Sunday, July 15, 2007

Alexis Wright, Carpentaria, Excerpt 1

Mozzie saw visions when he drifted off with the hot temperatures or the silence and began speaking to himself. The men would overhear him saying things like ‘The skies have become a sea of hands.’ ‘There are too many, everything moving too fast and thick like a nest of worms twisting, hands turning, convulsing hands, attacking the place like missiles.’ Nobody claimed they ever saw what the Fishman was watching, while looking where he looked, following his eyes glinting in the sun. Some old wise men moved closer behind the Fishman in case, they said, ‘We might capture his line of vision.’ They were determined people the old wise men. There was also a lot of nervousness in the convoy. But the more inquisitive wanted to know what he saw. So, Fishman explained. He said it was hard to keep up with all the hands sliding everywhere, created by a special luminance caught in the fractures of light. He described how he saw hands touching everything in the community. ‘Hands too many,’ he whispered, coughing, ‘running like mice all over every dwelling, trying to reshape, push, mould, trying to make things different. White hands.’…Sometimes he could see thousands of these hands at work. He could see them killing Aboriginal people…

P. 126-127

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