کتاب سومین پلیس

اثر فلن اوبراین از انتشارات نشر چشمه - مترجم: پیمان خاکسار-ادبیات ایرلند

The Third Policeman is Flann OBriens brilliantly dark comic novel about the nature of time, death, and existence. Told by a narrator who has committed a botched robbery and brutal murder, the novel follows him and his adventures in a two-dimensional police station where, through the theories of the scientist/philosopher de Selby, he is introduced to "Atomic Theory" and its relation to bicycles, the existence of eternity (which turns out to be just down the road), and de Selbys view that the earth is not round but "sausage-shaped." With the help of his newly found soul named "Joe," he grapples with the riddles and contradictions that three eccentric policeman present to him.

The last of OBriens novels to be published, The Third Policeman joins OBriens other fiction (At Swim-Two-Birds, The Poor Mouth, The Hard Life, The Best of Myles, The Dalkey Archive) to ensure his place, along with James Joyce and Samuel Beckett, as one of Irelands great comic geniuses.

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معرفی کتاب سومین پلیس از نگاه کاربران
کتاب شبیه یک پازل بود.
حس بعد از خوندن کتاب مثل حس بعد از دیدن دانی
دارکو یا فیلم های دوید لینچ بود. عجیب . مغز مذبوحانه
به دنبال توضیح است.
ایده هایی که در کتاب مطرح می شدند خیلی جذابیت داشتند.
به نظرم سه پلیس کتاب سه خواهران تقدیر بودند: اولی نخ عمر
را می بافد، دومی نخ عمر را اندازه می گیرد و سومی ( سومین
پلیس) نخ عمر را قطع می کند.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
«عمرش به این می گذشت که چای درست کند تا وقت بگذراند و آوازهای قدیمی بخواند تا فاصله ی بین وقت گذرانی ها را پر کند.»

«ساخت این آخری سه سال وقت برد، یه سال هم طول کشید تا باور کنم تونستم چنین چیزی بسازم. سنجاق همراهت داری؟»

«من مقاومت می کنم. من برای حفظ جونم می جنگم حتا اگه توی این راه کشته بشم.»
کتاب به نوعی از زبان سه اول شخص مفرد نقل می شود؛ راوی، صدای ذهنش، و کسی که پانویس ها رو می نویسد. (که این آخری بسیار خلاقانه و عالی از آب درآمده و به مثابه مهر و پرچم این کتاب است. طنز و نبوغ موجود در این پانویس ها شاهکار است.)
از نظر چند شخصیتی وار بودن راوی، کتاب مرا به یاد شاگرد قصاب - که این هم ترجمه ی خاکسار است - انداخت، که از مک کیبِ ایرلندی است.
بگومگوهای سفسطه وار آدم ها هم، در آثار مک دونا دیده می شوند، که او هم ایرلندی است.
ورود راوی به دنیای اعجاب انگیزِ پلیس ها هم، آلیس در سرزمین عجایب را به یاد می آورد که نویسنده ی آن هم انگلیسی است.

مشاهده لینک اصلی


Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results.
-Rita Mae Brown
The phrase practically screams common sense, does it not? And yet endurance, perseverance, and stubborn tenacity are all valued qualities in the face of a seemingly unobtainable goal. Personally, what immediately comes to mind are the trials and tribulations of scientists in countless laboratories scattered across the globe. Proclaiming a hypothesis (ex: I hypothesize that chemical A will interact with chemical B like so), designing an experiment to match it, and then conducting it over and over and over again, enough to gain enough data points to exclude both systematic and random error, avoidable and unavoidable biasing of the results. Three is the magic number required to measure just how wrong the data could possibly be, but more is always encouraged, just in case a monstrous outlier rears its head due to some unforeseen amount of chaos.

And if that experiment proves faulty, scientific training demands a do-over. Correct the hypothesis a touch, adjust the variables a smidgen, re-calibrate the chemicals and fine-tune the machinery, then repeat the process countless times more. On and on and on, as one of the blessings of the scientific method is that conclusions can always be questioned, answers can always be tested ad infinitum, and theories that have lasted for millenia can have their sterling reputations cracked like an egg during the space of a single hour.

Now, what does this have to do with The Third Policeman? Well, the previous two paragraphs in essence described a major plot point, the @twist@ if you will of the entire narrative, as well as an action that multiple characters take part in throughout the course of the story. More importantly, there are a surprising amount of passages that are grounded firmly in the insanity that science is.

