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_