The Martian Chronicles / Ray Bradbury

 

 

 

집에 있는 Fahrenheit 451은 계속 묵혀둔 탓에 결국에는 화성 연대기가 처음으로 읽은 브래드버리의 소설이 되었다.

그다지 내 취향은 아니었다. 그래도 초반부에는 좀 웃긴 단편들도 있었고 슬프면서도 서정적인 이야기들도 많았는데 후반부부터는 똑같은 레퍼토리가 반복되어서 지루했다. 특히 마지막 단편은 SF영화의 단골 우려먹기 소재의 끝장판 느낌이라 간신히 읽었음... 어쩌면 브래드버리의 영향을 받은 영화감독들이 그런 소재를 주구장창 써먹는 것일지도 모르겠다.

다 읽고 재밌으면 I Sing the Body Electric도 사려고 했는데 (라나 델 레이 노래랑 제목 같아서 관심가진 것 맞음 ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ) 일단은 보류해둬야겠다. 김초엽 소설도 크게 감흥이 없었고 이 책도 그저 그랬던 걸 보면 SF가 내 취향이 아닌 것 같기도 하고...

 

 


 

 

“Don’t tell me what I’m doing; I don’t want to know!” Those are not my words. They were spoken by my friend, the Italian film director, Federico Fellini. As he shot his screenplays scene by scene, he refused seeing the new footage trapped in the camera and printed in the laboratory at the end of each day. He wanted his scenes to remain mysterious provocateurs to lure him on.

 

 

Only Christopher Isherwood placed a laurel wreath on my head as he introduced me to Aldous Huxley, who, at tea, leaned forward and said, “Do you know what you are?” Don’t tell me what I’m doing, I thought. I don’t want to know. “You,” said Huxley, “are a poet.” “I’ll be damned,” I said. “No, blessed,” said Huxley.

 

 

 

브래드버리는 고딩 때 <싱글 맨>으로 접했던 이셔우드랑 이 시대엔 이미 죽은 사람인 줄 알았던 헉슬리와 친분이 있길래 신기했다. 수백년째 감상을 마치지 못하고 있는 <8과 1/2> 감독인 펠리니랑도 친했던 듯하고..

 

 

 

“It is good to renew one’s wonder,” said the philosopher. “Space travel has again made children of us all.”

 

 

 

Quietly she wished he might one day again spend as much time holding and touching her like a little harp as he did his incredible books. But no. She shook her head, an imperceptible, forgiving shrug. Her eyelids closed softly down upon her golden eyes. Marriage made people old and familiar, while still young.

 

 

 

“How strange, how very strange,” she murmured. “The dream.” “Oh?” He evidently wished to return to his book. “I dreamed about a man.” “A man?” “A tall man, six feet one inch tall.” “How absurd; a giant, a misshapen giant.” “Somehow”—she tried the words—“he looked all right. In spite of being tall. And he had—oh, I know you’ll think it silly—he had blue eyes!” “Blue eyes! Gods!” cried Mr. K. “What’ll you dream next? I suppose he had black hair?” “How did you guess?” She was excited. “I picked the most unlikely color,” he replied coldly.

 

 

 

“Yll?” she called quietly. “Do you ever wonder if—well, if there are people living on the third planet?” “The third planet is incapable of supporting life,” stated the husband patiently. “Our scientists have said there’s far too much oxygen in their atmosphere.”

 

 

 

She adjusted a flower cage on its pedestal. The flowers stirred, opening their hungry yellow mouths.

 

 

 

Here we are, the Second Expedition! There was a First Expedition, but we don’t know what happened to it. But here we are, anyway. And you are the first Martian we’ve met!” “Martian?” Her eyebrows went up. “What I mean to say is, you live on the fourth planet from the sun. Correct?” “Elementary,” she snapped, eyeing them. “And we”—he pressed his chubby pink hand to his chest—“we are from Earth. Right, men?” “Right, sir!” A chorus. “This is the planet Tyrr,” she said, “if you want to use the proper name.”

