Apresentamos um extracto do romance "Fragile Things" de Neil Gaiman. Não foi traduzido para manter o sabor original!
"Hot tears stung the young man's eyes. He pushed the papers from him, and flung the quill pen across the room. It spattered its inky load over the bust of his great-great-great-grandfather, the brown ink soiling the patient white marble. The occupant of the bust, a large and mournful raven, startled, nearly fell off, and only kept its place by dint of flapping its wings several times. It turned, then, in an awkward step and hop, to stare with one black bead eye at the young man.
'Oh, this is intolerable!' exclaimed the young man. He was pale and trembling. 'I cannot do it, and I shall never do it. I swear now, by . . .' and he hesitated, casting his mind around for a suitable curse from the extensive family archives.
The raven looked unimpressed. 'Before you start cursing, and probably dragging peacefully dead and respectable ancestors back from their well-earned graves, just answer me one question.' The voice of the bird was like stone striking against stone.
The young man said nothing, at first. It is not unknown for ravens to talk, but this one had not done so before, and he had not been expecting it to. 'Certainly. Ask your question.'
The raven tipped its head onto one side. 'Do you like writing that stuff?'
'That life-as-it-is stuff you do. I've looked over your shoulder sometimes. I've even read a little here and there. Do you enjoy writing it?'
The young man looked down at the bird. 'It's literature,' he explained, as if to a child. 'Real literature. Real life. The real world. It's an artist's job to show people the world they live in. We hold up mirrors.'
Outside the room lightning clove the sky. The young man glanced out of the window: a jagged streak of blinding fire created warped and ominous silhouettes from the bony trees and the ruined abbey on the hill.
The raven cleared its throat. 'I said, do you enjoy it?'
The young man looked at the bird, then he looked away and, wordlessly, he shook his head.
'That's why you keep trying to pull it apart,' said the bird. 'It's not the satirist in you that makes you lampoon the commonplace and the humdrum. Merely boredom with the way things are. D'you see?' It paused to preen a stray wing feather back into place with its beak. Then it looked up at him once more. 'Have you ever thought of writing fantasy?' it asked.
The young man laughed. 'Fantasy? Listen, I write literature. Fantasy isn't life. Esoteric dreams, written by a minority for a minority, it's-'
'What you'd be writing if you knew what was good for you.'
'I'm a classicist,' said the young man. He reached out his hand to a shelf of the classics - Udolpho, The Castle of Otranto, The Saragossa Manuscript, The Monk and the rest of them. 'It's literature.'
'Nevermore,' said the raven. It was the last word the young man ever heard it speak. It hopped from the bust, spread its wings and glided out of the study door into the waiting darkness."
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