„The Dreamers” – nowe opowiadanie Stephena Kinga

W związku z niedawną śmiercią pisarza Cormaca McCarthy’ego, w brytyjskim dzienniku The Guardian ukazał się artykuł, w którym autora wspominają inni artyści. Jednym z nich jest Stephen King, który wspomniał, że w tym roku napisał opowiadanie zainspirowane właśnie McCarthym, o tytule The Dreamers.

King powiedział tak:

Napisałem to opowiadanie czytając w tym czasie przedostatnią książkę Cormaca McCarthy’ego, „Pasażer”. Jego proza miała na mój tekst bardzo duży wpływ. Tak naprawdę byłem niemal zahipnotyzowany „Pasażerem”, podobnie jak podczas lektury „Rączych koni” czy arcydzieła „Krwawy południk”. Ponieważ moje opowiadanie jest mocno w stylu McCarthy’ego, zadedykowałem mu je.  

Cała notka Stephena Kinga z The Guardiana przedstawia się tak:

Early this year, while Cormac McCarthy was still alive, I had an idea for a story called The Dreamers. I wrote it while reading Cormac McCarthy’s penultimate book, The Passenger. The story that emerged was very much under the influence of McCarthy’s prose. I was, in fact, almost hypnotised by The Passenger, as I was when reading such McCarthy novels as All the Pretty Horses and his masterpiece, Blood Meridian. Because my story was very much in McCarthy’s style, I dedicated it to him.

Every story is a locked door. Sometimes – not always, but sometimes – style is the key that opens it. That was the case with The Dreamers. At one point in it I wrote this:

He looked like a bird colonel I knew over there in that other world watching through his binoculars as the F-100Ds and Super Sabres of the 352nd came in low over Bien Hoa, pregnant with the firejelly they would drop in an orange curtain, burning a miscarriage in the green, turning part of the overstory to ash and skeleton palms. The men and women too, them calling nahn tu, nahn tu to no one who could hear or care if they did.

This is not McCarthy, I simply do not have his talent, but it would have been an impossible passage to write, or even think of, without him. It shows not just his influence but the spell he cast over both his readers and those writers of lesser abilities who admired his work. He was, simply put, the last great white male American novelist.

Although his prose undoubtedly owes something to William Faulkner, he eventually became Faulkner’s equal, if not his superior. From Blood Meridian (1985) on, his prose takes on an almost biblical quality, hallucinatory in its effect and evangelical in its power. If you have read him, you understand. If you have not, there is no way to convey the loss I feel even though he died at a good age, a patriarch’s age, and did his work with a patriarch’s unflinching strength. He is a loss to the American imagination, but as McCarthy himself might have said, “I gave you the books and the books remain, undimmed and undaunted.”