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Lidia Vianu - Director of CTITC (CENTRE FOR THE TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION OF THE CONTEMPORARY TEXT), Bucharest University, Professor of Contemporary British Literature at the English Department of Bucharest University, Member of the Writers’ Union, Romania.


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MA Programme for the


Review of Contemporary Texts in Translation and E-Learning




Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go

Fragment three

The odd thing about our Norfolk trip was that once we got back, we hardly talked about it. So much so that for a while all kinds of rumours went around about what we’d been up to. Even then, we kept pretty quiet, until eventually people lost interest.
I’m still not sure why this happened. Perhaps we felt it was up to Ruth, that it was her call now how much got told, and we were waiting to get our cue from her. And Ruth, for one reason or another- maybe she was embarrassed how things had turned out with her possible, maybe she was enjoying the mystery- had remained completely closed on the subject. Even among ourselves, we avoided talking about the trip.
This air of secrecy made it easier for me to keep from telling Ruth about Tommy buying me the Judy Bridgewater tape. I didn’t go as far as actually hiding the thing. It was always there in my collection, in one of my little piles next to the skirting board. But I always made sure not to leave it out on top of the pile. There were times when I wanted badly to tell her, when I wanted us to reminisce about Hailsham with the tape playing in the background. But the further away we got from the Norfolk trip, and I still hadn’t told her, the more it came to feel like a guilty secret. Of course, she did spot the tape in the end, much later, and it was probably a much worse time for her to find it, but that’s the way your luck sometimes goes.
As spring came on, there seemed to be more and more veterans leaving to start their training, and though they left without fuss in the usual way, the increased numbers made them impossible to ignore. I’m not sure what our feelings were, witnessing these departures. I suppose to some extent we envied the people leaving. It did feel like they were headed for a bigger, more exciting world. But of course, without a doubt, their going made us increasingly uneasy.
Then, I think it was around April, Alice F. became the first of our Hailsham bunch to leave, and not long after that Gordon C. did too. They’d both asked to start their training, and went off with cheerful smiles, but after that, for our lot anyway, the atmosphere at the Cottages changed forever.
Many veterans, too, seemed affected by the flurry of departures, and maybe as a direct result, there was a fresh spate of rumours of the sort Chrissie and Rodney had spoken about in Norfolk. Talk went around of students, somewhere else in the country, getting deferrals because they’d shown they were in love-and now-just sometimes, the talk was of students with no connections to Hailsham. Here again, the five of us who’d been to Norfolk backed away from these topics: even Chrissie and Rodney, who’d once been at the centre of just this sort of talk, now looked awkwardly away when these rumours got going.
The ‘ Norfolk effect’ even got to me and Tommy. I’d been assuming, once we were back, we’d be taking little opportunities, whenever we were alone, to exchange more thoughts on his theory about the Gallery. But for some reason- and it wasn’t any more him than me- this never really happened. The one exception, I suppose , was that time in the goose house, the morning when he showed me his imaginary animals.







Kazuo Ishiguro Never Let Me Go

Fragment three

Ceea ce a fost ciudat in legatura cu calatoria noastra in Norfolk a fost ca, odata ce ne-am intors, aproape ca n-am mai pomenit nimic despre ea. Ne-am ferit pana intr-atat incat, pentru o vreme, au circulat tot felul de zvonuri in legatura cu ce facuseram acolo. Chiar si asa, ne-am tinut deoparte, pana cand, intr-un final, lumea si-a pierdut interesul.
Inca nu sunt sigura de motivul acestei taceri. Poate ca simteam ca depindea de Ruth, ca era decizia ei cat trebuia sa fie spus, si asteptam un semn de-al ei. Si Ruth , dintr-un motiv sau altul - poate se simtea jenata de deznodamantul situatiei cu posibila ei, poate ii placea senzatia de mister - pastrase tacerea asupra subiectului. Chiar si intre noi, evitam sa-l pomenim.
Datorita acestei atmosfere de taina, mi-a fost mai usor sa ma abtin sa-i spun lui Ruth despre faptul ca Tommy imi cumparase caseta cu Judy Bridgewater. N-am mers atat de departe incat s-o ascund de-a dreptul. Era acolo, in colectia mea, intr-una din gramajoarele de langa plinta. Dar aveam mereu grija sa n-o pun chiar deasupra teancului. Cateodata, aveam un chef nebun sa-i spun si sa depanam amintiri despre Hailsham cu caseta cantand in fundal. Dar, pe masura ce trecea timpul de la calatoria in Norfolk, si eu nu ii spusesem, ajunsese sa se transforme intr-un secret vinovat. Bineinteles, pana la urma a vazut caseta, mult mai tarziu, intr-o vreme cand era probabil mult mai rau sa o gaseasca, dar uneori asa ti-e scris.
Pe masura ce primavara inainta, parea ca din ce in ce mai multi veterani plecau sa-si inceapa pregatirea, si, desi o faceau fara mare tam-tam, ca de obicei, nu puteau trece neobservati din cauza numarului lor sporit. Nu-mi dau seama ce simteam ca martori ai acestor plecari. Cred ca, intr-o oarecare masura, ii invidiam pe cei care plecau. Parea ca ii asteapta o lume mai vasta, mai interesanta. Dar, fara indoiala ca despartirea de ei ne sporea nelinistea.
Si apoi, prn aprilie cred, Alice F. a fost prima din grupul nostru de la Hailsham care a plecat, urmata, la scurt timp dupa, de Gordon C. Amandoi cerusera sa-si inceapa pregatirea, si au plecat cu zambetul pe buze, dar, dupa aceea, cel putin pentru grupul nostru, atmosfera de la Colibe s-a schimbat pentru totdeauna.
Multi dintre veterani pareau si ei afectati de agitatia plecarilor, si, poate ca o urmare directa a acestui fapt, izbucnise un nou val de zvonuri de genul celor despre care vorbisera Chrissie si Rodney in Norfolk. Se zvonea ca studenti din alte parti ale tarii obtineau amanari doar prin simpla dovada ca erau indragostiti - si acum, din cand in cand, zvonul era si despre studenti fara nicio legatura cu Hailsham. Si in cazul acesta, noi, cei cinci care fuseseram in Norfolk, evitam aceste subiecte: chiar si Chrissie si Rodney, care odata fusesera in centrul acestui gen de discutii, se fereau acum de ele, stingheri.
Pana si eu si Tommy am fost afectati de “efectul Norfolk”. Am presupus ca, la intoarcere, aveam sa profitam de putinele ocazii cand ramaneam singuri ca sa schimbam opinii in legatura cu teoria lui despre Galerie. Dar nu se stie din ce motiv - atat din cauza lui cat si din a mea - n-am facut asta niciodata. Singura exceptie, sa zicem, ar fi atunci, in casa gastelor, in dimineata in care mi-a aratat animalele lui imaginare.


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