Hello, old friend

Re-reading Pride & Prejudice is always a pleasing experience. Every time I do, something catches my eyes and this time it was the witty use of language. I only read this book in English once, in 2013, and it was my first ever book read completely in English (no abridged version, no excerpts: an entire book!). It was also my first year of university and my level has significantly improved over the last five years; it was much more of a pleasure to understand all the minute details used in the dialogues by Austen.

The language used in translation will always reflect the time period in which the translation occurred. My beloved first copy was published between the late 90s and the first 00s, as I read it in 2006, but there is no match with the original work. I was delighted to catch all the details in Elizabeth’s speech that I had missed before, her manner of speech is frank and yet manages to feel

I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me

What I like in novels of this period (XVIII – XIX century) is the way authors seem to so gently express themselves and convey their ideas. If anyone were to employ this style now we’d call them outdated and frilly. Maybe it’s the romantic in me that finds it delightful, or maybe it’s because to wander on those words gives me hope. Maybe one day I’ll be half as good as these authors at expressing myself.

firma

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#17

Prompt: “I’ll tell you, but you’re not gonna like it”

“You’re hiding something”
“No”
“Don’t try to fool me, Phil. I know you like the back of my hand”
“Ok, fine. I’ll tell you, but you’re not gonna like it”
“Try me”
“We’re stranded”
“We are 250 light-years away from home!”
“That’s the bad news”
“What’s the good one?”
“I brought a chocolate bar from home. Extra dark”

#16

Prompt: “This is gonna be so much fun!”

“C’mon, put it on and stop complaining!”
“I’m not sure, Dorothea. It’s been so long…”
“Oh, please. This is gonna be so much fun! We can dress up, go to dinner and then dance! Or to the cinema! Like in the old days, when we were young!”
“There weren’t clubs and cinemas back then”
“I know, isn’t it marvellous how humans evolve in such amazing ways? Now, how does that fit?”
“A bit tight. It’s been so long since I’ve inhabited a body”

#11

Prompt: “But I will never forget”

They said I was a flawed creation. That my neurological implant was defective and could not work properly. I had no idea what “properly” meant. I sometimes felt disappointed: I could not give them what they wanted.
“We needed you to feel pain”, Nurse Gillian had explained to me later. I did not understand what she meant. But I will never forget the moment I realised what it was they so desperately asked of me.

#10

Prompt: “You think something troubles me?”

“You have been sitting there for two hours. I am being told it is meaningful when humans do it”
“Who tells that?”
“Selene”
“Of course she does”
“She also told you seemed worried. How do you feel?”
“You think something troubles me?”
“I do not know. I have been told men engage in this behaviour when they feel something is wrong, or it will be. I do not have sufficient data to discern if that’s the truth. For this reason, I am asking”
“Xen, that’s more comforting than being reassured everything will be okay”
“I don’t have any data to make a probabilistic analysis of the future, Zero. I can’t make any claim”
“Neither can I. That’s pretty much the point”

#9

Prompt: “you shouldn’t have come here”

“You shouldn’t have come here. Not with that…thing you’re bringing with you”
“I didn’t know you suddenly became law-abiding citizens. Gave up the illegal transplants business?”
“That’s different to stealing secret government experiments, son!”
“He’s called Xen”
“Its name won’t be important when we’ll all be in prison”
“Don’t be so tragic, old man. It won’t come to that”
“I hope you’re right, Zero. For our sake and yours”