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KLARA AND THE SUN - KAZUO ISHIGURO, Part One - 01

Part One - 01

When we were new, Rosa and I were mid-store, on the magazines table side, and could see through more than half of the window. So we were able to watch the outside –the office workers hurrying by, the taxis, the runners, the tourists, Beggar Man and his dog, the lower part of the RPO Building. Once we were more settled, Manager allowed us to walk up to the front until we were right behind the window display, and then we could see how tall the RPO Building was. And if we were there at just the right time, we would see the Sun on his journey, crossing between the building tops from our side over to the RPO Building side. When I was lucky enough to see him like that, I'd lean my face forward to take in as much of his nourishment as I could, and if Rosa was with me, I'd tell her to do the same. After a minute or two, we'd have to return to our positions, and when we were new, we used to worry that because we often couldn't see the Sun from mid-store, we'd grow weaker and weaker. Boy AF Rex, who was alongside us then, told us there was nothing to worry about, that the Sun had ways of reaching us wherever we were. He pointed to the floorboards and said, ‘That's the Sun's pattern right there. If you're worried, you can just touch it and get strong again.'There were no customers when he said this, and Manager was busy arranging something up on the Red Shelves, and I didn't want to disturb her by asking permission. So I gave Rosa a glance, and when she looked back blankly, I took two steps forward, crouched down and reached out both hands to the Sun's pattern on the floor. But as soon as my fingers touched it, the pattern faded, and though I tried all I could –I patted the spot where it had been, and when that didn't work, rubbed my hands over the floorboards –it wouldn't come back. When I stood up again Boy AF Rex said: ‘Klara, that was greedy. You girl AFs are always so greedy.'Even though I was new then, it occurred to me straight away it might not have been my fault; that the Sun had withdrawn his pattern by chance just when I'd been touching it. But Boy AF Rex's face remained serious. ‘You took all the nourishment for yourself, Klara. Look, it's gone almost dark.'Sure enough the light inside the store had become very gloomy. Even outside on the sidewalk, the Tow-Away Zone sign on the lamp post looked gray and faint. ‘I'm sorry,'I said to Rex, then turning to Rosa: ‘I'm sorry. I didn't mean to take it all myself.'‘Because of you,'Boy AF Rex said, ‘I'm going to become weak by evening.'‘You're making a joke,'I said to him. ‘I know you are.'‘I'm not making a joke. I could get sick right now. And what about those AFs rear-store? There's already something not right with them. They're bound to get worse now. You were greedy, Klara.'‘I don't believe you,'I said, but I was no longer so sure. I looked at Rosa, but her expression was still blank. ‘I'm feeling sick already,'Boy AF Rex said. And he sagged forward. ‘But you just said yourself. The Sun always has ways to reach us. You're making a joke, I know you are.'I managed in the end to convince myself Boy AF Rex was teasing me. But what I sensed that day was that I had, without meaning to, made Rex bring up something uncomfortable, something most AFs in the store preferred not to talk about. Then not long afterwards that thing happened to Boy AF Rex, which made me think that even if he had been joking that day, a part of him had been serious too. It was a bright morning, and Rex was no longer beside us because Manager had moved him to the front alcove. Manager always said that every position was carefully conceived, and that we were as likely to be chosen when standing at one as at another. Even so, we all knew the gaze of a customer entering the store would fall first on the front alcove, and Rex was naturally pleased to get his turn there. We watched him from mid-store, standing with his chin raised, the Sun's pattern all over him, and Rosa leaned over to me once to say, ‘Oh, he does look wonderful! He's bound to find a home soon!'On Rex's third day in the front alcove, a girl came in with her mother. I wasn't so good then at telling ages, but I remember estimating thirteen and a half for the girl, and