Eventyret i den fremmede Stad

Friedrich von Amerling: Oehlenschläger (1844)
Adam Oehlenschläger (1844)

Hvad pokker skulle man bruge sådan en tirsdag aften i januar på, om ikke i selskab med Adam Oehlenschläger (1779-1850), en flaske whisky og Eventyret i den fremmede Stad? Når man nu på tredje år ikke ejer et tv og er desto lykkeligere derved, kan man passende hengive sig til fortidens dramaer og nyde denne romance af vores nationaldigter, som på mindre end hundrede vers præsenterer os for intet mindre end tre forliste kærligheder og to drab og hensigten om et tredje, altsammen iscenesat i en fremmed og formodentlig sydlansk stad. En munter lille tragedie i kortform, som ellers ikke helt passer ind i vores kategori sjov med meningsløs vold, eftersom forløbet giver ganske god mening i al sin dramatiske udfoldelse.

Og som jeg nu hen ad Gaden gik
I den fremmede Stad,
Da faldt paa en Møe mit speidende Blik;
Hun i Vinduet sad.

Jeg stod, og glemte at vandre hiem,
Saa elskovsvarm.
Over smekkre Midie svulmede frem
Den unge Barm.

Hendes Øine var store, hendes Hænder var smaae,
Hun var saa rank,
Bort skulde jeg gaae, men jeg kunde ey gaae.
Hendes Øye sank.

Hver Dag jeg hen forbi Vinduet gik
I den fremmede Stad;
Hun skienkte mig altid et venligt Blik,
Før vi skiltes ad.

Min Cithar under Vinduet klang,
Var Natten smuk;
Hun lønned altid min Elskovssang
Med et sagte Suk.

En Midnat smelted den Huldes Aand,
Da Cithren lød.
Hun rakte mig kierligt sin Lilliehaand,
Den var saa blød.

En Rose jeg trykte i sneehvide Hud,
Med brændende Mund.
Hun smilte og saae saa venligt ud,
Saa bortsvandt hun.

Tungsindig tit forbi speilklare Søe
Jeg tog min Vey,
Ukiendt med Hver, selv den elskede Møe
Jeg kiendte ey.

Jeg gik i Nætter og Dage tree,
I den fremmede Stad;
Men ey længer jeg fik den Elskte at see,
Skiønt jeg sang og bad.

Den tredie Dag derhen jeg gik,
Med tunge Skridt,
Da standsed i Vindvet mit matte Blik
Paa noget Hvidt.

O da hæved sig atter saa glad, saa glad,
Mit Hierte trangt;
Men ak! det var ikke min Møe, der sad,
Men et Klæde langt.

Jeg gik i Nætter og Dage tree
I den fremmede Stad;
Men ey længer jeg fik den Elskte at see,
Skiønt jeg sang og bad.

Den tredie Nat derfra jeg gik,
Og vilde bort;
Da standsed i Porten mit matte Blik
Paa noget Sort.

Jeg hylled mig ind i min lange Talar
Med forvirret Sands.
En Liigkiste ud af Palladset man bar
Med en Jomfruekrands.

Jeg sneg mig bagefter i Fakkelskin,
Med den lange Rad.
I en Kirke de satte Kisten ind,
Og skiltes ad.

Taus skiulte jeg mig i et Pulpitur,
Saa kold og bleg;
Giennem Blyevindvet saae jeg, i sorte Natur,
Blodmaanen steeg.

Da vilde jeg rave til Kisten hen,
Som for Altret stod;
Men jeg hørte Noget at rasle igien.
Iis blev mit Blod.

Og grant jeg en Yngling ved Kisten saae,
Bleg som en Aand.
Den duftende Krands han stirrede paa
Med en Dolk i Haand.

“Dig har jeg nu givet til Døden hen,
Troeløse Møe!
I Morgen din ukiendte, fremmede Ven
Skal ogsaa døe.”

Da sneg jeg mig bag ham med harmfuld Aand,
Med Hævnens Lyst;
Og vristed ham Dolken af skielvende Haand.
Den fandt hans Bryst!

Rødt strømmed hans Blod som en skummende Elv
Over Kisten lang.
Da tonede Orglet af sig selv
En Sørgeklang.

Jeg raved til Døren med selsomt Mod,
Slukt var mit Had.
Inden Hanegal jeg atter forlod
Den fremmede Stad.

Kun syv år efter digterens død kastede gribbene … skrev Liebenberg om digterens hang til at finpudse detaljer i sine værker og gav samtidig en version af ovenstående digt, som slutter således:

Jeg raved til Dören med bange Mod
Kun lidet Glad
Inden Hanegal jeg atter forlod
Den fremmede Stad.

