Edgar Allan


William Wilson

Übersetzt von Gisela Etzel
Synchronisation und Ergänzungen © Doppeltext 2022




What say of it? what say of con­science grim,
That spectre in my path?
Cham­ber­layne’s Phar­ronida.
Let me call my­self, for the present, Wil­li­am Wilson. The fair page now ly­ing be­fore me need not be sul­lied with my real ap­pel­la­tion.
This has been already too much an ob­ject for the scorn — for the hor­ror — for the de­test­a­tion of my race.
To the ut­ter­most re­gions of the globe have not the in­dig­nant winds bruited its un­par­alleled in­famy?
Oh, out­cast of all out­casts most aban­doned! — to the earth art thou not forever dead? to its hon­ors, to its flowers, to its golden as­pir­a­tions?
— and a cloud, dense, dis­mal, and lim­it­less, does it not hang etern­ally between thy hopes and heav­en?
I would not, if I could, here or to-day, em­body a re­cord of my later years of un­speak­able misery, and un­par­don­able crime.
This epoch — these later years — took unto them­selves a sud­den el­ev­a­tion in turpitude,
whose ori­gin alone it is my present pur­pose to as­sign.
Men usu­ally grow base by de­grees. From me, in an in­stant, all vir­tue dropped bod­ily as a mantle.
From com­par­at­ively trivi­al wicked­ness I passed, with the stride of a gi­ant, into more than the enorm­it­ies of an Elah-Gabal­us.
What chance — what one event brought this evil thing to pass, bear with me while I re­late.
Death ap­proaches; and the shad­ow which fore­runs him has thrown a soften­ing in­flu­ence over my spir­it.
I long, in passing through the dim val­ley, for the sym­pathy — I had nearly said for the pity — of my fel­low men.
I would fain have them be­lieve that I have been, in some meas­ure, the slave of cir­cum­stances bey­ond hu­man con­trol.
I would wish them to seek out for me, in the de­tails I am about to give, some little oas­is of fatal­ity amid a wil­der­ness of er­ror.
I would have them al­low — what they can­not re­frain from al­low­ing
— that, al­though tempta­tion may have ere­while ex­is­ted as great, man was nev­er thus, at least, temp­ted be­fore — cer­tainly, nev­er thus fell.
And is it there­fore that he has nev­er thus suffered? Have I not in­deed been liv­ing in a dream?
And am I not now dy­ing a vic­tim to the hor­ror and the mys­tery of the wild­est of all sub­lun­ary vis­ions?

Edgar Allan Poe
William Wilson
Zweisprachige Ausgabe
Übersetzt von Gisela Etzel

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