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0 Johnny Got His Gun + Opinião

  Esta não foi uma guerra qualquer. Esta foi uma guerra travada para tornar o mundo seguro para a democracia. E se a democracia estivesse segura então nada mais importava - nem os milhões de cadáveres, nem as centenas de vidas arruinadas... Este não é um livro qualquer. Este é um livro que nunca opta pelo caminho mais fácil: chocante, violento, aterrorizante, horrível, intransigente, brutal, impiedoso e pavoroso... mas assim é a guerra.

  A poderosa história de um jovem e o seu destino trágico na Primeira Guerra Mundial é uma declaração aterradora sobre os horrores da guerra e um apelo à paz.

Autor: Dalton Trumbo
Género: Literatura Clássica
Páginas: 243
Original: Johnny Got His Gun (1939)



Opinião
"He was the nearest thing to a dead man on earth." - p. 117
O poder de um livro propaga-se de acordo com o nível em que nos deixamos envolver por ele. Eu dissolvo-me completamente e isso permite-me passar óptimos momentos mas também me tem oferecido alguns bem medonhos.

Assim, tenho vivido estes recentes dias na companhia de um homem sem pernas, sem braços, cego, surdo e mudo…e muito bem consciente de tudo isso. Não preciso, com certeza, acrescentar que foram dias pavorosos.

A Primeira Guerra Mundial tirou tudo ao jovem Joe resumindo-o a um anónimo desmembrado; um homem incapaz de qualquer acção, incapaz de qualquer acto de subsistência, incapaz de qualquer comunicação. Enfim, um morto…não fosse a sua lucidez. E pensar… pensar profundamente… ponderar…pode ser um dos piores castigos quando não há a possibilidade de outra distracção. 

Joe é ficcional, mas leva-nos certamente a pensar no número de homens que regressaram a casa mutilados física e/ou psicologicamente, no número de famílias destruídas, no número de homens que nem sequer voltaram ao lar. Pior, mesmo tendo sido publicado em 1939 e embora se debruce sobre a Primeira Guerra Mundial, Johnny Got His Gun permanece assustadoramente actual no seu âmago.
"So did all those kids die thinking of democracy and freedom and liberty and honor and safety of the home and the stars and the stripes forever? You're goddam right they didn't. They died crying in their minds like little babies. (…) They thought about things a man can understand. They died yearning for the face of a friend. They died whimpering for the voice of a mother a father a wife a child. They died with their hearts sick for one more look at the place they were born please god just one more look. They died moaning and sighing for life." - p. 117
Lemos muito sobre o amor e sobre relacionamentos mas há algo terrivelmente arrebatador e esclarecedor em ler sobre o sofrimento humano. É preciso um escritor muito especial para transmitir este tipo de desespero. Dalton Trumbo teceu uma crítica furiosa sobre os horrores da guerra especialmente porque, apesar de tudo, Joe não se afoga em autocomiseração. Em vez disso discute consigo próprio, por vezes de forma bastante violenta mas sempre efectiva, sobre o fundamento da guerra, as motivações por detrás de tanta bestialidade e sobre o que tinham realmente os combatentes a ganhar com esta guerra "pela democracia".
"You can always hear the people who are willing to sacrifice somebody else's life. They're plenty loud and they talk all the time. You can find them in churches and schools and newspapers and legislatures and congress. That's their business. They sound wonderful. Death before dishonor. This ground sanctified by blood. These men who died so gloriously. They shall not have died in vain. Our noble dead. Hmmmm. But what do the dead say?" - p. 115
Nem por um momento Trumbo nos deixa escapar da mente de Joe. Ao longo das doces recordações ou lembranças mais amargas do passado, o terrível presente e uma visão pavorosa sobre o futuro, ficamos agarrados aos pensamentos de Joe do início ao fim; a percepção dele é a nossa…e essa é a única que temos. Não sabemos onde está ou o que se passa à sua volta, desconhecemos os motivos porque o mantêm vivo, aprisionando-o a uma existência miserável.
"Maybe nothing was real not even himself oh god and wouldn't that be wonderful." - p. 100
A escrita é cativante na sua violência e brusquidão. O arrebatamento do discurso torna a leitura extasiante e leva-nos a sentir tão imiscuídos com Joe que a narrativa, com a sua cascata imparável de palavras e falta de vírgulas, torna-se muitas vezes sufocante.

