Døden III

Efter jeg forleden var inde på den frygt videomaskiner og de frygteligt voldelige videfilm spredte i socialdemokratiske Danmark engang i 1980’erne, kom jeg til tænke på en liste jeg lavede engang over eksempler på voldelig død i Iliaden som jeg vil bringe lidt fra her. (Det var før jeg kendte til Ian Johnstons liste: http://records.viu.ca/~Johnstoi/homer/Iliaddeaths.htm) Jeg har tidligere postet et indlæg med titlen “Sjov med meningsløs vold” og betragtningerne deri omkring sentimentalitet gælder stadig. Vi starter i Iliaden IV:

446     Men da de rykkende frem havde mødt hinanden paa Stridsmark,
447 Landse mod Landse, og Skjold mod Skjold da hugged de stærke
448 Malmompandsrede Mænd, mangfoldige buklede Skjolde
449 Knugedes hardt mod hverandre, høit dundred det larmende Kampgny.
450 Mellem hinanden nu lød baade Jammer og Jubel af Krigsfolk,
451 Altsom de Kæmpende slog eller faldt, og af Blod svam Jorden.
452 Som naar i Vinterens Tid fra et Bjerg to skyllende Elve
453 Styrte de rivende Vande i Dalene ned, hvor de samles,
454 Høit fra de mægtige Væld i den dybtudhulede Fjeldkløft,
455 Vidt i det Fjerne kan Hyrden paa Bjergene høre dem bruse,
456 Saaledes lød Forvirring og Skrig, da de foer mod hverandre.(Iliaden, overs. Wilster)

Jeg har altid for mit indre set “som” (l. 452) henvise til blodet i l. 451 og ikke til “saaledes” i l. 456. Man kan i hvertfald i hele fire linier med god samvittighed leve i troen. Beretninger om blod i større mængder har altid været godt for fantasien, et menneske indeholder trods alt kun ca. seks liter af det og der skal slås ret mange ihjel fot at opfylde ovenstående: af Blod svam Jorden.  Nu har jeg ikke et billede af salgmarker som svømmer i floder blod, men Kubrick har visualiseret det effektivt og skabt et af filmhistoriens mindeværdige øjeblikke. (still fra The Shining)

Men nu omhandlede ovnstående egentlig slet ikke om slet ikke om blod, men om lyden af hære som gør sig klar til at udgyde det. Det kan de gøre på mange måder, undertiden behøver de blot at forsamles før det går galt og et uhyrligt bodycount opnås uden af der løsnes et skud.

“In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains. In the bed of the river there were pebbles and boulders, dry and white in the sun, and the water was clear and swiftly moving and blue in the channels. Troops went by the house and down the road and the dust they raised powdered the leaves of the trees. The trunks of the trees too were dusty and the leaves fell early that year and we saw the troops marching along the road and the dust rising and leaves, stirred by the breeze, falling and the soldiers marching and afterward the road bare and white except for the leaves.

The plain was rich with crops; there were many orchards of fruit trees and beyond the plain the mountains were brown and bare. There was fighting in the mountains and at night we could see the flashes from the artillery. In the dark it was like summer lightning, but the nights were cool and there was not the feeling of a storm coming.

Sometimes in the dark we heard the troops marching under the window and guns going past pulled by motor-tractors. There was much traffic at night and many mules on the roads with boxes of ammunition on each side of their pack-saddles and gray motor trucks that carried men, and other trucks with loads covered with canvas that moved slower in the traffic. There were big guns too that passed in the day drawn by tractors, the long barrels of the guns covered with green branches and green leafy branches and vines laid over the tractors. To the north we could look across a valley and see a forest of chestnut trees and behind it another mountain on this side of the river. There was fighting for that mountain too, but it was not successful, and in the fall when the rains came the leaves all fell from the chestnut trees and the branches were bare and the trunks black with rain. The vineyards were thin and bare-branched too and all the country wet and brown and dead with the autumn. There were mists over the river and clouds on the mountain and the trucks splashed mud on the road and the troops were muddy and wet in their capes; their rifles were wet and under their capes the two leather cartridge-boxes on the front of the belts, gray leather boxes heavy with the packs of clips of thin, long 6.5 mm. cartridges, bulged forward under the capes so that the men, passing on the road, marched as though they were six months gone with child.

There were small gray motor cars that passed going very fast; usually there was an officer on the seat with the driver and more officers in the back seat. They splashed more mud than the camions even and if one of the officers in the back was very small and sitting between two generals, he himself so small that you could not see his face but only the top of his cap and his narrow back, and if the car went especially fast it was probably the King. He lived in Udine and came out in this way nearly every day to see how things were going, and things went very badly.

At the start of the winter came the permanent rain and with the rain came the cholera. But it was checked and in the end only seven thousand died of it in the army.” (Ernest Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms.)