Frasi di Henri Barbusse

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Henri Barbusse

Data di nascita: 17. Maggio 1873
Data di morte: 30. Agosto 1935

Pubblicità

Henri Barbusse è stato uno scrittore, giornalista e attivista politico comunista francese.

Barbusse costituisce il nodo qualificante della cultura francese degli anni venti, più di Marcel Proust, di André Gide e di André Malraux.. Secondo Giovanna Secchi questo giudizio, espresso da Jean Fréville, può essere considerato tendenzioso ma " in quegli anni cruciali per la formazione dei movimenti e partiti organizzati della sinistra, contro i dilaganti nazionalismi e fascismi, appare corretto vedere Barbusse come un preciso punto di riferimento, sia da parte della critica militante, che dello studioso del fatto letterario attento alle svolte che la storia sa imporre.

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Frasi Henri Barbusse

Pubblicità

„The emptied towns and the villages destroyed, they are a wilderness of our making. Yes, war is all of us, and all of us together.“

—  Henri Barbusse, Under Fire
Under Fire (1916), Ch. 24 - The Dawn, Context: It's with us only that they make battles. It is we who are the material of war. War is made up of the flesh and the souls of common soldiers only. It is we who make the plains of dead and the rivers of blood, all of us, and each of us is invisible and silent because of the immensity of our numbers. The emptied towns and the villages destroyed, they are a wilderness of our making. Yes, war is all of us, and all of us together.

„Men have gone towards each other because of that ray of light which each of them contains; and light resembles light.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Light (1919), Ch. XVI - De Profundis Clamavi, Context: Men have gone towards each other because of that ray of light which each of them contains; and light resembles light. It reveals that the isolated man, too free in the open expanses, is doomed to adversity as if he were a captive, in spite of appearances; and that men must come together that they may be stronger, that they may be more peaceful, and even that they may be able to live. For men are made to live their life in its depth, and also in all its length. Stronger than the elements and keener than all terrors are the hunger to last long, the passion to possess one's days to the very end and to make the best of them. It is not only a right; it is a virtue.

„Paradis says to me, "That's war."
"Yes, that's it," he repeats in a far-away voice, "that's war. It's not anything else."“

—  Henri Barbusse, Under Fire
Under Fire (1916), Ch. 24 - The Dawn, Context: Waking, Paradis and I look at each other, and remember. We return to life and daylight as in a nightmare. In front of us the calamitous plain is resurrected, where hummocks vaguely appear from their immersion, the steel-like plain that is rusty in places and shines with lines and pools of water, while bodies are strewn here and there in the vastness like foul rubbish, prone bodies that breathe or rot. Paradis says to me, "That's war." "Yes, that's it," he repeats in a far-away voice, "that's war. It's not anything else." He means — and I am with him in his meaning — "More than attacks that are like ceremonial reviews, more than visible battles unfurled like banners, more even than the hand-to-hand encounters of shouting strife, War is frightful and unnatural weariness, water up to the belly, mud and dung and infamous filth. It is befouled faces and tattered flesh, it is the corpses that are no longer like corpses even, floating on the ravenous earth. It is that, that endless monotony of misery, broken, by poignant tragedies; it is that, and not the bayonet glittering like silver, nor the bugle's chanticleer call to the sun!" Paradis was so full of this thought that he ruminated a memory, and growled, "D'you remember the woman in the town where we went about a bit not so very long ago? She talked some drivel about attacks, and said, 'How beautiful they must be to see!'" A chasseur who was full length on his belly, flattened out like a cloak, raised his bead out of the filthy background in which it was sunk, and cried, 'Beautiful? Oh, hell! It's just as if an ox were to say, 'What a fine sight it must be, all those droves of cattle driven forward to the slaughter-house!'

„Where are the words that will light the way? What is humanity in the world, and what is the world?
Everything is within me, and there are no judges, and there are no boundaries and no limits to me.“

—  Henri Barbusse
The Inferno (1917), Ch. XIV, Context: Where are the words that will light the way? What is humanity in the world, and what is the world? Everything is within me, and there are no judges, and there are no boundaries and no limits to me. The de profundis, the effort not to die, the fall of desire with its soaring cry, all this has not stopped. It is part of the immense liberty which the incessant mechanism of the human heart exercises (always something different, always!).

