How to Be Both

Principalmente volevo conoscere la storia delle due ragazze in copertina, e rileggere Ali Smith adesso che ho realizzato che è di Inverness, quando essere di Inverness ha assunto recentemente tutti nuovi significati per me.

Per il resto non ero convintissima di voler iniziare How to Be Both. Ma fortunatamente la copia della biblioteca esordisce con la storia di Francesco (mentre in altre edizioni viene per prima la storia di George). E nelle bellezza delle prime pagine, tra le altre cose, c’è un paragrafo equeste perfetto, e come sapete io quando mi si sbagliano i dettagli equesti mi innervosisco molto.

The Falcon lived behind the building works for the castle: he came to the door when the door girl called him and first he looked my horse behind me up and down cause he was a wise enough man to know you can tell much about the person by the horse, and the coat on mine was glossy even after the road from Bologna, waiting for me with his head right down, his nose an inch above the ground and his nostrils connoisseuring the destination, never needing tethered or watched, cause let anybody but me try mounting Mattone they’d fly without wings through the air and hit the brickwork.

E più avanti, Francesco racconta il purgatorio, che è un posto che io conosco benissimo perché sono stata un sacco di volte alla Pietra di Bismantova.

Is there spring in purgatorium? Do they have years in purgatorium? Yes, surely: given that purgatorium holds in its nature a promise of an end to it, when its inmates are judged purged, then it must have some way by which time can be measured: but I’d’ve thought such a place would be full of the moans and the supplicatings of thousands: no, purgatorium could surely be worse, cause look, at least there are blackbirds in it: one comes out of a hedge right now and sits along on the wall with his beak a good Naples yellow and a ring of the same yellow round the black of the eye: he sees the boy there, twitches his tail and wings back into the hedge: in the hedge he starts a song: can it really be purgatorium and not the old earth when it is so like the earth in the song of the bird, its everlasting unchanging fineness? Hello bird: I’m a painter, dead (I think, though I remember no going), placed here for my many prideful sins in this cold place that has no horses to watch unseen unheard unknown the back of a boy in the kind of love that means nothing but despair.

What kind of a world, though, that has no horses?

What kind of a journey can you make with no creature to befriend you to let your going anywhere reveal itself as the matter of trust and faith going somewhere always is?

Detto questo, le due ragazze in copertina sono Sylvie Vartan e Francoise Hardy, e George racconta la loro storia, nella seconda parte del romanzo.