Donnerstag, 22. Januar 2015

The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings illustrated by N.C. Wyeth

 The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was published in March 1938. It was the number one best seller for twenty-three consecutive weeks in 1938. It sold over 250,000 copies in 1938. It has been translated into Spanish, Chinese, French, Japanese, German, Italian, Russian and twenty-two other languages. It won the Pulitzer Prize for the novel in 1939. The edition with the illustrations by N.C. Wyeth appeared in 1939.

Plot: Jody Baxter, a young boy, lives with his parents, Ora and Ezra "Penny" Baxter, in the animal-filled central Florida backwoods in the 1870s. His parents had six other children prior to Jody, but they died in infancy which makes it difficult for Ma Baxter to bond with Jody. They struggle to survive harsh weather, the attacks of an old bear named Slewfoot and their wild neighbors who are both helpful and a bit dangerous.

Aus Wikipedia: Frühling des Lebens (Originaltitel: The Yearling) ist ein 1938 erschienener Roman der US-amerikanischen Autorin  Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (* 1896; † 1953). Der Roman wurde 1939 mit dem Pulitzer-Preis ausgezeichnet und erreichte eine hohe Auflage. Er erschien erstmals 1939 in deutscher Sprache im von Schroeder Verlag. 

He cut two forked twigs and trimmed them into two Y's of the same size. Oliver had been very particular to have the cross-bar round and smooth, he remembered. A wild cherry grew half-way up the bank. He climbed it and cut a twig as even as a polished pencil. He selected a palm frond and cut two strips of the tough fiber, an inch wide and four inches long. He cut a slit lengthwise in the center of each of them, wide enough to insert the cherry twig. The strips of palm frond must be at angles, like the arms of a windmill. He adjusted them carefully. He separated the Y-shaped twigs by nearly the length of the cherry cross-bar and pushed them deep into the sand of the branch bed a few yards below the spring. The water was only a few inches deep but it ran strongly, with a firm current. The palm-frond mill-wheel must just brush the water's surface. He experimented with depth until he was satisfied, then laid the cherry bar between the twigs. It hung motionless. He twisted it a moment, anxiously, helping it to fit itself into its forked grooves. The bar began to rotate.

He jammed the gun-barrel in the bear's ribs. Even in her pain, Julia had taken a grip on the black throat above her.

"He come as quiet as a black cloud, into the wind. Made a circle to git his wind right. So quiet, the dogs never heered nor scented him. Even this un--even this un--" he leaned to stroke the feice at his feet--"was fooled."
The Forresters exchanged glances.
"We set out after breakfast, Jody and me and all three o' the dogs. We tracked that bear acrost the south scrub. We tracked him along the edge o' the saw-grass ponds. We tracked him thu Juniper Bay. We tracked him thu the swamp, the trail gittin' hotter and hotter. We come up with him--"

The cranes were dancing a cotillion as surely as it was danced at Volusia. Two stood apart, erect and white, making a strange music that was part cry and part singing. The rhythm was irregular, like the dance. The other birds were in a circle. In the heart of the circle, several moved counter-clock-wise. The musicians made their music. The dancers raised their wings and lifted their feet, first one and then the other.
It was true. The Forresters were killing Oliver. Oliver was fighting three of them at once, Lem and Mill-wheel and Buck. He looked like a buck deer Jody had once seen, wounded and bleeding, with the dogs tearing flesh from its throat and shoulders. Blood and sand covered his face. 

It seemed to Jody that he was alone with his father. The vigil was in his hands. If he kept awake, and labored for breath with the tortured sleeper, breathing with him and for him, he could keep him alive. He drew a breath as deep as the ones his father was drawing. It made him dizzy. He was light-headed and his stomach was empty. 

The fawn lifted its nose, scenting him. He reached out one hand and laid it on the soft neck. The touch made him delirious. He moved forward on all fours until he was close beside it.

He swung the box to his shoulder. Pa Forrester and Gabby were missing. Buck set out toward the south hammock. Ma Forrester followed him. Mill-wheel took hold of her arm. The others dropped in behind them. The procession filed slowly to the hammock.

He went out of the kitchen door with the milk gourd into a strange world. It was a lost and desolate world, like the beginning of time, or the end of it. The vegetation was beaten flat. A river ran down the road, so that a flat-bottomed boat could have gone down it clear to Silver Glen. 

"That jest proves your ignorance, young feller. I do hate for you to grow up and not know nothin'. You'll jest have to make out this year with what leetle I kin learn you."

The Forresters stopped the next morning on their way. Jody ran out to meet them and Penny and Ma Baxter followed. Buck and Mill-wheel and Lem were crowded together on the wagon seat. The wagon body behind them was filled with a quarreling, wrestling, whining tangle of shiny black fur, shot through with flashes of small teeth and claws and pairs of bright beady black eyes.

Penny lifted his gun. He took steady aim and fired. With Rip hugged to his breast, old Slewfoot dropped. His killing days were done.
It seemed so easy now that it was over. They had followed him. Penny had shot him. There he lay--

One cold bright night at the end of January, Penny and Ma Baxter had gone to bed while Jody lingered with Flag by the fire.
He was trembling from his exertion and from his fear. He told himself that he was not lost, for the river ran north out of Lake George and came at the end to Jacksonville, and he had only to follow it. But it was so wide, and the shore line was so confusing  -  He rested a long time, then began to paddle slowly north, close to the thick-cypressed land, following the endless curves and bays and indentations.

Endpapers (Vorsatzblätter)

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