 

 

 

The little town was full of people drifting in and out of doors, saying hello to one another, wearing golden masks and blue masks and crimson masks for pleasant variety, masks with silver lips and bronze eyebrows, masks that smiled or masks that frowned, according to the owners’ dispositions.

 

 

 

The psychologist shut his eyes and scratched his nose. “This is the most incredible example of sensual hallucination and hypnotic suggestion I’ve ever encountered. I went through your ‘rocket,’ as you call it.” He tapped the hull. “I hear it. Auditory fantasy.” He drew a breath. “I smell it. Olfactory hallucination, induced by sensual telepathy.” He kissed the ship. “I taste it. Labial fantasy!” He shook the captain’s hand. “May I congratulate you? You are a psychotic genius! You have done a most complete job! The task of projecting your psychotic image life into the mind of another via telepathy and keeping the hallucinations from becoming sensually weaker is almost impossible. Those people in the House usually concentrate on visuals or, at the most, visuals and auditory fantasies combined. You have balanced the whole conglomeration! Your insanity is beautifully complete!”

 

 

 

He stood back at last. “I’ll write this into my greatest monograph! I’ll speak of it at the Martian Academy next month! Look at you! Why, you’ve even changed your eye color from yellow to blue, your skin to pink from brown. And those clothes, and your hands having five fingers instead of six! Biological metamorphosis through psychological imbalance! And your three friends—” He took out a little gun. “Incurable, of course. You poor, wonderful man. You will be happier dead. Have you any last words?” “Stop, for God’s sake! Don’t shoot!” “You sad creature. I shall put you out of this misery which has driven you to imagine this rocket and these three men. It will be most engrossing to watch your friends and your rocket vanish once I have killed you. I will write a neat paper on the dissolvement of neurotic images from what I perceive here today.”

 

 

 

“An auditory appeal, even with the patient dead,” observed Mr. Xxx as he shot the three men down. They lay on the sand, intact, not moving. He kicked them. Then he rapped on the ship. “It persists! They persist!” He fired his gun again and again at the bodies. Then he stood back. The smiling mask dropped from his face.

 

 

 

“Go away!” he shouted at the bodies. “Go away!” he screamed at the ship. He examined his trembling hands. “Contaminated,” he whispered wildly. “Carried over into me. Telepathy. Hypnosis. Now I’m insane. Now I’m contaminated. Hallucinations in all their sensual forms.” He stopped and searched around with his numb hands for the gun. “Only one cure. Only one way to make them go away, vanish.” A shot rang out. Mr. Xxx fell. The four bodies lay in the sun. Mr. Xxx lay where he fell.

 

 

 

Carefully he lifted the covers, rolled them back. He slipped from bed and was walking softly across the room when his brother’s voice said, “Where are you going?” “What?” His brother’s voice was quite cold. “I said, where do you think you’re going?” “For a drink of water.” “But you’re not thirsty.” “Yes, yes, I am.” “No, you’re not.” Captain John Black broke and ran across the room. He screamed. He screamed twice. He never reached the door.

 

 

 

“Yes. I made tests. Chicken pox. It did things to the Martians it never did to Earth Men. Their metabolism reacted differently, I suppose. Burnt them black and dried them out to brittle flakes. But it’s chicken pox, nevertheless. So York and Captain Williams and Captain Black must have got through to Mars, all three expeditions. God knows what happened to them. But we at least know what they unintentionally did to the Martians.”

 

 

 

No matter how we touch Mars, we’ll never touch it. And then we’ll get mad at it, and you know what we’ll do? We’ll rip it up, rip the skin off, and change it to fit ourselves.” “We won’t ruin Mars,” said the captain. “It’s too big and too good.” “You think not? We Earth Men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things. The only reason we didn’t set up hot-dog stands in the midst of the Egyptian temple of Karnak is because it was out of the way and served no large commercial purpose. And Egypt is a small part of Earth. But here, this whole thing is ancient and different, and we have to set down somewhere and start fouling it up. We’ll call the canal the Rockefeller Canal and the mountain King George Mountain and the sea the Dupont Sea, and there’ll be Roosevelt and Lincoln and Coolidge cities and it won’t ever be right, when there are the proper names for these places.”