I think now that was correct. The mother was an office worker, and from her shoes and suit we could tell she was high-ranking. The girl went straight to Rex and stood in front of him, while the mother came wandering our way, glanced at us, then went on towards the rear, where two AFs were sitting on the Glass Table, swinging their legs freely as Manager had told them to do. At one point the mother called, but the girl ignored her and went on staring up at Rex's face. Then the child reached out and ran a hand down Rex's arm. Rex said nothing, of course, just smiled down at her and remained still, exactly as we'd been told to do when a customer showed special interest. ‘Look!'Rosa whispered. ‘She's going to choose him! She loves him. He's so lucky!'I nudged Rosa sharply to silence her, because we could easily be heard. Now it was the girl who called to the mother, and then soon they were both standing in front of Boy AF Rex, looking him up and down, the girl sometimes reaching forward and touching him. The two conferred in soft voices, and I heard the girl say at one point, ‘But he's perfect, Mom. He's beautiful.'Then a moment later, the child said, ‘Oh, but Mom, come on.'Manager by this time had brought herself quietly behind them. Eventually the mother turned to Manager and asked: ‘Which model is this one?'‘He's a B2,'Manager said. ‘Third series. For the right child, Rex will make a perfect companion. In particular, I feel he'll encourage a conscientious and studious attitude in a young person.'‘Well this young lady here could certainly do with that.'‘Oh, Mother, he's perfect.'Then the mother said: ‘B2, third series. The ones with the solar absorption problems, right?'She said it just like that, in front of Rex, her smile still on her face. Rex kept smiling too, but the child looked baffled and glanced from Rex to her mother. ‘It's true,'Manager said, ‘that the third series had a few minor issues at the start. But those reports were greatly exaggerated. In environments with normal levels of light, there's no problem whatsoever.'‘I've heard solar malabsorption can lead to further problems,'the mother said. ‘Even behavioral ones.'‘With respect, ma'am, series three models have brought immense happiness to many children. Unless you live in Alaska or down a mineshaft, you don't need to worry.'The mother went on looking at Rex. Then finally she shook her head. ‘I'm sorry, Caroline. I can see why you like him. But he's not for us. We'll find one for you that's perfect.'Rex went on smiling until after the customers had left, and even after that, showed no sign of being sad. But that's when I remembered about him making that joke, and I was sure then that those questions about the Sun, about how much of his nourishment we could have, had been in Rex's mind for some time. Today, of course, I realize Rex wouldn't have been the only one. But officially, it wasn't an issue at all –every one of us had specifications that guaranteed we couldn't be affected by factors such as our positioning within a room. Even so, an AF would feel himself growing lethargic after a few hours away from the Sun, and start to worry there was something wrong with him –that he had some fault unique to him and that if it became known, he'd never find a home.



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Part One - 01 primera parte - 01

When we were new, Rosa and I were mid-store, on the magazines table side, and could see through more than half of the window. When we were new, Rosa and I were mid-store, on the magazines table side, and could see through more than half of the window. Cuando éramos nuevos, Rosa y yo estábamos en medio de la tienda, del lado de la mesa de revistas, y podíamos ver a través de más de la mitad de la ventana. Когда мы были новичками, мы с Розой стояли в середине магазина, со стороны столика с журналами, и могли видеть больше половины окна. So we were able to watch the outside –the office workers hurrying by, the taxis, the runners, the tourists, Beggar Man and his dog, the lower part of the RPO Building. Así pudimos observar el exterior: los oficinistas que pasaban apurados, los taxis, los corredores, los turistas, el Mendigo y su perro, la parte baja del Edificio RPO. Таким образом, мы могли наблюдать снаружи – спешащие мимо офисные