Samstag, 30. April 2011

Mittwoch, 20. April 2011

Shooting an Elephant

"In Moulmein, in lower Burma, I was hated by large numbers of people – the only time in my life that I have been important enough for this to happen to me. [...]

[A]t that time I had already made up my mind that imperialism was an evil thing and the sooner I chucked up my job and got out of it the better. Theoretically – and secretly, of course – I was all for the Burmese and all against their oppressors, the British. As for the job I was doing, I hated it more bitterly than I can perhaps make clear. In a job like that you see the dirty work of Empire at close quarters. The wretched prisoners huddling in the stinking cages of the lock-ups, the grey, cowed faces of the long-term convicts, the scarred buttocks of the men who had been Bogged with bamboos – all these oppressed me with an intolerable sense of guilt. But I could get nothing into perspective. I was young and ill-educated and I had had to think out my problems in the utter silence that is imposed on every Englishman in the East. [...]

One day something happened which in a roundabout way was enlightening. [...]Early one morning the sub-inspector at a police station the other end of the town rang me up on the phone and said that an elephant was ravaging the bazaar. Would I please come and do something about it? I did not know what I could do, but I wanted to see what was happening and I got on to a pony and started out. I took my rifle, an old 44 Winchester and much too small to kill an elephant, but I thought the noise might be useful in terrorem."

Orwell, George: "Shooting an Elephant", The Literature Network.

Samstag, 9. April 2011

We want to go to West Bengal

"The bazaars of Canning were [...] a jumble of narrow lanes, cramped shops and mildewed houses. There were a great many stalls selling patent medicines for neuralgia and dyspepsia - concoctions with names like 'Hajmozyne' and 'Dardacytin'.
The only buildings of any note were the cinema halls; immense in their ungainly solidity, they sat upon the town like sandbags, as though as to prevent it from being washed away."

Ghosh, Amitav: "The hungry tide", London 2005, S.24.