Dans le sillage de Per Petterson
It was before the time of radio towers.
Grandfather was a new pilot. In the almanac, he wrote down the ships he guided— names, destinations, drafts. Examples from 1884: SS Tiger Capt. Rowan 16 ft. Hull Gefle Furusund Brig Ocean Capt. Andersen 8 ft. Sandöfjord Hernösand Furusund SS St. Petersburg Capt. Libenberg 11 ft. Stettin Libau Sandhamn
He took them out to the Baltic, through the wonderful labyrinth of islands and water. And those who met on-board, and were carried by the same hull for a few hours or days, how well did they get to know each other? Conversations in misspelled English, understanding and misunderstanding but very little deliberate lying. How well did they get to know each other?
When the fog was thick: half speed, nearly blind. Out of the invisible, the point appeared and in a single stride was right on them. Horn bellowing every two minutes. His eyes read straight into the invisible. (Did he have the labyrinth in his head?) The minutes passed. Shallows and rocks memorized like psalm verses. And that feeling of “we’re right here” that must be held, the way you carry a brimming pot so nothing gets spilled.
A glance down into the engine room. The compound engine, long-lived like a human heart, worked with large smooth recoiling movements, steel acrobats, and the smells rose as if from a kitchen.
Prix Nobel de Littérature 2011
( Les deux premières strophes p.91
C'était avant l'époque des tours de radio
Grand-père était un pilote novice.....)