Kurt Vonnegut – Harrison Bergeron

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Kurt Vonnegut, Player Piano, The Sirens of Titan, Cat’s Cradle, Slaughterhouse-Five gibi 羹nl羹 eserleri olan 羹nl羹 bir bilim kurgu yazar覺d覺r. Deerli romanlar覺 d覺覺nda k覺sa hikayeler de yazm覺t覺r. 襤lk 1961 y覺l覺nda yay覺nlanm覺 Harrison Bergeron da onun ilgin癟 k覺sa hikayelerinden biridir.

Hikayeyi orijinali eklinde aa覺 koyaca覺m, tamam覺n覺 terc羹me edip buraya yazmak istemiyorum imdi. 襤yi 襤ngilizce bilmeyenler i癟in iyi bir f覺rsat olacakt覺r zaten. Bu sebeple aa覺da sadece biraz 繹zetleyeceim.

Kurt Vonnegut’覺n k覺sa hikayelerini bilmezdim, okuduum Cat’s Cradle konusu ile 癟ok houma gitmiti ve k羹t羹phanelerde ne kadar dier kitaplar覺ndan arasam da bulamam覺覺md覺r. Bu k覺sa hikaye ile de bu y覺l ki Amerikan ve 襤ngiliz Edebiyat覺 derd kitab覺m Literature , An Introduction to Poetry, Drama, Fiction and Writing kitab覺nda rastlad覺m. Asl覺nda bu yaz覺y覺 daha ge癟en y覺l ilk s覺nav覺mdan 繹nce yazmay覺 planl覺yordum ama kendimi ders 癟al覺maya verince yazamam覺t覺m. O zamanlar konu ile ilgili 癟ok eyler yazmay覺 planlam覺t覺m ama zamanla unuttum ve imdi toparlayam覺yorum. Neyse hikayeden bahsedeyim de siz anlars覺n覺z zaten.

Hikaye insanlar aras覺nda eitlik veya eitsizlik hakk覺nda d羹羹nd羹r羹c羹 bir eserdir. Olay 2081 y覺l覺nda ge癟mektedir. 襤nsanlar aralar覺ndaki eitsizlik ortadan kald覺r覺l覺p herkesin eit olduu bir d羹zene sahip olmak amac覺yla 癟eitli yapt覺r覺mlarla kar覺 kar覺yad覺rlar. ncelikle burada dierlerine g繹re biraz daha zeki, g羹zel veya yak覺覺kl覺, sal覺kl覺 ve uzun boylu kiilerin 癟eitli engellerle bu avantajlar覺n覺 kullanmalar覺 engellenmektedir. S覺n覺r ise ortalaman覺n alt覺nda zeka, g羹癟, sal覺k ve g繹r羹n羹me sahip olanlard覺r. Yani bu ortalaman覺n alt覺 kiilerden iyi bir 繹zelliiniz varsa bunun avantaj覺n覺 kullanman覺z engellenir.

襤steyen dorudan aa覺daki orijinal hikayeyi okuyabilir, bu k覺s覺mda 繹zeti yer almakta.

Hikayedeki George zeki biridir ve bu zekas覺n覺 dierlerine kar覺 bir avantaj olarak kullan覺p eitliliin bozulmamas覺 i癟in belirli s覺kl覺kta dikkat bozucu sesler 癟覺kararak bir konu 羹zerinde uzun s羹re d羹羹nmesini, d羹羹ncesini younlat覺rmas覺n覺 engelleyen bir kulakl覺k ta覺maktad覺r. Kulakl覺k sayesinde derin d羹羹nmeye kalkt覺覺nda dikkati da覺lmakta ve d羹羹nememektedir. Ayr覺ca zay覺f ve g羹癟s羹z insanlardan fark覺 olduu sebebiyle de s覺rt覺nda 21 kilo kadar (47 pound) bir y羹k ta覺maktad覺r. Daha g羹癟l羹 insanlar daha fazlas覺n覺 ta覺r ki, eitlik korunabilsin. George’un ei Hazel ise zeki biri deildir ve bu sebeple de bir engele sahip deildir.

Hikayede anayasaya eklenen 211, 212 ve 213. maddeler ile t羹m insanlar覺n eit olmas覺 gerektii, bunun da dierlerinden daha 羹st羹n 繹zelliklere sahip olanlar覺n bu 繹zelliinin dourabilecei avantaj覺n engellerle ortadan kald覺r覺lmas覺, buna uymayanlar覺n, eitlii bozanlar覺n da cezaland覺r覺lmas覺 belirtilmitir. Engelleme ilerinden Engelleme Generali (Handicapper General) sorumludur. Bu t羹r engellemelere ramen Nisan ay覺n覺n daha tam olarak bahar olmas覺, havalar覺n souk olmas覺 bile eitlii bozarak insanlar覺 rahats覺z etmektedir.