For those who are not inclined towards the hard sciences, feel free to skip this next part. For those who have some level of interest, continue on.
(view spoiler)[
Human existence de Selby has defined as a succession of static experiences each infinitely brief...From this premise he discounts the reality or truth of any progression or serialism in life, denies that time can pass as such in the accepted sense and attributes to hallucinations the commonly experienced sensation of progression as, for instance, in journeying from one place to another or even living....The illusion of progression he attributes to the inability of the human brain - as at present developed - to appreciate the reality of these separate rests, preferring to group many millions of them together and calling the result motion...
Some of you may be familiar with the concept of integration in mathematics. For those who are not, imagine a line on a graph. Make it as curved and chaotic as you please. Now, imagine finding a way, an equation if you will, for calculating the area underneath that line for however far it shoots out into infinity, bounded only by the horizontal (x) and vertical (y) axes that the line originates from. The accepted process is to imagine an infinitely narrow slice of that area, then add up as many of the slices as necessary. Realistically speaking, this is impossible. Mathematically speaking, this is one of the fundamental bases of calculus, and is one of if not the most useful calculation skill to have under ones belt for engineering.

The parallels between seeming insanity and hard science dont stop there.

How big is all this place?
It is no size at all, the Sergeant explained, because there is no difference anywhere in it and we have no conception of the extent of its unchanging coequality.
In engineering problems involving lines, shapes, and volumes, it is a very popular method to extend one or more of the axes of the shape out to infinity, thereby reducing seeming differences to insignificant in the grand scale of things, and ridding one of the necessity of calculation for that particular part. You would not believe how much easier this makes calculation, although it is true that these infinitely long, infinitely wide, and infinitely large objects have a very major issue:
They lacked an essential property of all known objects...Simply their appearance, if even that word is not inadmissible, was not understood by the eye and was in any event indescribable.
Regardless, the calculations always work out.

Another scientific curiosity, albeit a bit more grounded in fact than the previous.
Some people, he said, call it energy but the right name is omnium because there is far more than energy in the inside of it, whatever it is. Omnium is the essential inherent interior essence which is hidden inside the root of the kernel of everything at it is always the same.
I nodded wisely.
It never changes. But it shows itself in a million ways and it always comes in waves. now take the case of the light on the mangle.
Take it, I said.
Light is the same omnium on a short wave but if it comes on a longer wave it is in the form of noise, or sound. With my own patents I can stretch a ray out until it becomes sound...But ominium is the business-end of everything. If you could find the right wave that results in a tree, you could make a small fortune out of timber for export.
Light is both a particle and a wave, waves that have a much higher frequency (occur more often) than sound waves. Every object in the physical world has what is called a resonant frequency, most popularly illustrated by an opera singer breaking a glass with their voice. At that point, the frequency of the noise matches the vibrational frequency of the multitudes of atomic bonds within the structure (bonds between atoms are never static, and are always lengthening/shrinking/rotating about), causing the structure to absorb energy to the point of the atoms breaking their bonds due to the force of the vibrations. Whether this process can ever be reversed and form physical objects from vibrations is a fascinating question indeed.

And finally, the amazing properties of water.
[de Selby] praises the equilibrium of water, its circumambiency, equiponderance and equitableness, and declares that water, if not abused can achieve absolute superiority...In Bassetts view the water was treated in the patent water-box and diluted to a degree that made it invisible - in the guise of water, at all events - to the untutored watchers at the sewer.
If you ever find yourself working with bioengineers, youll run across drug delivery problems. Not only do they involve integration and shapes that break the laws of reality, they involve liquids of all densities (weight of the object divided by volume of the object), viscosities (adherence of a substances molecules to one another. Maple syrup is viscous, water is not), and diffusion constants (the rate at which something will move through water, ex: the speed at which ink spreads in a pool of clear water). Unless youre dealing with water or something that has been infinitely diluted in water, essentially easing calculations by being deemed perfect in its insignificant interactions. In other words, you can ignore it. The only problem with de Selbys approach is attempting to demonstrate these mathematical tricks in real life, resulting in a household usage of 9,000 gallons of water in one day, none of which was observed to ever leave the house. Again, realistically incomprehensible. But scientifically sound. (hide spoiler)]

I could go on about the myriad reality-defying ways the book illustrates that in actuality are necessary for successful scientific reasoning. But I think that you have all had enough lessons in mathematics/physics/general engineering for one day. Rest assured, this is not all that the book has going for it. There are many passages of dry wit that had me flat out giggling, as well as wonderfully unconventional metaphors that raised the reality the words described to a unusual, yet beautiful art. Youll even find scathing critiques of society and profound existential meanderings within these pages.

However, what stuck with me the most were the uncanny similarities between the strange logic that the book operated on and the science of the real world. Not all of the books weirdness is reflected in sound science, but science itself has its own cases of crackpot theories and misinformed conclusions. Ultimately, to discover the truth, scientists delve into these realms, these hells if you will, of supreme weirdness and nonsensical assumptions, bring back bits and pieces for the rest of humanity to benefit from, and then dive back for more. Its a wonder that more of them dont go mad from the effort.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
It was as if the daylight had changed with unnatural suddenness, as if the temperature of the evening had altered greatly in an instant or as if the air had become twice as rare or twice as dense as it had been in the winking of an eye; perhaps all of these and other things happened together for all my senses were bewildered all at once and could give me no explanation.

