Crudo: An Exclusive Extract from Olivia Laing's First Novel – 克鲁多:第一部小说《Olivia Laing和039》的独家摘录

Feature - 22 Jun 2018

Crudo: An Exclusive Extract from Olivia Laing's First Novel

The frieze columnist's first novel is an homage to, and embodiment of, the late, great Kathy Acker

By Olivia Laing

Kathy, by which I mean I, was getting married. Kathy, by which I mean I, had just got off a plane from New York. It was 19:45 on 13 May 2017. She’d been upgraded to business, she was feeling fancy, she bought two bottles of duty-free champagne in orange boxes, that was the kind of person she was going to be from now on. Kathy was met at the airport by the man she was living with, soon to become the man she was going to marry, soon, presumably, to become the man she had married and so on till death. In the car, the man told her that he had eaten dinner with the man she, Kathy, was sleeping with, along with a woman they both knew. They had also been drinking champagne, he told her. They laughed a lot. Kathy stopped speaking. This was the point at which her life took an abrupt turn, though in fact the man with whom she was sleeping would not break up with her for another five days, on headed writing paper. He didn’t think two writers should be together. Kathy had written several books – Great Expectations, Blood and Guts in High School, I expect you’ve heard of them. The man with whom she was sleeping had not written any books. Kathy was angry. I mean I. I was angry. And then I got married.

Two and a half months later, pre-wedding, post-decision to wed, Kathy found herself in Italy. She had been interviewed at the Register Office, she had not known her husband’s date of birth but nobody thought she, or he, were being trafficked. They were civil, they had chosen their songs, she’d insisted on Maria Callas because she didn’t operate via understatement. Now, 
2 August 2017, she was sitting under a hornets’ nest 
in the Val d’Orcia. She could have sat in several other places but she’d become fond of the hornets. Yesterday, two of them had fallen on her leg, still fucking. It was a good omen, her friend Joseph said when she emailed him about it.

She had a good routine going. First she swam twenty lengths, that woke her up. Then she drank coffee, then she arranged a sunlounger under the hornet tree. At ten she made her husband bring her more coffee. She hadn’t had a husband before but she knew how it worked. Was Kathy nice? Unclear. Kathy was interested in her tan, she was interested in Twitter, she was interested in seeing whether any of her friends were having a better holiday than her. Beside her, her husband was peeling off wet swimming trunks under a green towel. Everything was nicer than at home. Not 
a little bit nicer, but profoundly, like every material 
had been reinvented by a smarter species. Kathy and 
her husband had accidentally gone on holiday with the super-rich.

They didn’t pass, obviously. They weren’t even trying. They ate their potato foam penitently, they spilled passata and plum-cardamom gelato down every T-shirt they owned. There was a laundry service but they were alarmed at the cost. Maybe they could wear darker clothes, or find a laundry in Rome.

It was the brightest day imaginable. Something weird had happened to the sky, it wasn’t clear or cloudy but somewhere in between. The light wasn’t concentrated in the sun, it was everywhere at once, like being inside a halogen bulb. Kathy had a headache. The internet was excited because the President had just sacked someone. Got hired, divorced, had a baby, and fired in ten days. Like a fruit fly, some joker wrote. 56,152 likes. None of it was funny, or maybe it all was.
Kathy had no parents, which didn’t stop them annoying her. She thought about them a lot. Her mother had committed suicide, her father had vanished before she was even born. She was an orphan, truly Dickensian. Her husband actually called her Pip, 
sometimes the Pip. He was a very nice man, indisputably nice, everyone liked him, it was impossible not to. I always felt we were friends outside the poetry circle, his friend Paul Buck wrote, congratulating them on the wedding that still hadn’t quite happened and continuing with an anecdote about how he and Kathy had failed to have sex once.


It was getting hotter and hotter. 31 degrees, 36 degrees, 38 degrees. There were wildfires across Europe. One of them had been started by someone throwing a cigarette butt out of a car. Kathy stood neck-deep in the pool and thought about nothing. Wants go so deep there is no way of getting them out of the body, she’d written in the final paragraph of her last book. Her ear had become blocked by water and every hour or so it cleared for a moment and then quickly something rose up inside it like a thick wad of chewing gum, like a sock. It was unpleasant, the sense of something pressing at her interior, it dragged her down. In the bar her husband read a list of the hotel chef’s celebrity clients. Who’s Rachael Ray, he said, who’s Gloria Estefan, who’s Peyton Manning? She didn’t know who Peyton Manning was but she helped him with the rest.

Here’s what they ate. They ate porchetta in rolls and porchetta on rocket. They ate a kind of yoghurt cream dusted with lavender and tiny meringues. They ate rack of lamb and black cod and picci with pork ragù. They were definitely getting fatter. Have you noticed, she asked him, how everyone has younger wives here? It was like the second-wife club. Personally she was a third wife, so on that level at least she fitted right in.