 

 

 

“Maybe,” said Spender, “I’ve been finding out things. What would you say if I said I’d found a Martian prowling around?” The four men laid down their forks. “Did you? Where?” “Never mind. Let me ask you a question. How would you feel if you were a Martian and people came to your land and started tearing it up?” “I know exactly how I’d feel,” said Cheroke. “I’ve got some Cherokee blood in me. My grandfather told me lots of things about Oklahoma Territory. If there’s a Martian around, I’m all for him.” “What about you other men?” asked Spender carefully. Nobody answered; their silence was talk enough. Catch as catch can, finder’s keepers, if the other fellow turns his cheek slap it hard, etc....

 

 

 

The first reaction to his killing the six men this morning had caused a period of stunned blankness, then sickness, and now, a strange peace. But the peace was passing, too, for he saw the dust billowing from the trails of the hunting men, and he experienced the return of resentment.

 

 

 

But I’m much too nice to be blown to bits, thought Spender. That’s what the captain thinks. He wants me with only one hole in me. Isn’t that odd? He wants my death to be clean. Nothing messy. Why? Because he understands me. And because he understands, he’s willing to risk good men to give me a clean shot in the head. Isn’t that it?

 

 

 

“When I was a kid my folks took me to visit Mexico City. I’ll always remember the way my father acted—loud and big. And my mother didn’t like the people because they were dark and didn’t wash enough. And my sister wouldn’t talk to most of them. I was the only one really liked it. And I can see my mother and father coming to Mars and acting the same way here.

 

 

 

“Anything that’s strange is no good to the average American.

 

 

 

“And then the other power interests coming up. The mineral men and the travel men. Do you remember what happened to Mexico when Cortez and his very fine good friends arrived from Spain? A whole civilization destroyed by greedy, righteous bigots. History will never forgive Cortez.”

 

 

 

스펜더처럼 미쳐 날뛰느라 평화를 못 지키는 평화주의자 캐릭터 진짜 좋음 ㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋㅋ

 

 

 

“A good report from you, on the other hand, if you returned, would hasten the whole invasion of Mars. If I’m lucky I’ll live to be sixty years old. Every expedition that lands on Mars will be met by me. There won’t be more than one ship at a time coming up, one every year or so, and never more than twenty men in the crew. After I’ve made friends with them and explained that our rocket exploded one day—I intend to blow it up after I finish my job this week—I’ll kill them off, every one of them. Mars will be untouched for the next half century. After a while, perhaps the Earth people will give up trying. Remember how they grew leery of the idea of building Zeppelins that were always going down in flames?”

 

 

 

“They knew how to live with nature and get along with nature. They didn’t try too hard to be all men and no animal. That’s the mistake we made when Darwin showed up. We embraced him and Huxley and Freud, all smiles. And then we discovered that Darwin and our religions didn’t mix. Or at least we didn’t think they did. We were fools. We tried to budge Darwin and Huxley and Freud. They wouldn’t move very well. So, like idiots, we tried knocking down religion. “We succeeded pretty well. We lost our faith and went around wondering what life was for. If art was no more than a frustrated outflinging of desire, if religion was no more than self-delusion, what good was life? Faith had always given us answers to all things. But it all went down the drain with Freud and Darwin. We were and still are a lost people.

 

 

 

The animal does not question life. It lives. Its very reason for living is life; it enjoys and relishes life. You see—the statuary, the animal symbols, again and again.”

 

 

 

the men shuffled forward, only a few at first, a double-score, for most men felt the great illness in them even before the rocket fired into space. And this disease was called The Loneliness, because when you saw your home town dwindle the size of your fist and then lemon-size and then pin-size and vanish in the fire-wake, you felt you had never been born, there was no town, you were nowhere, with space all around, nothing familiar, only other strange men.

 

 

 

And from the rockets ran men with hammers in their hands to beat the strange world into a shape that was familiar to the eye, to bludgeon away all the strangeness, their mouths fringed with nails so they resembled steel-toothed carnivores, spitting them into their swift hands as they hammered up frame cottages and scuttled over roofs with shingles to blot out the eerie stars, and fit green shades to pull against the night.

