domingo, 3 de novembro de 2013

Contemporary slavery

“A barren field stretched out before me, a barren, dusty field cluttered with gray stones of various shapes and sizes, and scattered among the stones in that field were fifty or sixty men and women, each holding a hammer in one hand and a chisel in the other, pounding on the stones until they broke in two, then pounding on the smaller stones until they were reduced to gravel. Fifty or sixty black men and women crouching in that field with hammers and chisels in their hands, pounding on the stones as the sun pounded on their bodies, with no shade anywhere and sweat glistening on every face. I stood there watching them for a long time. I watched and listened and wondered if I had ever seen anything like it. This is the kind of work one usually associated with prisoners, with people in chains, but these people weren’t in chains. They were working, they were making money, they were keeping themselves alive. The music of the stones was ornate and impossible, a music of fifty or sixty clinking hammers, each one moving at its own speed, each one locked in its own cadence, and together they formed a fractious, stately harmony, a sound that worked itself into my body and stayed there long after I had left, and even now, sitting on the plane as it flies across the ocean, I can still hear the clinking of those hammers in my head. That sound will always be with me. For the rest of my life, no matter where I am, no matter what I am doing, it will always be with me.”

Paul Auster (1947-). Invisible. London: Faber and Faber, 2009, p. 307

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