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Наши авторы в переводах:
Александр Грановский
Alexander Granovsky
Translated by Galina Granovsky



Перевод на английский Галины Грановской.

" It was he - Salvador Dali"
From E. Nikiforov's hypnoteka

As an interior designer, I was invited to decorate a recreation area in one of the rich sanatorium. Everything in this room had to dispose everyone to rest and relaxation.

There was a huge aquarium, which occupied the space from wall to wall, where, among the green algae, some beautiful fishes moved lazily with their golden-reddish fins. They lived in a submarine castle with the turrets and its windows, slightly illuminated, were vigilantly protected by the jet-black swordtails. Sometimes they, flung up a cloud of sediments, showed the real knight tournaments before their fish-ladies, but the beauties remained cold and inaccessible. It looked like all of them expected a prince. Sometimes they approached to the sick glass of the aquarium and scrutinized something with the big, enlarged by water, eye.

Sometimes I felt their strange gaze and felt shivery, and a strange wish appeared... to find myself there - among the fishes.

There were also some unusual shells and small turtles, and even a rendezvous mainsail among the algae. A fountain murmured calmly in the middle of the room, and some birds twittered on the branches of the natural trees.

I almost finished to paint the walls, the paintings on which had to combine in a whole the aquarium, fishes, fountain and the green trees, and sat on an armchair to have some rest. Probably I even shut my eyes and heard only the fountain murmur and the birds' voices which move slowly away and away... and at this moment my old friend, a friend of my childhood days, the locksmith Gavrilyuk, unceremoniously intruded into this little corner of paradise. He was drunk, as always, but this time somehow unusually drunk, as if he had experienced some happiness, and now he hastened to share the occasion for celebration with his friend, because such kind of joy can happen just once in the whole life. And it can never happen for many people. It was that kind of holidays in which all are drunk without wine.

- He is here! - Gavrilyuk breathed out and fell down into an armchair standing next to me.

- Who?... Who is here? - I jumped up from fright.

- It's Salvador Dali!

It seemed, that the locksmith Gavrilyuk dragged out all his cheerless existence just for the moment, when he could tell these words. Now his finest hour came, his mortal marathon, after which his life looses any sense, finished... Salvador Dali...

Of course I prepared to give a battle to drunkenness, but there were some elusive signs which shown - Gavrilyuk did not lie. As a locksmith he could tell lies, but as a person Gavrilyuk... No, something unusual has to happen on the world scale, such a Bermuda whirlwind, in order to blow Salvador Dali here, into our seaside town, which of course had been visited by the tsar, Nicholas II, and later, some cosmonauts, but Salvador Dali! And it happened that just the locksmith Gavrilyuk could see him; Gavrilyuk, which was only at the beginning of his 'astral dose' at that moment... and... How many the coincidences have to coincide before the moment, when Salvador Dali appeared just here just now!

- You see, his right hand was caught up by a sore. He couldn't even hold a brush in it, - the locksmith Gavrilyuk, cautiously, for some reason, looked around. - The best medical luminaries examined him and their decision was 'to operate'. Thanks God, his wife, clever woman, sent them all as far as possible. Someone remembered about our mud-cure in Moinaki, which his wife, Gala, - she is Russian by birth, - had visited with her grandma being a child. So then, their King Huan connected with our Huan (everything was in strict confidence, of course) and Salvador was sent here, to sanatorium for cosmonauts. There was the mud, there were secret apparatus for medical treatment used. Such kind of machines can goad even the dead into action. Dali could take his brush in some treatment. Then, today I was called urgently there, they had some problem - sanitary engineering was jammed, wedged in the luxury suite, shit... that means 'guano' in Spanish, came out of their lavatory pans. As you know, I am the main specialist in this business there, in 'Kosmos'; if the have a problem, I am always ready to close an embrasure with my chest. I came this time too, and saw... him! I could not believe my eyes! I wanted to ask for his autograph, but my hands were so dirty, and he was packing his suitcase...

- Why did not you tell me that at the beginning? - just now I began to realize that Salvador Dali was going to leave the sanatorium.

- I am telling you now...

- What time does he have to leave?

- Most probably, it will be a train to Moscow... It means... in a half of hour.

