Assim, começa o novo livro de Ian McEwan com 4 palavras acrescidas ao parágrafo de início, que serão o tema de todo o livro, sobre a não facilidade do encontro entre duas pessoas, histórias e dores que como a areia da praia de Chesil Band se encontram para formar o cenário da ficção real de Ian McEwan.
As diferentes perspectivas e expectativas do amor, num tempo em que ainda havia pureza e asco mostram para nós: que isso nunca é ou será fácil.
Ian McEwan é um mestre em descrever a natureza tulmutuosa humana, os enrubecimentos e desjeitos da carne em sua negação de toda a hipocrisia. Ele descreve um Edward ávido pra ter para si a mulher mais inteligente que já encontrou, possuí-la e Florence uma mulher ansiosa pelo asco de ser invadida por outro pode causar e perturbada por ter sensações e movimentos num corpo que ela desconhecia.
"Seu casamento tinha oito horas, e cada uma delas fora um peso nas suas costas, tanto maior por ela não saber cmo lhe descrever esses pensamentos. Então, o dinheiro teria de servir como assunto- na verdade, veio a calhar, já que agora ela estava inflada" (pág. 113)
A historia de McEwan, está ambientada na praia de Chesil no período de 1962, antes da revolução sexual. Um casal recém-casado termina seu jantar na costa de Dorset e se antecipam a sua primeira noite de lua de mel com não tanta doçura.
Edward é tímido, inexperiente e nervoso. Ele tem perder seu auto-controle Florence vê o evento se aproximando com repulsa e medo, sua instrução para noite é um guia cheio de lustração, pontos de exclamações e que servem para aumentar a apreensão e repulsa.
McEwan transforma essa cena simples da vida matrimonial num tratado sobre o relacionamento
"Tudo aquilo que ela precisava era da certeza do amor dele, e da sua garantia de que não havia pressa, pois tinham a vida toda pela frente. Amor e paciência- se pelo menos ele tivesse conhecido ambos ao mesmo tempo- certamente os teriam ajudado vencer as dificuldades. E que dizer das crianças que poderia ter se tornado sua filha querida? É assim que todo o curso de uma vida pode ser desviado- por não se fazer nada. Na praia de Chesil, ele poderia ter gritado o nome de Florence, poderia ter ido atrás dela. Ele não sabia, ou não teria querido saber, que, enquanto ela fugia, certa na sua dor de que o estava perdendo, nunca o amara tanto, ou mais desesperadamente, e que o somo da voz dele teria sido seu resgate, e que ela teria voltado atrás. Em vez disso, ele permaneceu num silêncio frio e honrado, na penumbra de verão, a observá-la em sua precipitação ao longo da orla, o som do seu avanço difícil perdendo-se entre os das pequenas ondas a quebrar na praia, até ela ser apenas um ponto borrado, desaparecendo na estrada estreita e infinita de seixos sob a luz pálida" pag. 128
Na Praia - On Chesil Beach-
Cia. das Letras
R$ 31,00 (carrefour)
Entrevista de Zadie Smith com Ian McEwan.
|[ENGLISH NOVELIST, BORN 1975]|
|[ENGLISH NOVELIST, BORN 1948]|
|“I WAS MAKING A STRENGTH OUT OF A KIND OF IGNORANCE. I HAD NO ROOTS IN ANYTHING AND IT WAS ALMOST AS IF I HAD TO INVENT A LITERATURE.”|
|Aspects of the “English Novel” to avoid:|
Polite, character-revealing dialogue
Lightly ironic ethical investigation
Excessive amounts of furniture
Because of the posh university I attended, I first met McEwan many years ago, before I was published myself. I was nineteen, down from Cambridge for the holidays, and a girl I knew from college was going to Ian McEwan’s wedding party. This was a fairly normal occurrence for her, coming from the family she did, but I had never clapped eyes on a writer in my life. She invited me along, knowing what it would mean to me. That was an unforgettable evening. I was so delighted to be there and yet so rigid with fear I could barely enjoy it. It was a party full of people from my bookshelves come to life. I can recall being introduced to Martin Amis (whom I was busy plagiarizing at the time) and being shown his new baby. Meeting Martin Amis for me, at nineteen, was like meeting God. I said: “Nice baby.” This line, like all conversation, could not be rewritten. I remember feeling, like Joseph K., that the shame of it would outlive me.