Hikaye George ve Hazel’in engeller ve eitlikten bahsettii bir b繹l羹m ile balar. Hazel George’a kanepeye uzanmas覺n覺, bu ekilde s覺rt覺ndaki y羹k羹n a覺rl覺覺ndan kurtulup dinlenebileceini s繹yler. Y羹kte a覺rl覺k yapan birka癟 toptan kurtulman覺n bedelinin top ba覺na iki y覺l hapis veya iki bin dolar ceza olduundan, asl覺nda evde dier insanlarla bir ilikileri olmad覺覺ndan bu y羹klere ihtiya癟 olmad覺覺ndan vs. konuurlar. Bu sayede George’un kulakl覺覺ndan 癟eitli sesler verilip d羹羹ncesini younlat覺rmas覺 engellenmektedir.

襤zledikleri m羹zik elence t羹r羹 bir program olan TV yay覺n覺 birden kesilir ve 癟覺kan bir spiker yar覺m dakikada ancak “Baylar bayanlar” diyebilmitir, 癟羹nk羹 dier spikerler gibi konumas覺nda ciddi oranda bozukluk vard覺r. Spiker elindeki duyurunun okunabilmesi i癟in duyuruyu orada g繹steri yapan balerine okutur. Balerin sesi dierlerine g繹re daha g羹zel olduu i癟in okumaya 繹ncelikle sesinden dolay覺 繹z羹r dileyerek balar. Duyurudaki konu Harrison Bergeron’un hapisten ka癟t覺覺 ve a覺r覺 tehlikeli olduu bildirilir.

Harrison Bergeron ise George ve Hazel’覺n 14 ya覺ndaki 癟ocuklar覺d覺r. Dierlerine g繹re olduk癟a zeki, g羹癟l羹 ve yak覺覺kl覺 olup dierlerinden daha a覺r engellere sahiptir. Mesela 300 pound a覺rl覺k ta覺makta ve y羹z羹nde de iyi g繹r羹n羹m羹n羹 engelleyen engeller vard覺r. Harrison bu eitlilik i癟in engellere kar覺 biridir ve bu sebeple h羹k羹meti y覺kma giriimlerinde bulunma 羹phesiyle hapse at覺lm覺t覺r. Yay覺nda Harrison’覺n fotoraf覺 da g繹sterilir ve George da onu tan覺r.

George bir otomobil kazas覺 sesi ile dikkatini kaybeder ve daha sonra ekranda Harrison’覺n canl覺s覺 ile kar覺la覺r. Yay覺n birden Harrison Bergeron’覺n salona girmesi ile kesilir. Harrison Bergeron kendini imparator ilan eder ve daha sonra da teker teker b羹t羹n engellerini 癟覺kar覺r. Sonra da kendine bir imparatori癟e se癟er ve m羹zisyenlerin de engellerini kald覺rarak onunla m羹zik eliinde dans eder. Danslar覺 esnas覺nda sadece devlet kanunlar覺n覺 deil yer 癟ekimi kanunlar覺n覺 da 癟ineyerek tavana kadar y羹kselirler ve tavan覺 繹perler.

Onlar tam bu ekilde elenirken de Engelleme Generali salona girip ikisini de ate ederek 繹ld羹r羹r. 襤kisi de yere d羹ene kadar 繹lm羹lerdir. General m羹zisyenlere engellerini takt覺r覺r, takmazlarsa onlar覺 da 繹ld羹rmekle tehdit eder.

Bu s覺rada Bergeron ailesinin televizyonu bozulur. Hazel mutfaktan bira al覺p gelen George bunu anlatmaya 癟al覺覺rken George kula覺ndaki radyonun sesinden irkilir ve Hazel’in alad覺覺n覺 farkedip nedenini sorar. Tabi Hazel de net bir cevap veremez ya.

Anlayaca覺n覺z 羹zere hikaye eitliin abart覺ld覺覺nda k繹t羹 bir durum olabileceini anlatan, eitlii tam olarak iyi veya k繹t羹 olarak s覺n覺fland覺rmayan birey. Daha 癟ok insan覺 bir ikileme s羹r羹kleyerek d羹羹nd羹r羹yor. Tabii ki buradaki olay abart覺 ve olmas覺 anla覺ld覺覺 羹zere sal覺kl覺 olmayacak birey.

