces of advice for an easy pregnancy.
When she left the gynaecologist’s, she only remembered that for the first three months, you’d better not ride a bicycle and she finally burst into laughter. That morning, she went back home and she deeply felt she was not alone. First thing, she dubbed her U2 CD on a cassette and then got into her car and went for a short drive, while listening the music.
When she went back home, she called her husband on his mobile phone and since she’d never done that before, she felt particularly excited.
-What’s wrong? – he asked, fearing that something dreadful had happened: his wife had never called him on his mobile phone before.
-Something really nice… I’m expecting a baby. – She laughed; she was pleased and proud at the same time but she was also aware she was lying.
 

Her husband cancelled all his appointments and went home immediately. He shyly stopped on the doorstep, then showed a rose he’d been hiding behind his back. He tenderly hugged his wife while still holding the rose in his hand: he didn’t even think he might prick himself. Then, he invited her out for lunch.
-Let’s celebrate! – he said.
And they kept on celebrating for nine long months. During the winter, it never rained, not even once; in February only, it snowed for a whole week. And apart from that week, she used to go for “her usual short drive” (as her husband described it) every morning. They met a lunch time and they happily had lunch together. In the afternoon, she used to have a rest, waiting for her husband to come back. Sometimes, he invited some friends over for dinner; they then played poker or watched a videocassette.
Sometimes, just the two of them relaxed on the lounge sofa, reading a book. Her husband took her by the hand and off they went to their bedroom. At night, she used to have beautiful ”serial” dreams and in each one of them she was becoming younger and younger: a university student, a teenager and a child…
But she never went back into her mother’s womb as a fiend of hers who is a psychiatrist had once said. She also had an unpleasant dream: she was becoming smaller and smaller, like a Lilliputian, and she was in the dock. Her relatives, sitting on high stools, were the judges. The dead, her mother for example, were back to Earth just to try her: they were pointing at her and she was charged with forgery. That was her only nightmare but she soon forgot everything about it. When she was in her seventh month, she had her Twingo car carefully cleaned(even the inside) at a car-wash. She drove back home so fast that she risked a fine for exceeding the speed limit. She parked her car in the garage and gave up using it until her delivery.
She gave birth on the very day the gynaecologist had suggested according the “magic circle”.
-The second of June – she’d said, after turning that magic circle round in her hands. And on the second of June she was breastfeeding that tiny little baby: he was red-haired.
-He must look like your relatives –these were the word the words of her mother-in-law who’d just arrived from Milan for the delivery.
-I can’t think of anybody in my family who’s red-haired - she was expecting a reply which didn’t come.
Luckily, she left for Milano as soon as she was discharged from hospital.
-Call me if you need my help! – she was shouting from the train window.
But the thereof them knew that wouldn’t happen.
On a rainy morning, when the baby was three months old, she took her Twingo car out of the garage and had him sitting in the back. Then, she put on the U2 cassette and started the engine.
-One Love – Bono began singing along with the gliding water. The new-born baby made some noises and smiled. If he’d been able to, he would have sung along, she thought. She was driving fast but she wasn’t in a hurry. She was trying to remember the way, when she saw a red sign on a squat building and she pulled up so suddenly that baby was about to cry. He made grimaces but when he heard his mother’ voice, he cheered up immediately and started making noises again. She manoeuvred her car into a square and then parked under the porch.
She opened her umbrella to protect her baby from the rain and then she went into the bar with a radiant face.
-Good morning. – she said, standing on the doorstep.
The old man was smiling. He recognized her at once and he was not surprised at all. He went towards them, trying to help them.
-He looks like his dad! – he said, while picking the baby up.
-Yes – she proudly said. And she hadn’t told a lie.