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„Paradis, possessed by his notion, waved his hand towards the wide unspeakable landscape. and looking steadily on it repeated his sentence, 'War is that.“

—  Henri Barbusse, Under Fire
Under Fire (1916), Ch. 24 - The Dawn, Context: Paradis, possessed by his notion, waved his hand towards the wide unspeakable landscape. and looking steadily on it repeated his sentence, 'War is that. It is that everywhere. What are we, we chaps, and what's all this here? Nothing at all. All we can see is only a speck. You've got to remember that this morning there's three thousand kilometers of equal evils, or nearly equal, or worse." "And then," said the comrade at our side, whom we could not recognize even by his voice, "to-morrow it begins again. It began again the day before yesterday, and all the days before that!"

„They are your enemies, wherever they were born, however they pronounce their names, whatever the language in which they lie. Look at them, in the heaven and on the earth. Look at them, everywhere! Identify them once for all, and be mindful for ever!“

—  Henri Barbusse, Under Fire
Under Fire (1916), Ch. 24 - The Dawn, Context: There are all those things against you. Against you and your great common interests which as you dimly saw are the same thing in effect as justice, there are not only the sword-wavers, the profiteers, and the intriguers. There is not only the prodigious opposition of interested parties — financiers, speculators great and small, armorplated in their banks and houses, who live on war and live in peace during war, with their brows stubbornly set upon a secret doctrine and their faces shut up like safes. There are those who admire the exchange of flashing blows, who hail like women the bright colors of uniforms; those whom military music and the martial ballads poured upon the public intoxicate as with brandy; the dizzy-brained, the feeble-minded, the superstitious, the savages. There are those who bury themselves in the past, on whose lips are the sayings only of bygone days, the traditionalists for whom an injustice has legal force because it is perpetuated, who aspire to be guided by the dead, who strive to subordinate progress and the future and all their palpitating passion to the realm of ghosts and nursery-tales. With them are all the parsons, who seek to excite you and to lull you to sleep with the morphine of their Paradise, so that nothing may change. There are the lawyers, the economists, the historians — and how many more? — who befog you with the rigmarole of theory, who declare the inter-antagonism of nationalities at a time when the only unity possessed by each nation of to-day is in the arbitrary map-made lines of her frontiers, while she is inhabited by an artificial amalgam of races; there are the worm-eaten genealogists, who forge for the ambitious of conquest and plunder false certificates of philosophy and imaginary titles of nobility. The infirmity of human intelligence is short sight. In too many cases, the wiseacres are dunces of a sort, who lose sight of the simplicity of things, and stifle and obscure it with formulae and trivialities. It is the small things that one learns from books, not the great ones. And even while they are saying that they do not wish for war they are doing all they can to perpetuate it. They nourish national vanity and the love of supremacy by force. "We alone," they say, each behind his shelter, "we alone are the guardians of courage and loyalty, of ability and good taste!" Out of the greatness and richness of a country they make something like a consuming disease. Out of patriotism — which can be respected as long as it remains in the domain of sentiment and art on exactly the same footing as the sense of family and local pride, all equally sacred — out of patriotism they make a Utopian and impracticable idea, unbalancing the world, a sort of cancer which drains all the living force, spreads everywhere and crushes life, a contagious cancer which culminates either in the crash of war or in the exhaustion and suffocation of armed peace. They pervert the most admirable of moral principles. How many are the crimes of which they have made virtues merely by dowering them with the word "national"? They distort even truth itself. For the truth which is eternally the same they substitute each their national truth. So many nations, so many truths; and thus they falsify and twist the truth. Those are your enemies. All those people whose childish and odiously ridiculous disputes you hear snarling above you — "It wasn't me that began, it was you!" — "No, it wasn't me, it was you!" — "Hit me then!" — "No, you hit me!" — those puerilities that perpetuate the world's huge wound, for the disputants are not the people truly concerned, but quite the contrary, nor do they desire to have done with it; all those people who cannot or will not make peace on earth; all those who for one reason or another cling to the ancient state of things and find or invent excuses for it — they are your enemies! They are your enemies as much as those German soldiers are to-day who are prostrate here between you in the mud, who are only poor dupes hatefully deceived and brutalized, domestic beasts. They are your enemies, wherever they were born, however they pronounce their names, whatever the language in which they lie. Look at them, in the heaven and on the earth. Look at them, everywhere! Identify them once for all, and be mindful for ever!