Hadi bakal覺m d羹羹n羹n imdi eit olmal覺 m覺, farkl覺l覺klarla zenginlemeli mi? st羹n kiiler farkl覺l覺k iyidir diyecektir, ortalaman覺n alt覺ndakiler ise bundan memnun olacakt覺r. Mesela k覺z veya erkek arkada覺 olmamas覺n覺 tipsizliine balayanlar, tipini kendilerine 羹st羹n g繹rd羹klerinin engellenmesinden memnun olacakt覺r. Ancak arkada konusunda rahat olanlar da dierlerinin d羹zeyine inmek i癟in eit olmak istemeyecektir. D羹羹n d羹羹n boktur iin denen konulardan biri yani.

urada ve urada(Youtube) da bu k覺sa hikayeden fikirle yap覺lm覺 bir film ve bir video var.

Aa覺ya da k覺sa hikayenin kendisini koyuyorum, 襤ngilizce anlayabilenlere okumalar覺 tavsiye edilir. Youn ben bilmiyorum 癟evir istei olursa tamam覺n覺 terc羹me edebilirim ki eminim olmayacakt覺r o istek.

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The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They werent only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

Some things about living still werent quite right, though. April, for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergerons fourteen-year-old son, Harrison, away.

It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldnt think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldnt think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazels cheeks, but shed forgotten for the moment what they were about.

On the television screen were ballerinas.

A buzzer sounded in Georges head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.

That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did, said Hazel.

Huh? said George.

That dance it was nice, said Hazel.

Yup, said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They werent really very good no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldnt be handicapped. But he didnt get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.

George winced. So did two out of the eight ballerinas.

Hazel saw him wince. Having no mental handicap herself she had to ask George what the latest sound had been.

Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer, said George.

Id think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds, said Hazel, a little envious. All the things they think up.

Um, said George.

Only, if I was Handicapper General, you know what I would do? said Hazel. Hazel, as a matter of fact, bore a strong resemblance to the Handicapper General, a woman named Diana Moon Glampers. If I was Diana Moon Glampers, said Hazel, Id have chimes on Sunday just chimes. Kind of in honor of religion.

I could think, if it was just chimes, said George.

Well maybe make em real loud, said Hazel. I think Id make a good Handicapper General.

Good as anybody else, said George.

Who knows bettern I do what normal is? said Hazel.

Right, said George. He began to think glimmeringly about his abnormal son who was now in jail, about Harrison, but a twenty-one-gun salute in his head stopped that.

Boy! said Hazel, that was a doozy, wasnt it?

It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes. Two of the eight ballerinas had collapsed to the studio floor, were holding their temples.

All of a sudden you look so tired, said Hazel. Why dont you stretch out on the sofa, sos you can rest your handicap bag on the pillows, honeybunch. She was referring to the forty-seven pounds of birdshot in canvas bag, which was padlocked around Georges neck. Go on and rest the bag for a little while, she said. I dont care if youre not equal to me for a while.

George weighed the bag with his hands. I dont mind it, he said. I dont notice it any more. Its just a part of me.

You been so tired lately kind of wore out, said Hazel. If there was just some way we could make a little hole in the bottom of the bag, and just take out a few of them lead balls. Just a few.

Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball I took out, said George. I dont call that a bargain.

If you could just take a few out when you came home from work, said Hazel. I mean you dont compete with anybody around here. You just set around.

If I tried to get away with it, said George, then other peopled get away with it and pretty soon wed be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldnt like that, would you?

Id hate it, said Hazel.

There you are, said George. The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?

If Hazel hadnt been able to come up with an answer to this question, George couldnt have supplied one. A siren was going off in his head.

Reckon itd fall all apart, said Hazel.

What would? said George blankly.

Society, said Hazel uncertainly. Wasnt that what you just said?

Who knows? said George.

The television program was suddenly interrupted for a news bulletin. It wasnt clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment. For about half a minute, and in a state of high excitement, the announcer tried to say, Ladies and gentlemen

He finally gave up, handed the bulletin to a ballerina to read.

Thats all right Hazel said of the announcer, he tried. Thats the big thing. He tried to do the best he could with what God gave him. He should get a nice raise for trying so hard.

Ladies and gentlemen said the ballerina, reading the bulletin. She must have been extraordinarily beautiful, because the mask she wore was hideous. And it was easy to see that she was the strongest and most graceful of all the dancers, for her handicap bags were as big as those worn by two-hundred-pound men.