работники, такси, бегуны, туристы, Нищий и его собака, нижняя часть здания RPO. Once we were more settled, Manager allowed us to walk up to the front until we were right behind the window display, and then we could see how tall the RPO Building was. Una vez que estuvimos más acomodados, el Gerente nos permitió caminar hacia el frente hasta que estuvimos justo detrás de la ventana, y luego pudimos ver qué tan alto era el Edificio RPO. Как только мы устроились поудобнее, менеджер позволил нам пройти вперед, пока мы не оказались прямо за витриной, и тогда мы смогли увидеть, насколько высоким было здание RPO. And if we were there at just the right time, we would see the Sun on his journey, crossing between the building tops from our side over to the RPO Building side. Y si estuviéramos allí en el momento justo, veríamos al Sol en su recorrido, cruzando entre los techos de los edificios de nuestro lado hacia el lado del Edificio RPO. そして、私たちがちょうどいいタイミングでそこにいたら、私たちは彼の旅の途中で太陽が私たちの側からRPOの建物の側に向かって建物の頂上の間を横切っているのを見るでしょう。 When I was lucky enough to see him like that, I'd lean my face forward to take in as much of his nourishment as I could, and if Rosa was with me, I'd tell her to do the same. Cuando tenía la suerte de verlo así, inclinaba la cara hacia adelante para absorber la mayor cantidad de alimento que pudiera, y si Rosa estaba conmigo, le decía que hiciera lo mismo. Когда мне посчастливилось увидеть его таким, я наклонила голову вперед, чтобы впитать как можно больше его пищи, и если бы Роза была со мной, я бы сказал ей сделать то же самое. After a minute or two, we'd have to return to our positions, and when we were new, we used to worry that because we often couldn't see the Sun from mid-store, we'd grow weaker and weaker. Después de un minuto o dos, teníamos que volver a nuestras posiciones, y cuando éramos nuevos, nos preocupábamos porque a menudo no podíamos ver el Sol desde la mitad de la tienda, nos debilitaríamos más y más. Boy AF Rex, who was alongside us then, told us there was nothing to worry about, that the Sun had ways of reaching us wherever we were. Boy AF Rex, que estaba junto a nosotros en ese momento, nos dijo que no había nada de qué preocuparse, que el Sol tenía formas de alcanzarnos dondequiera que estuviéramos. He pointed to the floorboards and said, ‘That's the Sun's pattern right there. Señaló las tablas del suelo y dijo: 'Ese es el patrón del Sol justo ahí. Он указал на половицы и сказал: «Вот там рисунок Солнца. If you're worried, you can just touch it and get strong again.'There were no customers when he said this, and Manager was busy arranging something up on the Red Shelves, and I didn't want to disturb her by asking permission. Si está preocupado, puede tocarlo y fortalecerse de nuevo. No había clientes cuando dijo esto, y el gerente estaba ocupado arreglando algo en los estantes rojos, y no quería molestarla pidiéndole permiso. . So I gave Rosa a glance, and when she looked back blankly, I took two steps forward, crouched down and reached out both hands to the Sun's pattern on the floor. Así que le di a Rosa una mirada, y cuando ella miró hacia atrás sin comprender, di dos pasos hacia adelante, me agaché y estiré ambas manos hacia el patrón del Sol en el piso. But as soon as my fingers touched it, the pattern faded, and though I tried all I could –I patted the spot where it had been, and when that didn't work, rubbed my hands over the floorboards –it wouldn't come back. Pero tan pronto como mis dedos lo tocaron, el patrón se desvaneció, y aunque hice todo lo que pude, di unas palmaditas en el lugar donde había estado, y cuando eso no funcionó, froté mis manos sobre las tablas del piso: no salía. espalda. When I stood up again Boy AF Rex said: ‘Klara, that was greedy. Cuando me levanté de nuevo, Boy AF Rex dijo: 'Klara, eso fue codicioso. Когда я снова встал, Мальчик А. Ф. Рекс сказал: «Клара, это было жадно. You girl AFs are always so greedy.'Even though I was new then, it occurred to me straight away it might not have been my fault; that the Sun had withdrawn his pattern by chance just when I'd been touching it. Vosotras, las chicas AF, siempre sois tan codiciosas.'Aunque yo era nuevo entonces, inmediatamente se me ocurrió que podría no haber sido mi culpa; que el Sol había retirado su patrón por casualidad justo cuando yo lo estaba