What happens when authorship gets caught in stormy weather? Elisa Band takes us on a journey through the heavy swell into a vortex of stories that sound somehow familiar. Her story scrutinizes the contemporary status of authorship.
After the authorship departed, there were many days in which the vessel wandered in the ocean. One night, there was a tempest. All the safety instructions memorized, all protective equipment assembled, nothing else could be done, except for waiting for it to pass. As the storm got worse, the captain summoned the crew and passengers. Everybody silent, listening, in the safest part of the ship: the library.
By the small windows above their heads, they could see the lightning, ship shaking, water coming from all sides. The captain started his story.
Once I loved a girl. It was in Italy, Verona. Our families were enemies, and didn’t approve of our love. We kissed. We spent a whole night talking about birds and stuff, her on this balcony, me down there, kind of hidden in the bush. We imagined the craziest plan, which included marrying in secret, fake poison and fake death, waking up in the grave, and escaping together to be happy far away.
Things went wrong and I decided do kill myself. So I took the real poison, but instead of dying I woke up the next morning from uneasy dreams and found I had turned into a large verminous insect. I lost my job, started to live in my bedroom. My sister would feed me sometimes. Gradually, I started to feel more comfortable in my transformed body until the day I left my bedroom and went into the kitchen. Things went pretty bad and my father started to throw apples at me. They wanted to send me back to my room but I said I would prefer not to. My family started to try all sorts of things to get me into the room. I preferred not to. After all kinds of unsuccessful attempts, they moved from the house, and a few days after the move, I was hanging around inside the building all day. Finally, I was arrested and sent to a sanatorium in Davos.
In this rarefied mountain air and the introspective little world of the sanatorium, people would come and go, and I met all sorts of extravagant fellows. My departure from the sanatorium was repeatedly delayed by my failing health, and seven years passed. I didn’t get any better. During that period, I tried to convince the animals there to start a revolution and transform the sanatorium into a farm with different laws created by us.
But since I was an insect, they didn’t include me and used my idea to have their own revolution. I was so disappointed that when I met this doctor at the sanatorium, Dr. Frankenstein, I asked him to turn me into a human again. He tried with his best efforts, but things didn’t work out well and although I became human, I started to display unusual behavior.
That made me think that I needed a break.
All these events led me to reflect. I wrote a book about our civilization and its discontent, and tired of its discontent, I came to this ship. I prepared myself for the challenges of the sea, studied the navigation tools and the shift maneuvers, started to perceive certain patterns in the sea: the relation of the tide to the moon, the maritime streams. But I realized that despite me being the captain, there are other forces that drive this vessel.
All I can tell you is that I know all storms pass, and if they don’t pass, you will not be there to see it.
Shall we continue the trip. I can feel the white beast. It’s the whiteness of the whale that appalls me above all else. But how can I hope to explain myself? Let’s keep an eye on the sea. And if you see anything, don’t forget. Call me Ishmael.