I was thrown out, just catapulted, from my armchair. I took my working overall off, run out, caught a taxi and went, as quickly as possible, to the railway station. Moscow train was already boarding. A lot of bronzed health resort visitors with their cases and wicker baskets filled with gifts of South, mothers with crying little children in their hands, worried fathers, and cheerful laughing youth jostled their way to take places in their carriages. Little, but hardened after being in sanatoriums, serious and silent Remboes with their compact sacks on the backs and colored "fenechkas" on their wrists were in a hurry to spend their last non-Russian money in kiosks of the town where all wishes could be fulfilled.

I managed to buy a bottle of "Port wine "Tavrichesky" produced in Sudak and ran along the train, pushing between sweaty, hot bodies, then, accompanying by the people's indignant exclamations, I came into a carriage, then moved far and far, an endless corridor opened before me, I moved higher and higher... upwards. Beginning from this moment, all carriages of the train took almost a vertical position. Probably, it was necessity to take off... or maybe, we already have taken off, and now the main goal is to get away from the mundane bounds, and then we will reach, like a prize for our hope, weightlessness. It means that God is almost near...

At last, it became quieter. I was in the best carriage for VIP-persons. My movement slowed down, because now I had to look into every compartment, which I opened one after the other saying: excuse me... Some half-dressed young women, all in splashes of champagne, laughing, took an attempt to drag me into their compartment. I managed to lick off some sweet drops from someone's un-sunburned breast, which stuck to me for a moment. In the next department someone tried to hurt my feelings... but it was just trifle, I laughed at it, coming nearer and nearer, higher and higher to my aim... my heart began to pound delightedly, my soul filled of rejoicing... Who are all these people? And who am I?! They were born to convert a fairy-tale of life into reality, I, on the contrary, was born to turn unbelievable, almost inconceivable reality into a fairy-tail. And realizing this fact, I am ready to love you, people! None of you guesses that He, God, is very close to you, maybe He is in the next compartment or in the next carriage, but you are ready, being in your ignorance, to curse Him, to push him or to prod with a wet tit just in face without ceremony, like you did it with me... Anyway, I am ready to love you, people.

I rushed through the next rattling connecting corridor between the carriages, and somehow I understood - He is here. A cool wind of air-conditioner, a thick rug on the floor and comfort of silence shown that it was special, the first class carriage for the elite. You want to tip-toe in such places and speak in an undertone, preferably in English, or in a bad, with accent, Russian. In the next compartment, people answered "you are welcome" for my "excuse me".

I recognized him immediately - the same regal forehead, the same penetrating, a little bulging, eyes, the same turned up points of his moustache (like the German Kaisers wore), the same mysterious smile - Mona Lisa's smile- on his aristocratically thin, and nervy shaking lips - everything like in his self-portrait. And there was something else in his face, I thought about that later, but at that moment I just knew - he was waiting for me! He was not surprised when I put a bottle of "Port wine "Tavrichesky" on the table, only the tips of his moustache froze for a second.

- Michel, - I could not conceal my feeling of happiness, shaking hands with him; his hand was thin but his fingers were strong. Probably strength really came back in them... "Our mud is the best mud in the world!" - the advertising got sound in my head.

- In you book " Narcissus's Metamorphosis" you describe paranoiac-critical method of creation, thoughts of which I share, and not only me, my friend Gavrilyuk too.

We began to speak Spanish at once, which I knew from somehow.

- Genius of the paranoiac-critical method appears in synthesis of some hard criticism and viscous, sticky paranoia, a crystal and mucus, strength of life and spirit. The result is intuitive insight... - He spoke with a soft, prepossessing, fascinated tone.

- ...Crystal and mucus, - I repeated his words as bewitched. - Nevertheless, my friend, locksmith Gavrilyuk thinks that paranoia is the main thing.

- Dali is a narcotic, it's difficult to be without it, - Dali spoke with a disarmed smile of genius. - Picasso told me: "Art is a child of orphanhood and melancholy. " In your town the orphanhood and art got mixed up in some fantastical pattern of East and West, here the phallus of mosques quench, slake lust of eternity.

