Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Orwell's "Catalonia" Revisited (VII)

Continuamos com Anthony Daniels:

At the same time, Orwell recognizes the superiority of the Fascists (he never calls them nationalists) in almost everything practical, and their equivalence in much that is moral, or rather immoral. It is not just that Orwell, being a fundamentally decent man blinded by abstract ideas, expresses sympathy for the Fascist soldier whom his unit has injured with a grenade and who screams in pain. “Poor wretch, poor wretch!” exclaims Orwell with feeling that does him credit. No; he excoriates the filth on his own side and contrasts it with the order on the other side.


Orwell tells us about things the Fascists did better. He learnt the bugle calls from the Fascists because they did them properly. Then he tells us about bullfights: “in Barcelona there were hardly any bullfights nowadays; for some reason all the best matadors were Fascists.” Then the treatment of buildings: “Sometimes it gave you a sneaking sympathy with the Fascist ex-owners to see the way the militia treated the buildings they had seized.”

Tirando referencias algo folclóricas aos toureiros e aos toques de corneta (áreas aonde é natural que o lado "conservador" esteja mais à vontade) Orwell quase não faz comparações entre a forma como as coisas funcionavam no lado republicano e no lado fascista (até porque ele só conhecia um dos lados); no entanto, o que Daniels diz desta passagem (num dos poucos momentos em que a milicia do POUM capturou uma trincheira inimiga):

We poked here and there but did not find anything of much value. There were quantities of Fascist bombs lying about--a rather inferior type of bomb, which you touched off by pulling a string--and I put a couple of them in my pocket as souvenirs. It was impossible not to be struck by the bare misery of the Fascist dug-outs. The litter of spare clothes, books, food, petty personal belongings that you saw in our own dug-outs was completely absent; these poor unpaid conscripts seemed to own nothing except blankets and a few soggy hunks of bread.

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