What Kathy wanted currently was complicated to explain. She wanted three or four houses so that she could move between them. She was happiest on her travels, like a clockwork toy, maybe happiest unpacking or booking a train ticket. She liked to get in and settle down and she also liked to snap shut the door. She wanted to write another book, obviously, and she wanted to find a way of situating it nowhere. Nowhere like the interior spaces of the body, nowhere like the dead zones of a city. She was a New Yorker, she wasn’t meant to be in Europe, she certainly didn’t belong in a damp garden in England. The weeds were alarming, she was terrified of moths and mould. What she really liked was lizards, not just their tiny dashing feet but the way they were exceptionally dry. Kathy liked dryness, she’d always been the supplicant but now that she’d finally got things settled she was finding an abnormal talent for withholding, as if she’d finally become one of the many men she’d chased across Berlin, London, San Diego. In the 1990s, when she was young, she’d wept and sliced up her own flesh at the blink of an eye, she loved to get truly abject, but now she’d dried out, she was as cool and brown and flat as a piece of discarded toast, not appetising exactly, not desirable, but fodder for someone, a pigeon at least.

Was this getting older? Kathy was worried about ageing, she hadn’t realised youth wasn’t a permanent state, that she wouldn’t always be cute and hopeless and forgivable. She wasn’t stupid, she was just greedy: she wanted it always to be the first time. When she thought about the people she’d populated her youth with she cringed. She could have made it so much more glamorous, so much more debonair, she needn’t have had a bowl cut, she needn’t have worn dungarees, the minutes were passing, she’d failed to get a death-grip on time. Now she was cool, but old; now she was hot, but wrinkled. My life is delicate (more delicate than my cunt), she’d written to a boyfriend not that long ago. I’ve had eleven abortions, she told someone else, which wasn’t even true. Kathy was always lying, she’d lied since she was a small child with unattractive red hair. When her hair began to fall out because of the stress of living with her mother she told the girls at school that it had been eaten by her rabbit. At that school they had a playground game where everyone tried to hypnotise themselves and then lift someone’s body with just their little fingers. The girl about to be lifted had to lie flat and everyone had to press on her as hard as they could. After that the lifting was easy. Weightlessness was another exclusive possession of the very young. Later on you started clanking around like tins tied to a car.

Extracted from Crudo by Olivia Laing, published in the UK by Picador on 28 June and in the US by W.W. Norton on 11 September 2018.


Crudo: An Exclusive Extract from Olivia Laing's  First Novel - 克鲁多:第一部小说《Olivia Laing和039》的独家摘录

Olivia Laing

Olivia Laing lives in Cambridge, UK. Her book The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone (2016) is published by Canongate.