tocando. Вы, девушки AF, всегда такие жадные. «Хоть я и была тогда новенькой, мне сразу пришло в голову, что, возможно, это не моя вина; что Солнце случайно отодвинуло свой узор как раз в тот момент, когда я прикасался к нему. But Boy AF Rex's face remained serious. Pero el rostro de Boy AF Rex permaneció serio. ‘You took all the nourishment for yourself, Klara. —Tomaste todo el alimento para ti, Klara. — Ты взяла всю еду себе, Клара. Look, it's gone almost dark.'Sure enough the light inside the store had become very gloomy. Mira, ya casi oscureció. Efectivamente, la luz dentro de la tienda se había vuelto muy tenebrosa. Смотри, уже почти стемнело. Конечно же, свет в магазине стал очень тусклым. Even outside on the sidewalk, the Tow-Away Zone sign on the lamp post looked gray and faint. Incluso afuera, en la acera, el letrero de la Zona de Remolque en el poste de luz se veía gris y tenue. Даже снаружи, на тротуаре, знак «Зона эвакуации» на фонарном столбе выглядел серым и тусклым. ‘I'm sorry,'I said to Rex, then turning to Rosa: ‘I'm sorry. 'Lo siento', le dije a Rex, y luego me volví hacia Rosa: 'Lo siento. I didn't mean to take it all myself.'‘Because of you,'Boy AF Rex said, ‘I'm going to become weak by evening.'‘You're making a joke,'I said to him. No fue mi intención tomarlo todo yo solo. "Por tu culpa", dijo el chico AF Rex, "me voy a debilitar por la noche". "Estás bromeando", le dije. Я не хотел брать все на себя. — Из-за тебя, — сказал Бой А. Ф. Рекс, — к вечеру я ослабею. — Ты шутишь, — сказал я ему. ‘I know you are.'‘I'm not making a joke. "Sé que lo eres". "No estoy bromeando". I could get sick right now. Podría enfermarme ahora mismo. And what about those AFs rear-store? ¿Y qué hay de esos AF en la tienda trasera? А что насчет этих АФ с задним магазином? There's already something not right with them. Ya hay algo que no está bien con ellos. They're bound to get worse now. Están obligados a empeorar ahora. You were greedy, Klara.'‘I don't believe you,'I said, but I was no longer so sure. Fuiste codiciosa, Klara. —No te creo —dije, pero ya no estaba tan seguro. I looked at Rosa, but her expression was still blank. Miré a Rosa, pero su expresión aún estaba en blanco. ‘I'm feeling sick already,'Boy AF Rex said. 'Ya me siento enfermo', dijo Boy AF Rex. And he sagged forward. Y se hundió hacia adelante. И он подался вперед. ‘But you just said yourself. Pero tú mismo lo dijiste. The Sun always has ways to reach us. El Sol siempre tiene formas de llegar hasta nosotros. You're making a joke, I know you are.'I managed in the end to convince myself Boy AF Rex was teasing me. Estás bromeando, lo sé. Al final me las arreglé para convencerme de que Boy AF Rex se estaba burlando de mí. But what I sensed that day was that I had, without meaning to, made Rex bring up something uncomfortable, something most AFs in the store preferred not to talk about. Pero lo que sentí ese día fue que, sin quererlo, hice que Rex mencionara algo incómodo, algo de lo que la mayoría de los AF en la tienda preferían no hablar. Но в тот день я почувствовал, что я, сам того не желая, заставил Рекса рассказать о чем-то неудобном, о чем большинство AF в магазине предпочитают не говорить. Then not long afterwards that thing happened to Boy AF Rex, which made me think that even if he had been joking that day, a part of him had been serious too. Luego, no mucho después, le sucedió eso a Boy AF Rex, lo que me hizo pensar que, aunque ese día había estado bromeando, una parte de él también había estado hablando en serio. It was a bright morning, and Rex was no longer beside us because Manager had moved him to the front alcove. Era una mañana brillante y Rex ya no estaba a nuestro lado porque el gerente lo había trasladado al nicho del frente. Manager always said that every position was carefully conceived, and that we were as likely to be chosen when standing at one as at another. El gerente siempre decía que cada puesto se concebía con cuidado y que teníamos la misma probabilidad de ser elegidos tanto en uno como en otro. Менеджер всегда говорил, что каждая позиция тщательно продумана и что нас с такой же вероятностью выберут, когда мы стоим на одной позиции, как и на другой. Even so, we all knew the gaze of a customer entering the store would fall first on the front alcove, and Rex was naturally