I didn’t get to speak with McEwan that night—I spent most of the party hiding from him. I assumed he was a little annoyed to find a random undergraduate he did not know at his own wedding party. But I had just read Black Dogs (1992)—that brilliant, flinty little novel, bursting with big ideas—and I was fascinated by the idea of an English novelist writing such serious, metaphysical, almost European prose as this. He was not like Amis and he was not like Rushdie or Barnes or Ishiguro or Kureishi or any of the other English and quasi-English men I was reading at the time. He was the odd man out. “Apparently,” said my friend knowledgeably, as we watched McEwan swing his new wife around the dance floor, “he only writes fifteen words a day.” This was an unfortunate piece of information to give an aspiring writer. I was terribly susceptible to the power of example. If I heard Borges ran three miles every morning and did a headstand in a bucket of water before sitting down to write, I felt I must try this myself. The specter of the fifteen-word limit stayed with me a long time. Three years later I remember writing White Teeth and thinking that all my problems stemmed from the excess of words I felt compelled to write each day. Fifteen words a day! Why can’t you write just fifteen words a day?
Ten years later, less gullible and a writer myself, it occurs to me that my friend may have fictionalized the situation a little herself. An interview with McEwan himself, like the one you are about to read, was of course the perfect opportunity to settle the matter, but it’s only now, writing the introduction after the fact, that I remember the question. I do not know if Ian McEwan writes fifteen words a day. However, he was forthcoming on many other interesting matters. McEwan is one of those rare novelists who can speak with honest perspicacity about the experience of being a writer; it is a life he openly loves, and talking to him about it felt, to me, like talking with an author at the beginning of their career, not at its pinnacle. The fifteen-word thing may indeed be a red herring, but my friend had intuited a truth about McEwan: he is not a dilettante or even a natural, neither a fabulist nor a show-off. He is rather an artisan, always hard at work; refining, improving, engaged by and interested in every step in the process, like a scientist setting up a lab experiment.
We did this interview in McEwan’s house, which is Dr. Henry Perowne’s house in the novel Saturday (2005). It is a lovely Georgian townhouse that sits in the shadow of London’s BT Tower. From the balcony of this house Perowne sees a plane on a crash trajectory, its tail on fire. It is a perfect McEwanesque incident.
ZADIE SMITH: ... there’s a paragraph in Saturday about surgery, apparently, but it seems to me to be about writing.
IAN McEWAN: Oh, well done.
ZS: I read it and thought it can’t be about anything else. You know the paragraph I mean? “For the past two hours he’s been in a dream of absorption”—it’s such an exact description of what it’s like to write when it’s going well. And my favorite line is when you talk about him feeling “calm and spacious, fully qualified to exist. It’s a feeling of clarified emptiness, of deep, muted joy.” The events you put next to it, as comparative experiences—the lovemaking and listening to Theo’s song—are two human states which are often advertised as bringing similar pleasure: basically, personal relations and art. But the book seems to suggests that there is a deeper happiness that one can only find in work, or at least, creative work. And I felt that joy coming off the book in every direction. Joy at being a writer!
IM: I’m glad that you found that paragraph. I knew I wanted to write a major operation at the end but it would really be about writing, about making art. So it starts with him picking up a paintbrush. Or rather, I was so sure, when I went for the operation, that Neil Pritchard, the surgeon, when he paints the marks on the patient, was using a two-inch paintbrush. And when I sent him the last draft, just to check it one last time he said, “I don’t use a paintbrush,” and I said, “But surely surgeons do,” and he said “No, no.” I was so disappointed personally. He dips the paintbrush in yellow paint and as the Aria of the Goldberg Variations starts, he makes his first stroke and it is a moment of artistic engagement… But very, very reluctantly I had to replace it with a sponge on a flap.
ZS: The joy of the extended analogy is that it allows you to write about writing as work. Usually when you read books about being a novelist, all you really get is the character at lunches and his publishing routines, and that’s nothing to do with the process of writing. It’s so hard to sit down and write about that procedure, but I feel that metaphorically it’s done here.
IM: The dream, surely, Zadie, that we all have, is to write this beautiful paragraph that actually is describing something but at the same time in another voice is writing a commentary on its own creation, without having to be a story about a writer.