AN OPENING FOR A NOVEL

AN OPENING FOR A NOVEL
(excerpt from my book “Extraordinary Story of a Turnskin”)

“…And suck the blood of all thy race.”
(George Gordon Byron)

“…and people do not, as a rule, believe in Vampires!”
(Stanislaus Eric Stenbock. The Sad Story of a Vampire)

 

In the summer of 1888, a group of good friends were travelling through Switzerland on their way to Italy, when, one night in August thunderstorms halted their journey. They were ensconced for a few days in Villa Lou Vieil on Lake Geneva, and after the companions had read aloud from the Tales of the Dead, a collection of horror tales, one of them suggested that they each would tell a ghost story to entertain and terrify his friends, and in order to pass the time. The names of the travelers were Lord Ruthven, Count Vardalek and Count Dracula. In theory, the competition was open to all three, but in actuality it was a test of rivalry between Lord Ruthven and Count Dracula to see which of them was able to attract the heart of the young green-eyed beau Count Vardalek…
The End of the excerpt

Photo off Vamires
Actors: Rathbone, Karloff, Lorre, Price.

blank verse

The Winter Tremble

blank verse by Stéphane Mallarmé (1842-1898),  my translation

 

Always slow, among flowers and deities, the clock striking thirteen. Who previously owned this Saxon clock? Picture them bringing it from Saxony by those old slow stagecoaches.

(Weird shadows looming over the old windowpanes.)

Who did ever look at oneself in the Venetian mirror, deep like a cold spring, enclosed in the snaky framing with the faded gilding? Surely, more than one woman used to sink the sin of her beauty in the stream of this spring and if I stayed peering for a long while I could see>The Winter Tremble

blank verse by Stéphane Mallarmé a naked phantom.

“Nasty, you can be so caustic…”

(The cobweb above the big windows.)

Our wardrobe trunk is very old too. Look how the glum woodwork shows purple in this lighting. Time has left traces on the faded curtains, on the embroidery of the chairs with the faded ruddy varnish, and the yellowish etchings on the walls, on all our old things. Don’t you think that even the Bengalee finches and blue bird are somewhat time-faded?

(Don’t think of the cobweb that trembles above the big windows.)

You love all this, that’s why I can live beside you. Didn’t you wish — oh my sister whose eye turned to the Past — the words “charm of all withering” to sound in one of my cantos? You detest new things. They frighten you with their meretricious harshness, making you feel like obliterating their counters and colours — which is so difficult to those who are tired by every motion.

Close the old German Almanach, which you read so attentively, though it is published more than a hundred years ago and the enumerated lords are no more. Lying on the ancient carpet with my head on the faded cloth that covers your lap, oh quiet child, I shall be talking long! No fields around; the streets have got empty; I shall talk about our furniture… What are you thinking about?

(The cobweb trembling above the big windows.)

Photo of painting by Julius Sergius von Klever (1850-1924)
Painting by Julius Sergius von Klever (1850-1924)

 

poem in my translation

The Butterfly

by Afanasy Fet (1820-1892)

 

You’re right. An outline of Air

I am so sweet.

My velvet with its living blinking–

only two wings.

Don’t ask me whence, what brought me,

where I speed.

I light the flower down, here,

and now I breathe.

How long, so aimless, so effortless,

I want to breathe?

That’s it now, flashing, raising wings

I fly away.

AG00130_

Time

Dark night has choked daylight. Day is dead.
It won’t come back to senses any more.
You killed the time again. You must be mad
To waste the only treasure you afford.

Time is for living not for false alarm
About future and the outcome
Of the events that are not bringing harm
Just now. So my old chum

There’s twink anon, so value twink
The future hell is not existing now
And it depends on what you feel and think
Will it take shape or just drop out.

 

I started the poem in one mood (first 4 lines). Then without any pause my mood changed and I just recorded the remaining part. The result was quite surprise to me. I have not changed a word and now submit this poem to your judgement…

Natalia Nikiforova I’m enamoured of you (flouncing soul)

Translated from Russian by Victor Sklyarov
(Russian original and her other poems are at www.allthelyrics.com )

I don’t want you to be neither lover, nor friend, nor the kind.
Remain sole like the wind got entangled low in dust.
And my words will empoison return route you wont find,
Our ships having touched sculls at last separated in dusk.

Let the howler shout out the warnings of dangers in haze
Our feelings will not be rescued by this tedious growl
In a desperate rage waves will raise over us in blind maze
And will scatter in vain never cooling the fever of soul.

This is when all the windows of heaven will suddenly close
And the sun will embrace all the seas with a hope and light
And the ships will turn back over wimpled bright road
Further route side by side will be easy not burdened by fight!

Swamp

When I was in the middle of my school years my family moved from suburbian 1-flat private house to 2-room state-owned standard flat on the other end of the city of Krasnodar. I remained in the same school since there were only 2 advanced English studies schools in Krasnodar.

Each day (save Sunday) I voyaged on the tram (about 1 hour to one side) to school and back. Having settled at new place I went to explore the surroundings. Two houses separated me from the lake heavily grown by bulrush. At the brink there was a long board leading to bulrush bushes across small pool abundant with water insects. I recalled that I had a textbook for the next study year first pages of which were devoted to water insects. I decided to examine probes of water myself and went home to fetch a suitable vessel for a probe.

Having returned I found no board. Without much thinking I jumped over to what I thought to be safe and dry bulge behind the water pool and was amazed to sink knee-deep in the bottomless swamp. I have tried to turn around but only found myself sinking waist-deep in the swamp. Each attempt to move resulted in sinking deeper and deeper, my legs failed to touch firm ground and felt only constantly sliding roots of plants. Black enormous bubbles rose from the depth. My roaming eyes noticed that all windows of the 5-storied building were shut and nobody would see or hear me. Suddenly I heard some noise behind me and slowly turned back sinking breast-deep. There were 2 boys standing on the board with another board in hands.

– What are doing here?
– Don’t you see, I am sinking.
– Why don’t you call for help?
– Useless. Nobody would hear me.
– Ah, clear.

The boys turned back but continued speaking

– He seems to be really sinking.
– I never lie.
– Do you want us to extract you from this swamp?
– That would be fine.

After few minutes all of us were covered with black stinking mud. But we were at the dry bank. The boys proposed to wash ourselves in the other lake nearby. Both were the remnants of once a river. It was early spring and the water was rather cold. But none of us got ill.