pleased to get his turn there. Aun así, todos sabíamos que la mirada de un cliente que entraba en la tienda caería primero en la alcoba delantera y, naturalmente, Rex estaba complacido de tener su turno allí. We watched him from mid-store, standing with his chin raised, the Sun's pattern all over him, and Rosa leaned over to me once to say, ‘Oh, he does look wonderful! Lo vimos desde la mitad de la tienda, de pie con la barbilla levantada, el patrón del sol sobre él, y Rosa se inclinó hacia mí una vez para decir: '¡Oh, se ve maravilloso! He's bound to find a home soon!'On Rex's third day in the front alcove, a girl came in with her mother. ¡Pronto encontrará un hogar!' Al tercer día de Rex en la alcoba delantera, una niña entró con su madre. I wasn't so good then at telling ages, but I remember estimating thirteen and a half for the girl, and I think now that was correct. Entonces no era tan bueno para decir las edades, pero recuerdo que calculé trece y medio para la niña, y ahora creo que eso fue correcto. The mother was an office worker, and from her shoes and suit we could tell she was high-ranking. La madre era oficinista, y por sus zapatos y traje podíamos decir que era de alto rango. The girl went straight to Rex and stood in front of him, while the mother came wandering our way, glanced at us, then went on towards the rear, where two AFs were sitting on the Glass Table, swinging their legs freely as Manager had told them to do. La niña fue directamente hacia Rex y se paró frente a él, mientras la madre se acercó a nosotros, nos miró y luego se dirigió hacia la parte trasera, donde dos AF estaban sentados en la mesa de vidrio, balanceando las piernas libremente como el Gerente le había dicho. ellos para hacer. At one point the mother called, but the girl ignored her and went on staring up at Rex's face. En un momento, la madre llamó, pero la niña la ignoró y siguió mirando el rostro de Rex. Then the child reached out and ran a hand down Rex's arm. Entonces el niño se acercó y pasó una mano por el brazo de Rex. Rex said nothing, of course, just smiled down at her and remained still, exactly as we'd been told to do when a customer showed special interest. Rex no dijo nada, por supuesto, solo le sonrió y se quedó quieto, exactamente como nos habían dicho que hiciéramos cuando un cliente mostraba un interés especial. ‘Look!'Rosa whispered. —¡Mira! —susurró Rosa. ‘She's going to choose him! ¡Ella lo elegirá a él! She loves him. Ella lo ama. He's so lucky!'I nudged Rosa sharply to silence her, because we could easily be heard. ¡Tiene tanta suerte! Le di un fuerte codazo a Rosa para que silenciara, porque podíamos escucharnos fácilmente. Now it was the girl who called to the mother, and then soon they were both standing in front of Boy AF Rex, looking him up and down, the girl sometimes reaching forward and touching him. Ahora fue la niña quien llamó a la madre, y pronto ambos estaban de pie frente a Boy AF Rex, mirándolo de arriba abajo, la niña a veces se acercaba y lo tocaba. The two conferred in soft voices, and I heard the girl say at one point, ‘But he's perfect, Mom. Los dos consultaron en voz baja, y escuché a la niña decir en un momento: 'Pero él es perfecto, mamá. He's beautiful.'Then a moment later, the child said, ‘Oh, but Mom, come on.'Manager by this time had brought herself quietly behind them. Es hermoso.' Luego, un momento después, la niña dijo: 'Oh, pero mamá, vamos'. Para entonces, la gerente se había colocado silenciosamente detrás de ellos. Eventually the mother turned to Manager and asked: ‘Which model is this one?'‘He's a B2,'Manager said. Finalmente, la madre se volvió hacia Manager y le preguntó: "¿Qué modelo es este?". "Es un B2", dijo Manager. ‘Third series. 'Tercera serie. For the right child, Rex will make a perfect companion. Para el niño adecuado, Rex será el compañero perfecto. Для правильного ребенка Рекс станет идеальным компаньоном. In particular, I feel he'll encourage a conscientious and studious attitude in a young person.'‘Well this young lady here could certainly do with that.'