Olivia Laing
Katy Acker

特色- 22军2018克鲁多:Olivia Laing和039的独家摘录;第一部小说《弗里兹专栏作家的第一部小说》是对Olivia Laing后期伟大Kathy Acker的敬意和体现。凯茜,我的意思是,我要结婚了。凯茜,我的意思是,刚从纽约起飞的飞机。2017年5月13日19时45分。她已经升级为生意,她感觉很新奇,她在橙色盒子里买了两瓶免税香槟,这是她从现在开始的样子。凯茜在机场遇到了她和她一起生活的男人,不久就要成为她即将结婚的男人,很快,她大概会成为她已婚的男人,直至死亡。在车里,那个男人告诉她,他和她一起睡的男人一起吃饭,还有一个她们都认识的女人。他还告诉她,他们也一直在喝香槟。他们笑了很多。凯茜停止说话。这是她生活突然转向的一个转折点,尽管事实上,她和她睡觉的那个男人再也不会和她分手五天了。他认为两个作家不应该在一起。凯茜写了好几本书——高中时的期望、血和胆量,我想你已经听说过了。和她睡觉的那个人没有写任何书。凯茜很生气。我是说I.,我很生气。然后我结婚了。两个半月后,婚前,决定结婚,凯茜发现自己在意大利。她在登记处接受了采访,她还不知道她丈夫的出生日期,但没有人认为她或他是被拐卖的。他们是文明的,他们选择了他们的歌曲,她坚持玛丽亚·卡拉斯,因为她没有通过轻描淡写的方式运作。现在,2017年8月2日,她坐在瓦尔奥尔西亚的黄蜂窝里。她本来可以坐在别的地方,但她喜欢黄蜂队。昨天,他们中的两个摔倒在腿上,他妈的。这是个好兆头,她的朋友约瑟夫在给他发电子邮件时说。她做得很好。首先她游了二十个长龙,把她惊醒了。然后她喝咖啡,然后在黄蜂树下布置了一个日光浴器。十岁时,她让丈夫给她多带些咖啡。她以前没有丈夫,但她知道这是怎么回事。凯茜好吗?不清楚的。凯茜对她的晒黑感兴趣,她对Twitter感兴趣,她很想知道她的朋友是否比她有一个更好的假期。在她旁边,她的丈夫正在湿毛巾泳裤下的绿色毛巾。一切都比家里好。不是一点点好,而是深刻的,就像每一种物质都被一个更聪明的物种所改造。凯茜和她的丈夫意外地和超级富豪一起度假。显然,他们没有通过。他们甚至没有尝试。他们懊悔地吃掉了土豆泡沫,他们把帕萨塔和梅豆蔻凝胶溅到了他们所有的T恤衫上。有洗衣服务,但他们为此付出了代价。也许他们可以穿更深色的衣服,或者在罗马找一家洗衣店。这是想象中最明亮的一天。天空发生了一些奇怪的事情,不清楚或多云,但在某处。光不是集中在太阳中,它到处都是,就像在卤素灯泡里面一样。凯茜头痛。互联网很激动,因为总统刚刚解雇了一个人。被雇用,离婚,生了孩子,在十天内被解雇。“就像一只果蝇,”一个小丑写道。56152喜欢。这一切都不好笑,也许一切都是如此。WPA60603BR凯茜没有父母,这并没有阻止他们烦扰她。她想了很多。她母亲自杀了,她的父亲在她出生前就已经失踪了。她是个孤儿,真是狄更斯式的。她的丈夫实际上叫她PIP,有时是PIP。他是一个很好的人,无可争议的好,每个人都喜欢他,这是不可能的。我一直觉得我们是诗界之外的朋友,他的朋友Paul Buck写道,祝贺他们在婚礼上还没有完全发生,并继续讲述一个关于他和凯茜曾经没有过性生活的轶事。***越来越热了。31度,36度,38度。整个欧洲都有野火。他们中的一个人是从有人从车上扔烟头开始的。凯茜深深地站在池子里,什么也没想。她想在她最后一本书的最后一段写下这么深的东西,没有办法把它们从身体里拿出来。她的耳朵被水堵住了,每一个小时左右,它就消失了一会儿,然后很快地,里面的东西像一只袜子一样厚厚的一口口香糖。令人不快的是,有什么东西压在她的内心深处,把她拖垮了。在酒吧里,她丈夫看了一份饭店厨师名人的名单。谁是瑞秋·雷,他说,谁是Gloria Estefan,谁是Peyton Manning?她不知道Peyton Manning是谁,但她帮助他其余的人。这是他们吃的东西。他们在火箭上吃波尔切塔和波切塔。他们吃了一种用薰衣草和小麦片做的酸奶油。他们吃了羔羊肉、黑鳕鱼和猪肉饼。他们肯定越来越胖了。你有没有注意到,她问他,这里每个人都有年轻的妻子?这就像是第二夫人俱乐部。就她个人而言,她是第三个妻子,所以至少在这个层面上她是合适的。凯茜目前想要的是复杂的解释。她想要三到四间房子,这样她就可以在他们之间搬家了。她在旅途中最快乐,就像发条玩具,也许是最开心的拆箱或订火车票。她喜欢进去安顿下来,她还喜欢关上门。很明显,她想再写一本书,她想找到一种不让它出现的方法。没有任何地方像身体的内部空间一样,没有任何地方像一个城市的死区。她是纽约人,她不想在欧洲,她当然不属于英国潮湿的花园。野草令人惊恐,她害怕蛾子和霉菌。她真正喜欢的是蜥蜴,不仅仅是它们的小脚,而是它们特别干燥的样子。凯茜喜欢干,她一直是恳求者,但现在她终于解决了问题,她发现了一个不寻常的忍耐天赋,好像她最终成为了她追逐柏林、伦敦、圣地亚哥的众多男人中的一个。上世纪90年代,她年轻的时候,一眨眼就哭了起来,把自己的肉切成了薄片,她真的很爱卑鄙,但现在她已经干涸了,她像一块被丢弃的吐司一样又冷又棕又平,不喜欢吃东西,不喜欢吃,而是喂人吃鸽子。东方。这个年纪变大了吗?凯茜担心衰老,她并没有意识到青春不是永久的状态,她不会总是可爱、无望和宽恕。她并不笨,她只是贪婪:她希望它总是第一次。当她想到那些人时,她就把自己的青春填满了。她本来可以让它变得更迷人,更不用说,她不需要吃碗,她不必穿上DungRayes,几分钟过去了,她就没法及时抓紧时间。现在她很酷,但老了;现在她很热,但皱了起来。我的生活很微妙(比我的女人更微妙),她早就给一个男朋友写信了。我有十一次堕胎,她告诉别人,这不是真的。凯茜总是说谎,她撒谎,因为她是一个没有红头发的小孩。当她因为和母亲住在一起时,头发开始脱落时,她告诉学校里的女孩,她已经被兔子吃掉了。在那所学校,他们有一个游乐场游戏,每个人都试着催眠自己,然后用他们的小手指抬起某人的身体。那个即将被抬起来的女孩不得不躺在地上,每个人都竭尽全力地压在她身上。之后,提升很容易。失重是非常年轻的另一种独有的东西。后来,你开始像罐头拴在车上一样叮当作响。Olivia Laing的《克鲁多》于6月28日在美国英国出版,2018年9月11日由W.W诺顿在《诺顿》上出版。98159898939JPG WPA6021602IMG奥利维亚莱因奥利维亚莱因生活在英国剑桥。她的书《孤独的城市:独处艺术的冒险》,(2016)由CaunGATE出版。奥利维亚-莱因-克鲁多文学


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