This moment the train moved and I was terrified, I needed to ask and to say so much, but they could just come to drive out! And fortunately, nobody was interested in Salvador Dali and me. The train gather speed smoothly, the carriage for VIP persons rocked slightly, like on the waves. " Very well, I will be here while it is possible, such a good chance can happen just once for whole life... Probably, a conductor was asked not to disturb him too much. " I just trembled with excitement, but tried not show that; I opened a bottle of the wine and pored out into glasses, which stood on the table, as if prepared for this special occasion.

- Your genius, Don Dalvadore!; cheers! - It looked like I said these words aloud... or just thought, lifting up my glass.

- If you think all the time "I am a genius", you become a genius, after all. - Dali looked at me through his glass. I do not know what could he see there at that moment...

- I love flies! They are the most paranoiac insects in the universe, - suddenly concluded he.

- My friend, Gavrilyuk loves the home-flies too. He says that there was some production mistake in the nature, that if a fly's size could be magnified to size of a dove, the man's life was much more interesting. The problem of the bad and the good is often just a problem of the right size. He even managed to take a photo of a fly and then to make enlarged photo. Of course, that view was not for the faint-hearted people. However, my locksmith Gavrilyuk considers that the insects' world is itself such a 'surr', that no needs to devise anything else. The Creator already creates everything.

- Idiocy is the thing, which must be cultivated and cherished! Look at the idiots of Velasquez - it seems that all of them know some secret! The same idiots make art today, but there is no any mystery in their work... And it seems to me, your mister Gavrilyuk certainly must have a moustache.

- Yes, he really has a moustache, - I was impressed with his ability of clairvoyance. - Only his moustache... moustaches look different every moment...

- I begin to like your Gavrilyuk more and more. As for all kind of moustaches - they are means between two worlds: the inner life and the outer world. Every painter's tips of moustaches locate ectoplasms, emanations of a model. A shape of moustaches is strictly historically conditioned. Hitler could not has any other shape of his moustache - only this swastika under his nose. Probably your Gavrilyuk is a painter...

- No, he is not. It's me, I am a painter... - I said and then finished bashfully - an interior designer.

- And Picasso, and me - we are designers too. Only we put our dreams into shape of our pictures. It is the same like to pack up beautifully any thing. After that, it can become an artifact and someone will pay for it.

Thinking about something, Dali took out from his bag pasteboard with sheets of paper and a pencil.

- Here it is. You have one and only line at your disposal...

It is enough to depict a woman. It is enough just one line to get to know everything about an artist...

Something happened with me after these words. My hands became light and as if incorporeal. I put paper to draw easier and then I drew a twisted line, turned it like a cocoon with one inconceivable motion of my hand, and only then, I saw a girl - a beautiful naked girl, which kept her arm under her head. Her body was voluptuous and languorous, and so attractive. I could not discern clearly...

- It is Velasquez! One of his early drawings, - he simply snatched up the paper out of my hands. Another quick movement and another girl came out of non-existence. She was running. Her slim waist and shape of thighs looked like a drawn bow. What could be beyond the perfection? However, Dali was, for some reason, dissatisfied. He crumpled up the sheet of paper with his thing sensitive fingers.

- Draw another one! - Exclaimed he in demanding and at the same time pleading voice, giving back his pasteboard.

More meant more. At the same moment, not thinking too much, I drew a head of some bearded man, which I had never seen before.

- Velasquez... It is the "Bacchus's head"! - Dali was delighted with it. His eyes sparkled with a child's joy. Now his pointed moustache looked like a minute and hour hands shown a quarter to three. I just not have time to look around; he already gave me his next work.

- You see, I recognized you, Rodriguez, from the first moment, - he winked at me with ingenuously and artless expression, leave out of consideration my protests... I was not Rodriguez. - You thought that Dali has already ended as a painter and came to check up my hand's work. But now I am more potent than any time before. These Russian mud-bathes work wonders. Now you will see not just Dali, you will see New Dali. The art ended... God is one and only, and from this moment, I am the Almighty, - he began, looking as if he was mad, to pull out his divine works from paper-cases, and put them quickly before me one after the other. - I always knew that, I had a premonition about this meeting, which has to happen eventually. Really and truly, who was Dali? Dali of yesterday is Velasquez today. The very Don Diego-Rodriguez-Velasquez de Silva, which was as a God for me. But now I am this God. It is possible that tomorrow someone will come to say: I am Dali of yesterday. Together we are like one painter. We have the same stroke. Look, these are my last works. I did not show them to anyone yet. I began to paint again, like in my youth, getting drunk from my own courage and the new paints... This is my friend Picasso in the image of God, through which a girl can be seen - I even remember her name... This is "Angelus of Homer before the Trojan walls"... "Anthropology of Russian phallus"... "A child of forbidden love"... "Louis XIV after meeting with Salvador Dali"... This is a work, which we have painted together; I named it "Taming of Rose"... You could use shades of red color as no one else, I could work with blue one, and we both achieved perfection in that. Now when we met at last, I would like, Rodriguez, we together paint God! This is my old dream...

