söndag, mars 13, 2005

The Gorge av Umberto Eco

En pojke, det är under kriget, i en by i norra Italien, bredvid bergskammen, nedanför San Martino. Pojken läser äventyrsböcker och hör gärna Gragnola berätta:

I noticed that Gragnola always wore a long, thin leather sack that hung from his neck, beneath his shirt.

"What's that, Gragnola?"

"A lancet."

"Were you studying to be a doctor?"

"I was studying philosophy. I was given the lancet in Greece by a doctor in my regiment, before he died. "I don't need this anymore," he told me. "That grenade has opened my belly. What I need now is one of those kits, like women have, with a needle and thread. But this hole is past stitching up. Keep the lancet to remember me by." And I've worn it ever since."


"Because I'm a coward. With the things I do and the things I know, if the S.S. or the Black Brigades catch me, they'll torture me. If they torture me, I'll talk, because evil scares me. And I'll be sending my comrades to their death. This way, if they catch me, I'll cut my throat with the lancet. It doesn't hurt, only takes a second - sffft. I'll be screwing them all: the Fascists because they won't learn a thing, the priests because I'll be a suicide and that's a sin, and God because I'll be dying when I choose and not when he chooses. Put that in your pipe and smoke it."

Gragnola ber pojken om hjälp. Han ska visa vägen nerför bergskammen för några ryska motståndsmän. Allt pojken läst i sina äventyrsböcker bleknar i jämförelse med den natten.

Novellen The Gorge av Umberto Eco finns>fanns att läsa här.