Spoor, the book III

continuing my translating attempts:

“I am moved by satellite pictures and the curvature of Earth.  Is it indeed the truth that we live on the surface of a sphere, exposed to the stare of planets, abandoned in the great nothingness, in which light after the Fall coagulated into small particles and spread out everywhere?  Yes, that’s the truth.  We should be reminded of this daily since we keep forgetting it.  We are under the impression that we are free and that God will forgive us. Personally, I think it’s not so.  Each deal, transformed into minute vibrations of photons like a film will eventually take off into the Cosmos and till the end of the world planets will watch it.”

With the access to such sensitivity of the narrator/main character we are nevertheless deprived of the knowledge of her innermost emotions that curry her to commit crimes.  That's what I don't understand and am waiting for the movie adaptation to hopefully make sense of this divide.


Spoor, the book II

the following is my clumsy attempt to quote from the book:

“We have sung about the brightness which exists somewhere far away and can’t be seen yet but when we die we will look at it with our own eyes.  Now we see it only through a mirror as if in a funny glass but one day we will face it full front and clear.  And she will envelope us, that brightness, because she is our mother and it’s from her that we came.  And what’s more amazing, we carry her part in us, all of us do that.  So actually we should rejoice death.

That’s what I though when singing but actually I never believed in any personalized distribution of Brightness.  No God handles that, no Heavenly Accountant."


Spoor, the book

 A promotional image for "Spoor" the movie.


Before seeing “Spoor” a movie directed by Agnieszka Holland I dived into “Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead" by Olga Tokarczuk, the book that “Spoor” is the adaptation of.

The book is fantastic, beautiful prose (I hope translations can convey it) and also, if not mainly, because it paints an inner portrait of a very captivating, off beat character.   Janina is expressive, full of (unintended) poetry (the best kind), practitioner of astrology, a feisty environmentalist, defender of animal rights, outspoken, full of zest.  A fabulous character.   I was totally enchanted. 

As we enter her inner world the outer environment is rocked by a series of murders.   She claims animals are taking revenge on people who hunt them.  OK, this fits her profile to date. 

Then, in the last part of the tale it turns out that the killer is herself.  A very strange narrative move. First I am invited to the inner world of a main character and then I am told that the most important thing about that person has been totally hidden from me during the long time I was learning to love her.   Is it fair?

That feeling of disappointment is however turned around at the end of the novel.  The murderer, together with her friend moves into a different part of the country where she lives a quiet, anonymous life.  Nobody knows about her murders there, so in some weird way the narrative loops back and justifies our lack of knowledge about her real inner life in the first part of the story.  

This is a very challenging and unorthodox construction.  I am not sure if I buy it. But I wonder how the film will handle this problem.