Friday, November 2, 2012

Such a constant fall's companion

my classmate

I should say .. that blame for what
happened to me cannot be laid to the
war. On the contrary, the war, I am
certain, might still save me .. All
the war did was to remove my last
scruple about keeping to myself, a-
bout consuming the years and my heart
alone .. The war had made it legiti-
mate to turn in on oneself and live
from day to day without regretting
lost opportunities. It was as if I
had been waiting for the war a long
time and had been counting on it, a
war so vast and unprecedented that
one could easily go home to the hills,
crouch down, and let it rage in the
skies above the cities .. That species
of dull rancor that hemmed in my youth
found a refuge and a horizon in the war.

It almost doesn't mat-
ter if Leon Trotsky ev-
er said, You may not be 
be interested in war,
but war is interested in
you. He's not running.

The war's propagation of
self-calumny has failed,
and now that its objects
and techniques have been
exposed, we are told the
nation has a more urgent,
a higher calling than jus-
tice for her people.

The election in the United
States is about this large
and constant lie. War re-
mains very much interested
in us, and it has a name,
which is not ours.

        Imagine being so
        discouraged, Auguste.

        Imagine wanting
        people to be, Hercule.

Alexander Johansson

Cesare Pavese
The Selected Works
  of Cesare Pavese;
  The House on the Hill
R.W. Flint, translation
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1968©
New York Review Books, 2001©

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