domingo, 29 de abril de 2007

Writings and translations II: The Martian Chronicles

On most occasions, Ray Bradbury writes on behalf of the wistful old people, and nostalgic people who regret the passing of time. His stories are filled with people who have autumnal thinking and live grey lives. And people for whom the past and memories are more real than the present. Sometimes, nevertheless, Bradbury also writes for those who are the happy young people and dreamers for whom time that has to pass is more important than the time that has already passed. His stories are also filled with people whose thinking is fresh and springlike and who live colourful lives. And people for whom the future and hope are more real than the present.

The Martian Chronicles is a novel about evening people. It is a sad novel. And it is sad because in it Mankind, in spite of its technological power, is on the verge of passing away from the face of the Earth. It happens that a total and destructive war is occurring on Earth, and some people, a few lucky ones, have the opportunity to leave Earth and go to Mars. But it turns out that Mars is not totally uninhabited, and that an ancient race, almost wiped out, still lives on its surface. So, two symmetrical and distressed races, the human people of Earth and the Martian people of Mars, are the main protagonists in this novel. The human beings are searching for a place where they can continue with their own his tory in the same way they did on Earth. And the Martians, the swarthy of golden eyes, are trying to survive in a present that is not their present any more, and are living with the same ancient and obsolete customs that their ancestors had. Then, Mars becomes the land of hope for the humans who arrive there, and the land of memory for the Martians who live in the past rather than in the future.

Mankind flees swiftly to Mars from the Earth. And the day will come the day when Earth will turn into a planet that is nearly dead, as was Mars before the arrival of the rockets of the humans. Who knows if in the past, in a distant past erased by time, Earth was the final goal for a Martian race that, fleeing from an awful cataclysm on their own planet, wanted and managed to colonize the Earth? Who knows if The Martian Chronicles are the chronicles of a return journey home?

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