Freitag, 1. Mai 2020

A fatal Inversion

"[A]nd through a turbulent sea of faces looked into the face of a man he always thought of as the Indian.

His first name was Shiva, for the second good of the Hindu trinity. What his surname was Adam could not remember, though he supposed he must have known it once. The ten years that had gone byhad not done much to Shiva's face,unless it was a little more set, carrying within it now the foreshadowing of a gauntness to come, an inborn racial sorrow. The skin was darkly polished, the colour of a horse-chestnut fruit, a conker, the eyes a bluish dark brown, as if the pupils floated in ink-stained water. It was a handsome face, more intensely Caucasian than any Englishman's, the features more Aryan than any Nazi ideal or prototype, sharply cut and over-chiselled except for the mouth, which was full and curved and delicately voluptous, and was now shyly, hesitantly, parting in the beginings of a smile. [...]

Lili asked him what he was looking at.
'A chap I used to know years ago.' Shiva used words like 'chap' now, and 'kiddy', words used by Indians wanting to sound like true Brits, though he would not have done this once.
'Do you want to go and say hallo to him?'
'Alas and alack, he doesn't want to know me. I am a poor Indian. He is not the kind of bloke who wishes to know his coloured brethren.'
'Don't talk like that,' said Lili." [1]

Nach langer Zeit habe ich, ganz unerwartet bei der Lektüre eines Krimis aus dem Jahr 1987, mal wieder einen "Inder" gefunden - bzw. dessen Repräsentation und Charaktervorstellung. Viele Klischees werden hier vor allem von den Briten gespielt, während Shiva nie in Indien war, auch Lili nicht. Für den Verlauf der kriminellen Handlung hat die Fremdheit wenig Folgen, für den armen Shiva und Lili gegen Ende aber doch. Wer Krimis mag, sollte ruhig mal in den Buchladen gehen oder eben bestellen!

[1] Rendell, Ruth: "A fatal Inversion", London 1987, S. 14ff.