Flann OBriens The Third Policeman continuously defied my expectations. Before reading, I had no preconceived notions about it, other than that it was an influence on the TV show LOST, but from its beginning pages, I hypothesized it to be a short, clever novel about murder. Thats the only thing I got right about this book. When I thought it was a tale of an obsessive friendship, it became a philosophical examination of death. Then it became a trip down Alices rabbit hole. Then it became a farcical look at science. Then it made several left turns and U-turns and roundabouts that Ill let the reader discover for herself.

This book feels vastly important, mostly because its really old. It was written in 1940. Thats a long time before David Foster Wallaces Infinite Jest, which has a similar hysterical-realistic aesthetic. Its a long time before Paul Auster infused his The New York Trilogy with a healthy dose of OBriens metafiction. Thats even before Borges Ficciones or Becketts Waiting for Godot made their marks on postmodernism. And being so old, The Third Policeman feels remarkably modern in every sense other than its usage of old Britishisms like using @stone@ as a unit of measure.

I know this is a short review, but I dont know what else to say. Its hard to talk about this book without giving anything away and I think it should come as a complete surprise to the reader. Its an important book which I dont think has received its just deserts. Read it.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Did you ever mount a bicycle from the right?

. . . is a question posed in this novel. And I have to confess, thinking about that, that I never have. But I am a small sample size and, I must confess, not a rider of bicycles. Then again, I am a frequent user of an elliptical machine, and I have only mounted that from the left. I have fallen off it both left and right but that is a different matter.

I tried this book a long time ago and I didnt make it to the question of bicycle-mounting. But that was before Goodreads. You remember Goodreads, dont you? That was that wonderful site for book lovers before Amazon bought it and now filled the homepage up with so much advertising and recommendations (they clearly dont know me, by the way) that it looks like the jumpsuit of a Nascar driver.

I also pitched this book, previously, before I got to the explanation of atomic theory. Atomic theory is like DNA explained by a writer who knows what time the bars open but not when they close. He got the little pieces in every big piece part right, but then it morphs into a DNA exchange. Like, if a hammer hits a nail, the atoms of the hammer move into the nail and the atoms of the nail move into the hammer. Little bit by little bit. This works with humans (more or less) and bicycles. Sit on a bicycle seat and start pedaling and you slowly become a bicycle, just as the bicycle slowly becomes you.

As I mentioned above, however, since I do not ride a bicycle anymore, it is more likely that I am becoming an elliptical machine (and he, me), although it is far more likely that I will become a golf cart, which I can mount from either right or left, though I prefer to drive.

You can see that you would be wise to regulate your irregularity instantaneously.

This was my second try at The Third Policeman, and I was successful in completing the reading. I did this thanks to the vagaries of air travel which has you board in Seattle but then fly straight south to Los Angeles and then north by northeast to Pittsburgh, with a layover, giving me a full day to read this without any serious distraction except for the Russian accent in the seat behind me on the second leg, which may or may not have been a wooden leg, I dont know, but he couldnt shut up.*

The book was a fascinating pancake and a conundrum of great incontinence, a phenomenon of the first rarity. **

You want to know what it was about? It was Hell, I tell ya.

*I boarded the plane from the left. This is universal, I think, even if bicycle-boarding is not.

**The first-person protagonist of this novel, in addition to being a first-chapter murderer, has written an analysis of the works of the de Selby, of whom it was said, @the beauty of reading a page of de Selby is that it leads one inescapably to the happy conviction that one is not, of all nincompoops, the greatest.@ I liked this book best for its wry, self-deprecating humor.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Before I begin, let me warn you.
***DO NOT READ THE INTRODUCTION UNTIL AFTER YOU HAVE READ THE NOVEL** I made the mistake of reading the intro first, and that intro contains a spoiler. It gave away the entire premise of the novel. So I feel like I was gyped a bit here.

That being said, even tho I read the novel knowing the outcome, it didnt ruin the story for me at all.

TTP is hung up on de Selby (who is this dude?) some of his theories. Here are a few that really interested me: He felt that roads have a distinct direction they travel in. And you can feel if you are traveling them in the correct direction. Also, he believes that when you look in a mirror, you see a younger version of yourself. and if you take two mirrors and face them into themselves, where they reflect endless reflections, you will be able to see youself grow younger and younger thru each reflection. These are not touched very much in the novel, but were unique enough in and of themselves that I felt I would mention them.

And then there is the whole sharing atoms thing.This is a point of focus throughout the novel: If you ride a bicycle too often, pcs of the bike get passed into you, and you into it. Thus making a bike act humanish and a human act bikeish, until there is no way to tell the difference between the two. Same goes for the road. If you walk too much, you loose pcs of yourself to the road, and the road comes into you..... Still with me?

Overall, the book grips the reader and refuses to let go. It is creepy, confusing, and a touch haunting. I may have to pick up more from this author if they are written anything like this one!

مشاهده لینک اصلی
Oh, so this is what the Trial would read like if Kafka wrote it on six or seven tabs of acid.

مشاهده لینک اصلی
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