…E quando Joe mergulha na demência, mergulhamos com ele.
"God give me rest take me away hide me let me die oh god how weary how much already dead how much gone and going oh god hide me and give me peace." - p. 179

Frases favoritas...
"So he'd never hear again. Well there were a hell of a lot of things he didn't want to hear again. He never wanted to hear the biting little castanet sound of a machine gun or the high whistle of a .75 coming down fast or the slow thunder as it hit or the whine of an airplane overhead or the yells of a guy trying to explain to somebody that he's got a bullet in his belly and that his breakfast is coming out through the front of him and why won't somebody stop going forward and give him a hand only nobody can hear him they're so scared themselves. The hell with it." - p. 10/11
"The airplane said Mr. Hargraves would cut down the distance between nations and peoples. The airplane would be a great instrument in making people understand one another in making people love one another. The airplane said Mr. Hargraves was ushering in a new era of peace and prosperity and mutual understanding. Everyone would be friends said Mr. Hargraves when the airplane knitted the world together so that the people of the world understood each other. " - p. 19/20
"He lay and thought oh Joe Joe this is no place for you. This was no war for you. This thing wasn’t any of your business. What do you care about making the world safe for democracy? All you wanted to do Joe was to live. (…) Yet here you are and it was none of your affair. Here you are Joe and you’re hurt worse than you think. You’re hurt bad. Maybe it would be a lot better if you were dead and buried on the hill across the river from Shale City. Maybe there are more things wrong with you than you suspect Joe. Oh why the hell did you ever get into this mess anyhow? Because it wasn’t your fight Joe. You never really knew what the fight was all about." - p. 24
"The pain was so bad that all he could think of was please please please I'd rather die." - p. 59
"He was thinking and he was just a thing." - p. 63
"Four maybe five million men killed and none of them wanting to die while hundreds maybe thousands were left crazy or blind or crippled and couldn't die no matter how hard they tried." - p. 85
"Maybe he was lucky his nose was shot off. It would be pretty bad to have to lie and smell the perfume of your own body as it rotted away." - p. 90
"Maybe nothing was real not even himself oh god and wouldn't that be wonderful." - p. 100
"No sir anybody who went out and got into the front line to fight for liberty was a goddam fool and the guy who got him there was a liar." - p. 111
"If you get killed fighting for your native land you've bought a pig in a poke. You've paid for something you'll never collect." - p. 113
"And the say but surely life isn't as important as principle. Then you say oh no? Maybe not yours but mine is." - p. 114
"You can always hear the people who are willing to sacrifice somebody else's life. They're plenty loud and they talk all the time. You can find them in churches and schools and newspapers and legislatures and congress. That's their business. They sound wonderful. Death before dishonor. This ground sanctified by blood. These men who died so gloriously. They shall not have died in vain. Our noble dead. Hmmmm. But what do the dead say?" - p. 115
"If a man says death before dishonor he is either a fool or a liar because he doesn't know what death is. He isn't able to judge. He only knows about living." - p. 115
"If he is a fool and believes in death before dishonor let him go ahead and die. But all the little guys who are too busy to fight should be left alone. (…) There ought to be at least as much common sense about living and dying as there is about going to the grocery store and buying a loaf of bread." - p. 116
"So did all those kids die thinking of democracy and freedom and liberty and honor and safety of the home and the stars and the stripes forever? You're goddam right they didn't. They died crying in their minds like little babies. (…) They thought about things a man can understand. They died yearning for the face of a friend. They died whimpering for the voice of a mother a father a wife a child. They died with their hearts sick for one more look at the place they were born please god just one more look. They died moaning and sighing for life." - p. 117
"He was the nearest thing to a dead man on earth." - p. 117
" He had seen the airplanes flying in the sky he had seen the skies of the future filled with them black with them and now he saw the horror beneath. He saw a world of lovers forever parted of dreams never consummated of plans that never turned into reality. He saw a world of dead fathers and crippled brothers and crazy screaming sons. He saw a world of armless mothers clasping headless babies to their breasts trying to scream out their grief from throats that were cancerous with gas. He saw starved cities black and cold and motionless and the only things in this whole dead terrible world that made a move or a sound were the airplanes that blackened the sky and far off against the horizon the thunder of the big guns and the puffs that rose from barren tortured earth when their shells exploded." - p. 240
"(…) oh no it will not be us who die. It will be you. It will be you-you who urge us on to battle you who incite us against ourselves you who would have one cobbler kill another cobbler you who would have one man who works kill another man who works you who would have one human being who wants only to live kill another human being who wants only to live. Remember this. Remember this well you people who plan for war. Remember this you patriots you fierce ones you spawners of hate you inventors of slogans. Remember this as you have never remembered anything else in your lives. We are men of peace we are men who work and we want no quarrel. But if you destroy our peace if you take away our work if you try to range us one against the other we will know what to do. If you tell us to make the world safe for democracy we will take you seriously and by god and by Christ we will make it so. We will use the guns you force upon us we will use them to defend our very lives and the menace to our lives does not lie on the other side of a nomansland that was set apart without our consent it lies within our own boundaries here and now we have seen it and we know it. Put the guns into our hands and we will use them. Give us the slogans and we will turn them into realities. Sing the battle hymns and we will take them up where you left off. Not one not ten not ten thousand not a million not ten millions not a hundred millions but a billion two billions of us all the people of the world we will have the slogans and we will have the hymns and we will have the guns and we will use them and we will live. Make no mistake of it we will live. We will be alive and we will walk and talk and eat and sing and laugh and feel and love and bear our children in tranquility in security in decency in peace. You plan the wars you masters of men plan the wars and point the way and we will point the gun." - p. 242/243





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