Igen har jeg været usandsynlig heldig, at falde over en dejlig og tankevækkende bog, jeg aldrig har hørt om eller fået anbefalet. Og købt den!
har læst den på engelsk og skulle heldigvis kun slå få ord op.
Sproget er meget smukt. Beskrivelsen af denne engelske, sære, men højtbegavede officers liv og oplevelser i det fremmede og uberørte Australien,
er meget indfølt og bedst af alt - baseret på en rigtig historie. Han er uddannet astronom
The Lieutenant is the second book in a trilogy of novels by Kate Grenville about early Australia (the others are The Secret River and Sarah Thornhill )
was inspired by a real story that took place in the colony of New South Wales in the last years of the eighteenth century. The story has been hidden for two hundred years between the lines of two shabby blue notebooks stored in a London manuscript library.
They record the extraordinary friendship between Lieutenant William Dawes, a soldier with the First Fleet to New South Wales, and a young Aboriginal girl, Patyegarang.
Dawes - a scholar more than a soldier
- set out to learn the language of the people of Sydney Cove, the Gadigal. The notebooks begin with lists of nouns and verbs and grammatical forms, but gradually abandon that approach for a more human one: Dawes recorded entire conversations that took
place between him and Patyagarang. Between the lines of the converstations it's clear that they developed a relationship that was mutually respectful, playful, and warmly affectionate. It was almost certainly not a sexual relationship, but one
of those friendships that can arise between a clever young person and an adult.
This friendship was the starting-point for my novel. I began with the question: "Who were these remarkable people,
who could reach out across the gulfs of difference between them and form such a friendship?" I used the conversations that Dawes recorded without changing them, but invented contexts in which they might have taken place.
Dawes' friendship brought him on a collision course with the authorities. Finally, he had to choose between his relationship with Patyegarang and her people, and the military machine of which he was part.
changed the names of William Dawes, Patyegarang, and all the other characters in the novel to signal clearly that this book is a novel, not history. However, the narrative of the book stays close to the historical events as far as we know them. It's
a story about today as much as about yesterday - the issues it explores are still with us. How do we value difference, and how to we learn to communicate across it? How do we learn to listen as well as speak, and how do we respond when life presents us with
a moral choice that leaves no room for evasion?
The Lieutenant has been an enormously popular book in Australia ( where it featured on many prize lists), the UK, the US and Canada. It's been translated in
many languagers, including German, French and Greek.
KG, som er meget skattet i sit hjemland, Australien, har vundet 2 priser for tidligere bøger. Hun burde få en pris for denne også.
Den ville egne sig som film, så den undgår næppe den skæbne.
Der er næsten for mange steder, jeg kunne citere.
s. 280 "It was the smiplest
thing in the world. If an action was wrong, it did not matter whether it succeeded or not. og how many clever steps you took to make sure it failed. If you were part of such an act, you were part of its wrong."
s. 287 "(The stars) were still there, hanging
in their appointed places, The earth would turn forever and sunset would follow sunrise into eternity, and the glory of the stars would blaze out whether or not anyone saw them"
s. 291 ". . .The exquisite instruments af astronomy could add new stars
to the sum of the world's knowledge, but it took "a soul to wonder at the beauty of those already discovered."
300 "They (Rigel and Betelgeuze) had been there since the beginning. Whatever the beginning was."
Bogen er baseret på virkelige begivenheder,
nemlig et usædvanligt venskab mellem en engelsk officer (William Dawes) og en indfødt pige (Patyegarang). Hans egentlige mission var at bygge et observatorium.
Han udførte talrige andre bedrifter. Han arbejdede senere for slavernes frigivelse i Sierra Leone.
Læst maj 2014