Saturday, August 26, 2017

Den litterära pumpan

Vad har de gemensamt, Askungen, Mma Ramotswe och Michael K?

Pumpan, så klart.
Mekanikern J. L. B. Matekoni har till exempel problem med sin hemhjälp:
"She makes me a meal every day, but it is alwys the same. All that I have to eat is maizemeal and stew. Sometimes she cooks me pumpkin, but not very often."
Vilken tur att hans blivande fru Precious Ramotswe lagar utmärkt pumpa!

J. M. Coetzees sorgliga karaktär i Life and times of Michael K odlar också pumpor, där han håller sig gömd för omvärlden (och kriget) vid en ödegård.
"Such pumpkin, he thought, such pumpkin I could eat every day of my life and never want anything else."
Visserligen blir pumpan också något som bidrar till hans katastrof:
"But the ripening of the pumpkins brought a new anxiety. For while it had been possible to conceal the vines, the pumpkins themselves created hollows which even at a distance gave the field an odd look, as though a flock of lambs were sleeping in the knee-high grass."
Jag odlar sådana där stora, orangeröda pumpor, de är både goda och snygga. Rouge d'Etampes heter sorten. De första börjar just bli mogna, de ligger som stora bumlingar runt odlingslådorna och påminner inte det minsta om sovande lamm. Och de kommer sannerligen inte sluta som transportmedel eller partytillbehör, nej nej. De ska raka vägen in i köket och bli paj, soppa och ugnsbakade godsaker.

För som det står skrivet i Tears of the Giraffe:
"The pumpkin, though, was ready, and it was time to sit down as a family for the first time.
Mma Ramotswe said grace.
'We are grateful for this pumpkin and this meat', she said. 'There are brothers and sisters who do not have good food on their table, and we think of them, and wish pumpkin and meat for them in the future."

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