Once I dreamt that you, Bunuel and Gala came to Kadakez first time, it was snowing that day; the snow covered everything and looked like untouched canvas. Later we went to the sea to meet the anglers, who back from their fishing, and suddenly we head the charming music... It was a violin. We could not understand from where the wind brought the sounds, later we had found out that one of the fishermen' son played the violin. He was very young, but went out to mooring to meet his father and he put on a spell against bad weather and snow with his divine music, to help the anglers to find the right way... The snow stopped, the sun struck through the clouds. And we, stunned with the changing of the decorations and paints; being in a mute amazement, we looked at the snow thaw, and at the fishermen' feluccas, which appeared slowly from the steaming sea, creaking with their tackle. It was a miracle! The miracle, which the boy has done as if especially for us, the boy's name was Huan... Yes, Huan... Later we and the fishermen drunk warmed wine, and you, Rodriguez, said that the greatest art was life itself, and there was no painter, who could show all shades of a rose, but besides color, that rose had a smell... and it was possible to feel its taste... I told, if God gave us His gift - it meant, He gave us a possibility to do that... or everything had no any sense. Being impatient to begin, we ran to the studio to paint the snow and the sun, and the little boy with his waving in the wind, black hair; the boy, who had done a miracle by his playing violin. We painted the courageous fishermen' faces, as if carved out of some brown wood; and Gala's face, created of some golden snowflakes... It seemed her eyes could see some pictures of the future, which only she could know. We painted furiously, like crazy, as if we afraid to lose this unique moment, which already escaped... escaped implacably, taking away all its colors... We lost feeling of time in this never-ending pursuit of the absolute...

And then you said:

- He is wonderful! - As if you acknowledged your defeat. You continue to look at the strange canvas, on which it was impossible to see anything, as if the nasty weather mixed all the paints.

- Who... who is wonderful? - I almost cried because I was just a bundle of nerves.

- God, cannot you see his image? Try to catch the right light...

And then I saw...

At the beginning, it was just a picture, which we were painting together just a minute ago. At close distance I even could say where my stroke was and where his, though when we were painting we did not think about that. And now through the white-snow fog the sun beams began appear, and it was possible to see still vague contours of mooring line and little figure of a boy, a shadow of a felucca, it was possible even to hear the fishermen' laryngeal voices... But you have only to look a little far and the sun shown brightly, and through the golden magnificence of snowfalls, in some kind of the light vortex began to appear a face of Rodriguez... Diego-Rodriguez-Velasquez de Silva... then it disappeared, turning into Federico's face... Then it was possible to see Pablo... Bunuel... At some moment I could see my own face there... I felt that can go mad and to stop that, I splashed out furiously some paint on the picture, and looked aside, trying not to see the purple and red stain, which only began to run down the canvas, but it looked already like a rose coming into blossom, with some trembling dew-drops...

It seemed Rodriguez wanted to ask, why I had done that, but suddenly he froze, become numb. The paint continued to run slowly, the stain changed outlines and in some moments I gave a shudder - I saw the same boy with his violin. I even knew his name... His name was Salvador Dali...

Dali fell silent for some time, looking pensively through the glass of the window; the train rushed by some ruins of the old houses on some small islands, surrounded by water. A skinny caw stood on one of the islands. An old pewter wash-vessel dangled round its sinewy neck instead of a bell. A huge silvery pipe twisted and winded across the green hills to hide over the horizon. On the next island, there was a strange arch with the remains of an inscription DA...

© Александр Грановский, 2001-2023.
© Галина Грановская, перевод, 2003-2023.
© Сетевая Словесность, 2003-2023.


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