F. L. Liebenberg: Nogle Bemærkninger Om Textcritiken i Oehlenschlägers Skrifter, Nordisk Universitets-Tidsskrift vol. 3.1 s.191-218. (Ill. nedenfor via runeberg.org)

… og han konstaterer lærd og tørt, at “Mange ville i sidste Strophe maaske nödigt savne den Læsemaade, som de fra “Poetiske Skrifter” eller senere Udgaver ere vante til, Slukt var mit Had, uagtet den ikke kan kaldes god, da der i Romancen kun har været Tale om Kærlighed, Skinsyge og Hævn, men ikke om Had.”

“Mange” må så være det brede publikum, som selvfølgelig ikke sætter pris på de finere detaljer, men man kan nu godt indvende, at hvor kærlighed og skinsyge er følelser, er hævnen den handling, eller trang til at handle, som udspringer af følelsen af had, som i øvrigt kan balanceres så smukt, når man også bærer i sig hævnens lyst.

Falaris’ Tyr

Virkeligheden er i høj grad noget overvurderet lort, fyldt med nævenyttige forskere, som med deres kedsommelige fakta formår at henlægge enhver fantasifuld, brutal, dramatisk, tragisk eller i det hele taget bare spændende historie til fantasiens eller myternes verden! Se nu for eksempel bare hvad Den Store Danske Encyklopædi skriver om tyrannen Falaris:

Falaris, d. ca. 554 f.Kr., tyran i Akragas, nuværende Agrigento i Italien.  Historien om Falaris som en særlig brutal tyran, der ristede sine ofre levende i en bronzetyr, er tvivlsom. Akragas ser ud til at have blomstret i hans regeringstid.

Vi ser helt bort fra den moraliserende antagelse af, at (by)samfund ikke kan trives og blomstre under tyranners styre, og haster videre til nogle langt mere interessante kilder.

Cicero:

“Some ages afterwards, Publius Scipio took Carthage, in the third Punic war; after which victory, (remark the virtue and carefulness of the man, so that you may both rejoice at your national examples of most eminent virtue, and may also judge tire incredible audacity of Verres worthy of the greater hatred by contrasting it with that virtue,) he summoned all the Sicilians, because he knew that during a long period of time Sicily had repeatedly been ravaged by the Carthaginians, and bids them seek for all they had lost, and promises them to take the greatest pains to ensure the restoration to the different cities of everything which had belonged to them. Then those things which had formerly been removed from Himera, and which I have mentioned before, were restored to the people of Thermae; some things were restored to the Gelans, some to the Agrigentines; among which was that noble bull, which that most cruel of all tyrants, Phalaris, is said to have had, into which he was accustomed to put men for punishment, and to put fire under. And when Scipio restored that bull to the Agrigentines, he is reported to have said, that he thought it reasonable for them to consider whether it was more advantageous to the Sicilians to be subject to their own princes, or to be under the dominion of the Roman people, when they had the same thing as a monument of the cruelty of their domestic masters, and of our liberality.” (Cic. Ver. 2.4.73 / tr: C.D.Yonge)

Diodor:

“This Phalaris burned to death Perilaus, the well-known Attic worker in bronze, in the brazen bull. Perilaus had fashioned in bronze the contrivance of the bull, making small sounding pipes in the nostrils and fitting a door for an opening in the bull’s side and this bull he brings as a present to Phalaris. And Phalaris welcomes the man with presents and gives orders that the contrivance be dedicated to the gods. Then that worker in bronze opens the side, the evil device of treachery, and says with inhuman savagery, “If you ever wish to punish some man, O Phalaris, shut him up within the bull and lay a fire beneath it; by his groanings the bull will be thought to bellow and his cries of pain will give you pleasure as they come through the pipes in the nostrils.” When Phalaris learned of this scheme, he was filled with loathing of the man and says, “Come then, Perilaus, do you be the first to illustrate this; imitate those who will play the pipes and make clear to me the working of your device.” And as soon as Perilaus had crept in, to give an example, so he thought, of the sound of the pipes, Phalaris closes up the bull and heaps fire under it. But in order that the man’s death might not pollute the work of bronze, he took him out, when half-dead, and hurled him down the cliffs.” (Diod. 9.19.1 / tr.: by C.H.Oldfather)

Lukian, som lægger ordene i munden på Falaris selv:

“And now I must explain to you the origin of my present offering, and the manner in which it came into my hands. For it was by no instructions of mine that the statuary made this bull: far be it from me to aspire to the possession of such works of art! A countryman of my own, one Perilaus, an admirable artist, but a man of evil disposition, had so far mistaken my character as to think that he could win my regard by the invention of a new form of torture; the love of torture, he thought, was my ruling passion. He it was who made the bull and brought it to me. I no sooner set eyes on this beautiful and exquisite piece of workmanship, which lacked only movement and sound to complete the illusion, than I exclaimed: “Here is an offering fit for the God of Delphi: to him I must send it.” “And what will you say,” rejoined Perilaus, who stood by, “when you see the ingenious mechanism within it, and learn the purpose it is designed to serve?” He opened the back of the animal, and continued: “When you are minded to punish any one, shut him up in this receptacle, apply these pipes to the nostrils of the bull, and order a fire to be kindled beneath. The occupant will shriek and roar in unremitting agony; and his cries will come to you through the pipes as the tenderest, most pathetic, most melodious of bellowings. Your victim will be punished, and you will enjoy the music.”(Luc. Phal. 1.11 / tr: Fowler)

Men musikken blev altså ikke rigtig påskønnet af tyrannen, som ikke bare syntes at Perilaus’ opfindsomhed var lige i overkanten, men ligefrem blev frastødt af den:

‘His words revolted me. I loathed the thought of such ingenious cruelty, and resolved to punish the artificer in kind. “If this is anything more than an empty boast, Perilaus,” I said to him, “if your art can really produce this effect, get inside yourself, and pretend to roar; and we will see whether the pipes will make such music as you describe.” He consented; and when he was inside I closed the aperture, and ordered a fire to be kindled. “Receive,” I cried, “the due reward of your wondrous art: let the music-master be the first to play.” Thus did his ingenuity meet with its deserts. But lest the offering should be polluted by his death, I caused him to be removed while he was yet alive, and his body to be flung dishonoured from the cliffs. The bull, after due purification, I sent as an offering to your God, with an inscription upon it, setting forth all the circumstances; the names of the donor and of the artist, the evil design of the latter, and the righteous sentence which condemned him to illustrate by his own agonized shrieks the efficacy of his musical device.” (Luc. Phal. 1.11 / tr: Fowler)

… og endelig Pindar med en slags morale på den historie:

The kindly excellence of Croesus does not perish, but Phalaris, with his pitiless mind, who burned his victims in a bronze bull, is surrounded on all sides by a hateful reputation; lyres that resound beneath the roof do not welcome him as a theme in gentle partnership with the voices of boys. The first of prizes is good fortune; the second is to be well spoken of; but a man who encounters and wins both has received the highest garland.(Pind. Pyth. 1.94 / tr. D. A. Svarlien)

En helt igennem vidunderlig men måske ikke særlig letlæst kilde til denne og andre fatasifulde historier i kategorien Sjov med Meningsløs Vold er Roland Villeneuves: La Musée des Supplices (Paris 1968) bogen findes også i tysk oversættelse, med den helt igennem vidunderlige titel:

“Grausamkeit und Sexualität. Sadistisch-flagellantische, pathologische, gesellschaftlich-machtpolitische und religiöse Hintergründe der Leibes- und Todesstrafen, Hinrichtungsarten, Martern und Qualen bis in die Gegenwart in Wort und Bild.” (Stuttgart 1968)

Bogen, som har en noget dyster og letkøbt påstand af Rivarol som motto: “Die zivilisierten Völker sind für das Gift der Barbarei so anfällig wie das blanke Eisen für den Rost. Völker und Stahl, beide glänzen nur an die Oberfläche.” anbefales kraftigt til nysgerrige men ikke alt for sarte sjæle.

Små onde mænd

Politiken bringer historien om New Zealandske forskere, som har undersøgt legofigurers ansigtstræk og de har fundet ud af at …

“Legos berømte små plastikmænd og -damer er blevet sure med årene.

Det konkluderer et studium fra University of Canterbury i New Zealand og det polske Industrial Research Institute for Automation and Measurements.

I studiet har forskerne undersøgt ansigtsudtrykket hos 6.000 Lego-figurer fra de første små mænd kom på markedet i 1975 og til nu.”

Studium? Studiet? Uanset hvad det er og hvor det er foregået, så kan man ikke andet end at undre sig over, at disse forskere ikke har bedre at tage sig til end at studere (sic!) 6000 legofigurer og konkludere moralsk på det de finder. For forskerne er bekymrede og Christoph Bartneck fra University of Canterbury “spekulerer over, hvordan bevægelsen fra udelukkende positive ansigter til et stigende antale af negative ansigter påvirker den måde, børne leger på.

