Julian Barnes. que tenho andado a ler, é um inglês premiado que escreve coisas intensas mas quase sempre com graça. Um dos contos em The Lemon Table fala de concertos no Royal Festival Hall, onde estive há pouco, mas em particular destila ódio contra a assistência que tosse com se viesse da urgência de otorrino, espirra, mexe nas folhas do programa, e mais.
The opening allegro went pretty well : a couple of sneezes, a bad case of compacted phlegm in the middle of the terrace which nearly required surgical intervention, one digital watch and a fair amount of programme turning. I sometimes think they ought to put directions for use on the cover of programmes. Like : “This is a programme. It tells you about tonight's music. You might like to glance at it before the concert begins. Then you will know what is being played. If you leave it too late, you will cause visual distraction and a certain amount of low-level noise, you will miss some of the music, and risk annoying your neighbours, especially the man in seat K37.” Occasionally a programme will contain a small piece of information, vaguely bordering on advice, about mobile phones, or the use of a handkerchief to cough into. But does anyone pay any heed? It's like smokers reading the health warning on a packet of cigarettes. They take it in and they don't take it in ; at some level, they don't believe it applies to them. It must be the same with coughers. Not that I want to sound too understanding : that way lies forgiveness. And on a point of information, how often do you actually see a muffling handkerchief come out?
I was at the back of the stalls once, T21. The Bach double concerto. My neighbour, T20, suddenly rearing up as if athwart a bronco. With pelvis thrust forward, he delved frantically for his handkerchief, and managed to hook out at the same time a large bunch of keys. Distracted by their fall, he let handkerchief and sneeze go off in separate directions. Thank you so very much, T 20. Then he spent half the slow movement eyeing his keys anxiously. Eventually he solved the problem by putting his foot over them and contentedly returning his gaze to the soloists. From time to time a faint metallic stir from beneath his shifting shoe added some useful grace-notes to Bach's score.
The allegro ended, and Maestro Haitink slowly lowered his head, as if giving everyone permission to use the spitoon and talk about their Christmas shopping. J39 – the Viennese blond, a routine programme-shuffler and hair-adjuster – found a lot to say to Mr Sticky-Up Collar in J38. He was nodding away in agreement about the price of pullovers or something. Maybe they were discussing Schiff's delicacy of touch, though I would choose to doubt it. Haitink raised his head to indicate that it was time for the chat-line to go off air, lifted his stick to demand an end to coughing, then threw in that subtle, cocked-ear half-turn to indicate that he, personally, for one, was now intending to listen very carefully indeed to the pianist's entry.
- Julian Barnes
Agora em português: Barnes propõe duas soluções
"...tenho duas propostas para melhorar o comportamento. A primeira seria instalar projectores sobre as cabeças e, se alguém fizesse barulho acima de um certo nível, a luz sobre o lugar acendia e a pessoa tinha de ficar ali sentada como um condenado durante o resto do concerto."