събота, 4 август 2012 г.

Пролог и първа глава от "Forge of Darkness" на Стивън Ериксън (Малазанска книга на мъртвите)


корица, фентъзи роман, стивън ериксън
Най-новата книга в поредицата за Малазан на Стивън Ериксън (излиза на 18 септември) е началото на Трилогията за Кхарканас, нова история, случила се хилядолетия преди събитията в  предишните книги за Малазан и нова отправна точка за фентъзи феновете, искащи да се заемат с нов епос.

За да подразни апетита ви, Tor.com ще пуска онлайн първите пет глави на "Forge of Darkness" през следващите седмици! Тук можете да прочете пролога, а на сайта на Tor и първата глава. Сега е време да разкажем история за древен свят, трагична легенда поставяща началото на всички бъдещи и всички минали легенди...



PRELUDE


. . . so you have found me and would know the tale. When a poet speaks of truth to another poet, what hope has truth? Let me ask this, then. Does one find memory in invention? Or will you find invention in memory? Which bows in servitude before the other? Will the measure of greatness be weighed solely in the details? Perhaps so, if details make up the full weft of the world, if themes are nothing more than the composite of lists perfectly ordered and unerringly rendered; and if I should kneel before invention, as if it were memory made perfect.

Do I look like a man who would kneel?

There are no singular tales. Nothing that stands alone is worth looking at. You and me, we know this. We could fill a thousand scrolls recounting the lives of those who believe they are each both beginning and end, those who fit the totality of the universe into small wooden boxes which they then tuck under one arm – you have seen them marching past, I’m sure. They have somewhere to go, and wherever that place is, why, it needs them, and failing their dramatic arrival it would surely cease to exist.

Is my laughter cynical? Derisive? Do I sigh and remind myself yet again that truths are like seeds hidden in the ground, and should you tend to them who may say what wild life will spring into view? Prediction is folly, belligerent assertion pathetic. But all such arguments are past us now. If we ever spat them out it was long ago, in another age, when we both were younger than we thought we were.

This tale shall be like Tiam herself, a creature of many heads. It is in my nature to wear masks, and to speak in a multitude of voices through lips not my own. Even when I had sight, to see through a single pair of eyes was a kind of torture, for I knew – I could feel in my soul – that we with our single visions miss most of the world. We cannot help it. It is our barrier to understanding. Perhaps it is only the poets who truly resent this way of being. No matter; what I do not recall I shall invent.

There are no singular tales. A life in solitude is a life rushing to death. But a blind man will never rush; he but feels his way, as befits an uncertain world. See me, then, as a metaphor made real.

I am the poet Gallan, and my words will live for ever. This is not a boast. It is a curse. My legacy is a carcass in waiting, and it will be picked over until dust devours all there is. And when my last breath is long gone, see how the flesh still moves, see how it flinches.

When I began, I did not imagine finding my final moments here upon an altar, beneath a hovering knife. I did not believe my life was a sacrifice; not to any greater cause, nor as payment into the hands of fame and respect. I did not think any sacrifice was necessary at all.

No one lets dead poets lie in peace. We are like old meat on a crowded dinner table. Now comes the next course to jostle what’s left of us, and even the gods despair of ever cleaning up the mess. But there are truths between poets, and we both know well their worth. It is the gristle we chew without end.

Anomandaris. That is a brave title. But consider this: I was not always blind. It is not Anomander’s tale alone. My story will not fit into a small box. Indeed, he is perhaps the least of it. A man pushed from behind by many hands will go in but one direction, no matter what he wills.

It may be that I do not credit him enough. I have my reasons.

You ask: where is my place in this? It is nowhere. Come to Kharkanas, here in my memory, in my creation. Walk the Hall of Portraits and you will not find my face. Is this what it is to be lost, in the very world that made you, that holds your flesh? Do you in your world share my plight? Do you wander and wonder? Do you start at your own shadow, or awaken to rattling disbelief that this is all you are, prospects bleak, bereft of the proof of your ambition?

Or do you march past sure of your frown and indeed that is a fine box you carry . . .

Am I the world’s only lost soul?

Do not begrudge my smile at that. I too cannot be made to fit into that small box, though many will try. No, best discard me entire, if peace of mind is desired.

The table is crowded, the feast unending. Join me upon it, amidst the wretched scatter and heaps. The audience is hungry and its hunger is endless. And for that, we are thankful. And if I spoke of sacrifices, I lied.

Remember well this tale I tell, Fisher kel Tath. Should you err, the list-makers will eat you alive.



Forge of Darkness © Steven Erikson 2012


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