Det er lige før at barndommen som vi kender den, er truet af onde legofigurer. Men intet undslipper de årvågne forskere der følger katastrofen på tæt hold: “Det er vigtigt at studere, hvordan man lave passende udtryk, og hvordan de udtryk bliver opfattet af brugerne. Den måde, børn opfatter deres legetøj på kan have betydelig indvirkning på dem“, siger samme Christoph Bartneck via Politiken via The Guardian via en artikel i et tidsskrift hvis navn ingen gad viderebringe, hvilket også er nyttigt, for så kan ansvaret for stavefejl m.m. heller ikke umiddelbart placeres.

Nogle af de klareste og lykkeligste minder fra min barndom er de lange (undertiden) lune sommeraftener, når jeg sammen med kvarterets andre drenge (og piger) løb rundt og forsøgte at slå hinanden ihjel for sjov og ve den som ikke døde overbevisende, med både lyd og ærgelse og behørigt skuespil. Uskyldig sjov, med mord og død og ødelæggelse. Og når vi ikke gjorde det, var der anden sjov og meningsløs vold vi kunne hengive os til.

Spekulerer over om egentlig ikke børn er solidt nok byggede – fysisk og mentalt – til at de nok skulle kunne klare et surt legomandsansigt eller to. Det tror jeg egentlig de er.

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Emil Bergløv: Lego-ansigter er blevet mere vrede med tiden. Politiken, d. 12/6 2013

Gentleman’s Guide to Amputation

(set her)

 

Anbefalet videre læsning:

“Today, astonishing surgical breakthroughs are making face transplants, limb transplants and a host of other previously undreamed of operations possible. But getting here has not been a simple story of selfless men working tirelessly in the pursuit of medical advancement. Instead it’s a bloodstained tale of blunders, arrogance, mishap and murder. In trying to keep us alive, surgeons have all too often killed us off, and life-saving solutions have often come from the most surprising places.”

Richard Hollingham: Blood and Guts. A History of surgery. BBC Books, 2008 (ISBN: 1846075033)

 

Bodycount X

Skæbnen gør sit indtog. Iliadens femte bog.

Eurypylus dræber Hypsenor (14)

Then died Hypsenor, generous and divine,
Sprung from the brave Dolopion’s mighty line,
Who near adored Scamander made abode,
Priest of the stream, and honoured as a god.
On him, amidst the flying numbers found,
Eurypylus inflicts a deadly wound;
On his broad shoulders fell the forceful brand,
Thence glancing downwards, lopp’d his holy hand,
Which stain’d with sacred blood the blushing sand.
Down sunk the priest: the purple hand of death
Closed his dim eye, and fate suppress’d his breath.

Bodycount IX

Pedaeus får sig en ekstra tunge. Fra Iliadens femte bog.

Meges dræber Pedaeus (13)

From Meges’ force the swift Pedaeus fled,
Antenor’s offspring from a foreign bed,
Whose generous spouse, Theanor, heavenly fair,
Nursed the young stranger with a mother’s care.
How vain those cares! when Meges in the rear
Full in his nape infix’d the fatal spear;
Swift through his crackling jaws the weapon glides,
And the cold tongue and grinning teeth divides.

Bodycount VIII

Æstetisk død fra Iliaden, femte bog: her en malende beskrivelse af hvordan Phereclus’ spyd passerer gennem Merions hofte, midt mellem knogle og blæren.

Meriones dræber Phereclus (12)

Next artful Phereclus untimely fell;
Bold Merion sent him to the realms of hell.
Thy father’s skill, O Phereclus! was thine,
The graceful fabric and the fair design;
For loved by Pallas, Pallas did impart
To him the shipwright’s and the builder’s art.
Beneath his hand the fleet of Paris rose,
The fatal cause of all his country’s woes;
But he, the mystic will of heaven unknown,
Nor saw his country’s peril, nor his own.
The hapless artist, while confused he fled,
The spear of Merion mingled with the dead.
Through his right hip, with forceful fury cast,
Between the bladder and the bone it pass’d;
Prone on his knees he falls with fruitless cries,
And death in lasting slumber seals his eyes.

Scaphisme

I den store spændende kategori af ting som du strengt taget ikke behøver at vide for at leve et lykkeligt liv, følger her beretningen om Mithridates’ død som beskrevet af Plutark.