 

 

 

An old man needs to have things different. Young people don’t want to talk to him, other old people bore hell out of him. So I thought the best thing for me is a place so different that all you got to do is open your eyes and you’re entertained.

 

 

 

Only last night, over a final cigar, he and Father Stone had talked of it. “On Mars sin might appear as virtue. We must guard against virtuous acts there that, later, might be found to be sins!” said Father Peregrine, beaming. “How exciting! It’s been centuries since so much adventure has accompanied the prospect of being a missionary!” “I will recognize sin,” said Father Stone bluntly, “even on Mars.” “Oh, we priests pride ourselves on being litmus paper, changing color in sin’s presence,” retorted Father Peregrine, “but what if Martian chemistry is such we do not color at all! If there are new senses on Mars, you must admit the possibility of unrecognizable sin.”

 

 

 

With the addition of sex or people, you add sin. If men were harmless, they could not strangle with their hands. You would not have that particular sin of murder. Add arms, and you add the possibility of a new violence. Amoebas cannot sin because they reproduce by fission. They do not covet wives or murder each other. Add sex to amoebas, add arms and legs, and you would have murder and adultery. Add an arm or leg or person, or take away each, and you add or subtract possible evil.

 

 

 

“We are the old Martians, who left our marble cities and went into the hills, forsaking the material life we had lived. So very long ago we became these things that we now are. Once we were men, with bodies and legs and arms such as yours. The legend has it that one of us, a good man, discovered a way to free man’s soul and intellect, to free him of bodily ills and melancholies, of deaths and transfigurations, of ill humors and senilities, and so we took on the look of lightning and blue fire and have lived in the winds and skies and hills forever after that, neither prideful nor arrogant, neither rich nor poor, passionate nor cold. We have lived apart from those we left behind, those other men of this world, and how we came to be has been forgotten, the process lost; but we shall never die, nor do harm. We have put away the sins of the body and live in God’s grace. We covet no other property; we have no property. We do not steal, nor kill, nor lust, nor hate. We live in happiness.

 

 

 

This was how it would be, out there, sliding towards the stars, in the night, in the great hideous black closet, screaming, but no one to hear. Falling forever among meteor clouds and godless comets. Down the elevator shaft. Down the nightmare coalchute into nothingness.

 

 

 

“Afraid of the word ‘politics’ (which again became a synonym for Communism among the more reactionary elements, so I hear, and it was worth your life to use the word!),

 

 

 

Oh, the word ‘escape’ was radical, too, I tell you!” “Was it?” “It was! Every man, they said, must face reality. Must face the Here and Now! Everything that was not so must go. All the beautiful literary lies and flights of fancy must be shot in mid-air!

 

 

 

“Listen here,” he said to the unseen rockets. “I came to Mars to get away from you Clean-Minded people, but you’re flocking in thicker every day, like flies to offal.

 

 

 

“Yes.” Garrett put out a timid hand to pet the thing. “But why, Mr. Stendahl, why all this? What obsessed you?” “Bureaucracy, Mr. Garrett. But I haven’t time to explain. The government will discover soon enough.” He nodded to the ape. “All right. Now.” The ape killed Mr. Garrett.

 

 

 

“What do you want to show me down here?” said Garrett. “Yourself killed.” “A duplicate?” “Yes. And also something else.” “What?” “The Amontillado,” said Stendahl, going ahead with a blazing lantern which he held high.

 

 

 

Perhaps this is wrong to keep Tom but a little while, when nothing can come of it but trouble and sorrow, but how are we to give up the very thing we’ve wanted, no matter if it stays only a day and is gone, making the emptiness emptier, the dark nights darker, the rainy nights wetter?

 

 

 

“There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground, And swallows circling with their shimmering sound; And frogs in the pools singing at night, And wild plum trees in tremulous white; Robins will wear their feathery fire, Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire; And not one will know of the war, not one Will care at last when it is done. Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree, If mankind perished utterly; And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn Would scarcely know that we were gone.”
yunicorn