„The principle of the equal rights of every living being and the sacred will of the majority is infallible and must be invincible; all progress will be brought about by it, all, with a force truly divine. It will bring first the smooth bed-rock of all progress — the settling of quarrels by that justice which is exactly the same thing as the general advantage.“

—  Henri Barbusse, Under Fire
Under Fire (1916), Ch. 24 - The Dawn, Context: I tell them that fraternity is a dream, an obscure and uncertain sentiment; that while it is unnatural for a man to hate one whom he does not know, it is equally unnatural to love him. You can build nothing on fraternity. Nor on liberty, either; it is too relative a thing in a society where all the elements subdivide each other by force. But equality is always the same. Liberty and fraternity are words while equality is a fact. Equality should be the great human formula — social equality, for while individuals have varying values, each must have an equal share in the social life; and that is only just, because the life of one human being is equal to the life of another. That formula is of prodigious importance. The principle of the equal rights of every living being and the sacred will of the majority is infallible and must be invincible; all progress will be brought about by it, all, with a force truly divine. It will bring first the smooth bed-rock of all progress — the settling of quarrels by that justice which is exactly the same thing as the general advantage.

„The end of the tempest and the long trouble is not yet.“

—  Henri Barbusse, Under Fire
Under Fire (1916), Ch. 24 - The Dawn, Context: "When all men have made themselves equal, we shall be forced to unite." "And there'll no longer be appalling things done in the face of heaven by thirty million men who don't wish them." It is true, and there is nothing to reply to it. What pretended argument or shadow of an answer dare one oppose to it — "There'll no longer be the things done in the face of heaven by thirty millions of men who don't want to do them!" Such is the logic that I hear and follow of the words, spoken by these pitiful fellows cast upon the field of affliction, the words which spring from their bruises and pains, the words which bleed from them. Now, the sky is all overcast. Low down it is armored in steely blue by great clouds. Above, in a weakly luminous silvering, it is crossed by enormous sweepings of wet mist. The weather is worsening, and more rain on the way. The end of the tempest and the long trouble is not yet.

„We've seen too much to remember.“

—  Henri Barbusse, Under Fire
Under Fire (1916), Ch. 24 - The Dawn, Context: The paralysis of cold was passing away from the knot of sufferers, though the light no longer made any progress over the great irregular marsh of the lower plain. The desolation proceeded, but not the day. Then he who spoke sorrowfully, like a bell, said. "It'll be no good telling about it, eh? They wouldn't believe you; not out of malice or through liking to pull your leg, but because they couldn't. When you say to 'em later, if you live to say it, 'We were on a night job and we got shelled and we were very nearly drowned in mud,' they'll say, 'Ah!' And p'raps they'll say. 'You didn't have a very spicy time on the job.' And that's all. No one can know it. Only us." "No, not even us, not even us!" some one cried. "That's what I say, too. We shall forget — we're forgetting already, my boy!" "We've seen too much to remember." "And everything we've seen was too much. We're not made to hold it all. It takes its damned hook in all directions. We're too little to hold it." "You're right, we shall forget! Not only the length of the big misery, which can't be calculated, as you say, ever since the beginning, but the marches that turn up the ground and turn it again, lacerating your feet and wearing out your bones under a load that seems to grow bigger in the sky, the exhaustion until you don't know your own name any more, the tramping and the inaction that grind you, the digging jobs that exceed your strength, the endless vigils when you fight against sleep and watch for an enemy who is everywhere in the night, the pillows of dung and lice — we shall forget not only those, but even the foul wounds of shells and machine-guns, the mines, the gas, and the counter-attacks. At those moments you're full of the excitement of reality, and you've some satisfaction. But all that wears off and goes away, you don't know how and you don't know where, and there's only the names left, only the words of it, like in a dispatch." "That's true what he says," remarks a man, without moving his head in its pillory of mud. When I was on leave, I found I'd already jolly well forgotten what had happened to me before. There were some letters from me that I read over again just as if they were a book I was opening. And yet in spite of that, I've forgotten also all the pain I've had in the war. We're forgetting-machines. Men are things that think a little but chiefly forget. That's what we are." "Then neither the other side nor us'll remember! So much misery all wasted!" This point of view added to the abasement of these beings on the shore of the flood, like news of a greater disaster, and humiliated them still more. "Ah, if one did remember!" cried some one. "If we remembered," said another, "there wouldn't be any more war."

„The truth is that the love of mankind is a single season among so many others. The truth is that we have within us something much more mortal than we are, and that it is this, all the same, which is all-important.“

—  Henri Barbusse
Light (1919), Ch. XIX - Ghosts, Context: The truth is that the love of mankind is a single season among so many others. The truth is that we have within us something much more mortal than we are, and that it is this, all the same, which is all-important. Therefore we survive very much longer than we live. There are things we think we know and which yet are secrets. Do we really know what we believe? We believe in miracles. We make great efforts to struggle, to go mad. We should like to let all our good deserts be seen. We fancy that we are exceptions and that something supernatural is going to come along. But the quiet peace of the truth fixes us. The impossible becomes again the impossible. We are as silent as silence itself.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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