And, therefore, he decreed that Mithridates should be put to death in boats; which execution is after the following manner: Taking two boats framed exactly to fit and answer each other, they lay down in one of them the malefactor that suffers, upon his back; then, covering it with the other, and so setting them together that the head, hands, and feet of him are left outside, and the rest of his body lies shut up within, they offer him food, and if he refuse to eat it, they force him to do it by pricking his eyes; then, after he has eaten, they drench him with a mixture of milk and honey, pouring it not only into his mouth, but all over his face. They then keep his face continually turned towards the sun: and it becomes completely covered up and hidden by the multitude of flies that settle on it. And as within the boats he does what those that eat and drink must needs do, creeping things and vermin spring out of the corruption and rottenness of the excrement, and these entering into the bowels of him, his body is consumed. When the man is manifestly dead, the uppermost boat being taken off, they find his flesh devoured, and swarms of such noisome creatures preying upon and, as it were, growing to his inwards. In this way Mithridates, after suffering for seventeen days, at last expired. ()

Scaphisme, “en med langsomme Pinsler forbunden Livsstraf“, (*) nemlig ved at fastgøre offeret mellem to udhulede træstammer, på sådan vis at kun arme, ben og hovede stikker ud, give dem honning til til både ind- og udvortes brug og udstille dem i solen og lade insekter og andet kryb foretage resten af henrettelsen. Sytten dage er i øvrigt lang tid.

Lukian har en lignende men måske lidt mere raffineret historie:

“‘I’ve got it!’ said someone at last, after various proposals had been considered and turned down. ‘Now you must admit this is a real stroke of genius. It’ll mean sacrificing the donkey, but he’s always been too nervous to be very much use to us, and now he’s pretending to be lame—and anyway he aided and abetted the girl in her attempt to escape. So let’s slit his throat tomorrow morning, and rip open his stomach and pull out all the guts. Then we can put our young friend inside him with just her head sticking out, so that she doesn’t suffocate immediately. When we’ve got her comfortable, we can sew up the donkey’s stomach, and put them both out for the vultures. I bet they’ve never had such a tasty dish before. But just think what it’ll be like for her! First of all having to take up residence in a dead donkey—then being cooked in a sort of oven on a hot summer’s day under the blazing sun—then slowly dying of hunger, and not even being able to suffocate herself—not to speak of the other little inconveniences like the smell of the rotting carcass and the worms crawling all over her. And finally, the vultures will probably eat their way in and start tearing her to pieces while she’s still alive, under the impression that she’s part of the donkey.’ Everyone applauded this proposal and appeared to consider it a wonderful inspiration, but I was absolutely horrified. As if it was not bad enough to have my own throat cut, my wretched body was doomed to become the grave of that poor innocent girl!”

En ikke specielt rar måde at komme af dage på, men en ting er sikkert, og det er, at trods Politikens og andre velmenende humanisters nidkære forargelse over hvad der overgik Gaddafi efter han faldt oprørernes hænder – tænk sig, man har ved inspicering af diverse filmklip kunnet observere Gadaffi prukken i numsen med en pind – så skal slynglen nok bare prise sig lykkelig over at han levede i det 20. og 21. århundrede! Man har behandlet tyranner og andre med betydeligt mindre sentimentalitet til andre tider.

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(*) jvf. Meyer – af det græske σκάφη, et kar, trug eller båd og latin scapha, en lille båd.
Plutark. John Drydens oversættelse fundet her
Lucian: Lucius or the ass. Trans. by Paul Turner. Bloomington 1958

Bodycount VII

Vi fortsætter vores tur gennem Iliaden, her femte bog, hvor der er masser af æstetisk tilfredsstillende død og ødelæggelse.

Menelaus dræber Scamandrius (11)

Then died Scamandrius, expert in the chase,
In woods and wilds to wound the savage race;
Diana taught him all her sylvan arts,
To bend the bow, and aim unerring darts:
But vainly here Diana’s arts he tries,
The fatal lance arrests him as he flies;
From Menelaus’ arm the weapon sent,
Through his broad back and heaving bosom went:
Down sinks the warrior with a thundering sound,
His brazen armour rings against the ground.

Bodycount VI

Videre gennem starten af Iliadens femte bog, hvor de tapre krigere falder som fluer.

Idomeneus dræber Phaestus (10)

Thy fate was next, O Phaestus! doom’d to feel
The great Idomeneus’ protended steel;
Whom Borus sent (his son and only joy)
From fruitful Tarne to the fields of Troy.
The Cretan javelin reach’d him from afar,
And pierced his shoulder as he mounts his car;
Back from the car he tumbles to the ground,
And everlasting shades his eyes surround.