And she had to apologize at once for her voice, which was a very unfair voice for a woman to use. Her voice was a warm, luminous, timeless melody. Excuse me she said, and she began again, making her voice absolutely uncompetitive.

Harrison Bergeron, age fourteen, she said in a grackle squawk, has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete, is underhandicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous.

A police photograph of Harrison Bergeron was flashed on the screen upside down, then sideways, upside down again, then right side up. The picture showed the full length of Harrison against a background calibrated in feet and inches. He was exactly seven feet tall.

The rest of Harrisons appearance was Halloween and hardware. Nobody had ever worn heavier handicaps. He had outgrown hindrances faster than the HG men could think them up. Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones, and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. The spectacles were intended to make him not only half blind, but to give him whanging headaches besides.

Scrap metal was hung all over him. Ordinarily, there was a certain symmetry, a military neatness to the handicaps issued to strong people, but Harrison looked like a walking junkyard. In the race of life, Harrison carried three hundred pounds.

And to offset his good looks, the HG men required that he wear at all times a red rubber ball for a nose, keep his eyebrows shaved off, and cover his even white teeth with black caps at snaggletooth random.

If you see this boy, said the ballerina, do not I repeat, do not try to reason with him.

There was the shriek of a door being torn from its hinges.

Screams and barking cries of consternation came from the television set. The photograph of Harrison Bergeron on the screen jumped again and again, as though dancing to the tune of an earthquake.

George Bergeron correctly identified the earthquake, and well he might have for many was the time his own home had danced to the same crashing tune. My God said George, that must be Harrison!

The realization was blasted from his mind instantly by the sound of an automobile collision in his head.

When George could open his eyes again, the photograph of Harrison was gone. A living, breathing Harrison filled the screen.

Clanking, clownish, and huge, Harrison stood in the center of the studio. The knob of the uprooted studio door was still in his hand. Ballerinas, technicians, musicians, and announcers cowered on their knees before him, expecting to die.

I am the Emperor! cried Harrison. Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once! He stamped his foot and the studio shook.

Even as I stand here he bellowed, crippled, hobbled, sickened I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!

Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds.

Harrisons scrapiron handicaps crashed to the floor.

Harrison thrust his thumbs under the bar of the padlock that secured his head harness. The bar snapped like celery. Harrison smashed his headphones and spectacles against the wall.

He flung away his rubberball nose, revealed a man that would have awed Thor, the god of thunder.

I shall now select my Empress! he said, looking down on the cowering people. Let the first woman who dares rise to her feet claim her mate and her throne!

A moment passed, and then a ballerina arose, swaying like a willow.

Harrison plucked the mental handicap from her ear, snapped off her physical handicaps with marvelous delicacy. Last of all, he removed her mask.

She was blindingly beautiful.

Now said Harrison, taking her hand, shall we show the people the meaning of the word dance? Music! he commanded.

The musicians scrambled back into their chairs, and Harrison stripped them of their handicaps, too. Play your best, he told them, and Ill make you barons and dukes and earls.

The music began. It was normal at first cheap, silly, false. But Harrison snatched two musicians from their chairs, waved them like batons as he sang the music as he wanted it played. He slammed them back into their chairs.

The music began again and was much improved.

Harrison and his Empress merely listened to the music for a while listened gravely, as though synchronizing their heartbeats with it.

They shifted their weights to their toes.

Harrison placed his big hands on the girls tiny waist, letting her sense the weightlessness that would soon be hers.

And then, in an explosion of joy and grace, into the air they sprang!

Not only were the laws of the land abandoned, but the law of gravity and the laws of motion as well.

They reeled, whirled, swiveled, flounced, capered, gamboled, and spun.

They leaped like deer on the moon.

The studio ceiling was thirty feet high, but each leap brought the dancers nearer to it. It became their obvious intention to kiss the ceiling.

They kissed it.

And then, neutralizing gravity with love and pure will, they remained suspended in air inches below the ceiling, and they kissed each other for a long, long time.

It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.

Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on.

It was then that the Bergerons television tube burned out.

Hazel turned to comment about the blackout to George.

But George had gone out into the kitchen for a can of beer.

George came back in with the beer, paused while a handicap signal shook him up. And then he sat down again. You been crying? he said to Hazel.

Yup, she said,

What about? he said.

I forget, she said. Something real sad on television.

What was it? he said.

Its all kind of mixed up in my mind, said Hazel.

Forget sad things, said George.

I always do, said Hazel.

Thats my girl, said George. He winced. There was the sound of a riveting gun in his head.

Gee I could tell that one was a doozy, said Hazel.

You can say that again, said George.

Gee said Hazel, I could tell that one was a doozy.