divendres, 10 d’abril del 2009

A british club in Burma

"Flory's house was at the top of the maidan, close to the edge of the jungle. From the gate the maidan sloped sharply down, scorched and khakhi-coloured, with half a dozen dazzling white bungalows scattered round it. All quaked, shivered in the hot air. There was an English cemetery within a white wall half-way down the hill, and nearby a tiny tin-roofed church. Beyond that was the European Club, and when one looked at the Club -a dumpy one-storey wooden building- one look at the real centre of the town. In any town in India the European Club is the spiritual citadel, the real seat of the British Power, the Nirvana for which nattive officials and millionaires pine in vain. It was doubly so in this case, for that it was the proud boast of Kyaukutada Club that, almost alone of Clubs in Burma, it had never admitted an Oriental to memberhip.
My God, I should have thought in a case like this, when it's a question of keeping those black, stinking swine out of the only place where we can enjoy ourselves, you'd have the decency to back me up. Even if that pot-bellied, greasy little sod of a nigger doctor is your best pal. I don't care if you choose to pal up with the scuum of the bazaar. If it pleases you to go to Veraswami's house and drink whisky with all his nigger pals, that's your look-out. Do what you like outside the Club. But, by God, it's a different matter when you talk of bringing niggers in here. I suppose you'd like little Veraswami for a Club member, eh? Chipping into our conversation and pawing everyone with his sweaty hands and breathing his filthy garlic breath in our faces. By God, he'd go out with my boot behind him if ever I saw his black snout inside that door. Greasy, pot bellied little-!" etc.
This went on for several minutes. It was curiosly impressive, because it was so completely sincere. Ellis really did hate Orientals -hated them with a bitter, restless loathing as of something evil or unclean. Living and working, as the assistant of a timber firm must, in perpetual contact with the Burmese, he had never grown used to the sight of a black face. Any hint of friendly feeling towards an Oriental seemed to him a horrible perversity. He was an intelligent man and an able servant of his firm, but he was one of those Englishmen -common, unfortunately- who should never be allowed to set foot in the East."
Flory pushed back his chair and stood up. It must not, it could not--no, it simply should not go on any longer! He must get out of this room quickly, before something happened inside his head and he began to smash the furniture and throw bottles at the pictures. Dull boozing witless porkers! Was it possible that they could go on week after week, year after year, repeating word for word the same evil-minded drivel, like a parody of a fifth-rate story in Blackwood's? Would none of them EVER think of anything new to say? Oh, what a place, what people! What a civilization is this of ours--this godless civilization founded on whisky, Blackwood's and the 'Bonzo' pictures! God have mercy on us, for all of us are part of it.

2 comentaris:

chinochano ha dit...

ese libro me impresiono precisamente por fragmentos como este, en el que se cuenta como los guiris se dedican a reunirse para poner a parir el sitio en el que viven. Me estremecio ver que en China, 80 anhos despues, la gente hace lo mismo.

Anònim ha dit...

totalmente de acuerdo, josémaría!