‘Oh, Mother, he's perfect.'Then the mother said: ‘B2, third series. En particular, siento que alentará una actitud concienzuda y estudiosa en una persona joven. "Bueno, esta joven aquí ciertamente podría hacerlo". "Oh, madre, es perfecto". Entonces la madre dijo: "B2, tercera serie. В частности, я чувствую, что он будет поощрять добросовестный и прилежный подход в молодом человеке. «Ну, эта юная леди, безусловно, могла бы сделать это». «О, мама, он идеален». Затем мать сказала: «Б2, третья серия. The ones with the solar absorption problems, right?'She said it just like that, in front of Rex, her smile still on her face. Los que tienen problemas de absorción solar, ¿verdad? Lo dijo así, frente a Rex, con la sonrisa todavía en el rostro. Rex kept smiling too, but the child looked baffled and glanced from Rex to her mother. Rex siguió sonriendo también, pero la niña parecía desconcertada y miró de Rex a su madre. ‘It's true,'Manager said, ‘that the third series had a few minor issues at the start. 'Es cierto', dijo Manager, 'que la tercera serie tuvo algunos problemas menores al principio. But those reports were greatly exaggerated. Pero esos informes fueron muy exagerados. In environments with normal levels of light, there's no problem whatsoever.'‘I've heard solar malabsorption can lead to further problems,'the mother said. En ambientes con niveles normales de luz, no hay ningún problema. ''Escuché que la malabsorción solar puede causar más problemas'', dijo la madre. ‘Even behavioral ones.'‘With respect, ma'am, series three models have brought immense happiness to many children. Incluso los de comportamiento. Con respeto, señora, los modelos de la serie tres han brindado una felicidad inmensa a muchos niños. Unless you live in Alaska or down a mineshaft, you don't need to worry.'The mother went on looking at Rex. A menos que vivas en Alaska o en el fondo de una mina, no tienes que preocuparte. La madre siguió mirando a Rex. Then finally she shook her head. Entonces, finalmente, negó con la cabeza. ‘I'm sorry, Caroline. Lo siento, Carolina. I can see why you like him. Puedo ver por qué te gusta. But he's not for us. Pero él no es para nosotros. We'll find one for you that's perfect.'Rex went on smiling until after the customers had left, and even after that, showed no sign of being sad. Encontraremos uno para ti que sea perfecto.' Rex siguió sonriendo hasta que los clientes se fueron, e incluso después de eso, no mostró signos de estar triste. Мы найдем для вас идеальный вариант». Рекс продолжал улыбаться до тех пор, пока клиенты не ушли, и даже после этого не выказывал никаких признаков грусти. But that's when I remembered about him making that joke, and I was sure then that those questions about the Sun, about how much of his nourishment we could have, had been in Rex's mind for some time. Pero fue entonces cuando me acordé de él haciendo esa broma, y entonces estaba seguro de que esas preguntas sobre el Sol, sobre cuánto de su alimento podríamos tener, habían estado en la mente de Rex durante algún tiempo. Today, of course, I realize Rex wouldn't have been the only one. Hoy, por supuesto, me doy cuenta de que Rex no habría sido el único. Сегодня, конечно, я понимаю, что Рекс был бы не единственным. But officially, it wasn't an issue at all –every one of us had specifications that guaranteed we couldn't be affected by factors such as our positioning within a room. Pero oficialmente, no fue un problema en absoluto: cada uno de nosotros tenía especificaciones que garantizaban que no podíamos vernos afectados por factores como nuestra posición dentro de una habitación. Но официально это вообще не было проблемой — у каждого из нас были спецификации, которые гарантировали, что на нас не повлияют такие факторы, как наше положение в комнате. Even so, an AF would feel himself growing lethargic after a few hours away from the Sun, and start to worry there was something wrong with him –that he had some fault unique to him and that if it became known, he'd never find a home. Aun así, un AF se sentiría cada vez más letárgico después de unas pocas horas lejos del Sol, y comenzaría a preocuparse de que algo andaba mal con él, que tenía algún defecto exclusivo de él y que si se supiera, nunca lo encontraría. una casa. Тем не менее, после нескольких часов вдали от Солнца AF чувствовал себя вялым и начинал беспокоиться, что с ним что-то не так, что у него есть какая-то уникальная ошибка, и что, если об этом станет известно, он никогда не найдет ее. дом.

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