Ernest Hemingway: For Whom the Bell Tolls

Uden tvivl en af de bedste bøger, jeg har læst. for-whom-the-bell-tolls

Hemingway er jo i forvejen godt. De nøgterne, præcise beskrivelser. Fornemmelsen for spændingen i situationer. Det underspillede, nedbarberede sprog. Alt det, man kan forstå ud af det sparsomme og økonomiserede indhold. De smukke sætninger!

Men her er det mere, for det er også helt elementært spændende. Altså sine steder decideret nervepirrende. Og det synes jeg kun i momenter, jeg har oplevet i de andre af Hemingways bøger, jeg har læst (det her er min sjette af ham).

Det er liv og død, der er på spil. Robert Jordan kæmper i den spanske borgerkrig og skal sprænge en bro i luften med hjælp fra en gruppe lokale guerillakæmpere. Så hele bogen er fuld af spændinger. Mellem Robert og lederen af guerillagruppen. Mellem Robert  den unge Maria, som han også møder. Mellem fortidens synder og nutidens virkelighed. Mellem nødvendighed og samvittighed. Mellem kommandovejen og snusfornuften.

Prøv lige at læs, hvor godt det er:

In all that, in the fear that dries your mouth and your throat, in the smashed plaster dust and the sudden panic of a wall falling, collapsing in the flash and roar of a shellburst, clearing the gun, dragging those away who had been serving it, lying face downward and covered with rubble, your head behind the shield working on a stoppage, getting the broken case out, straightening the belt again, you now lying straight behind the shield, the gun searching the roadside again; you did the thing there was to do and knew that you were right. You learned the dry-mouthed, fear-purged, purging ecstasy of battle and you fought that summer and that fall for all the poor in the world, against all tyranny, for all the things that you believed and for the new world you had been educated into. You learned that fall, he thought, how to endure and how to ignore suffering in the long time of cold and wetness, of mud and of digging and fortifying. And the feeling of the summer and the fall was buried deep under tiredness, sleepiness, and nervousness and discomfort. But it was still there and all that you went through only served to validate it. It was in those days, he thought, that you had a deep and sound and selfless pride–that would have made you a bloody bore at Gaylord’s, he thought suddenly.

Det hele sitrer. Alle samtaler er levende. Personerne er indfølende beskrevet. Og historien ender med at være hård ved de fleste af dem. Det er den lange venten, der forløses i en hurtig, intens afslutning uden gimmicks og unødig dramatisering.

Den skal genlæses på et tidspunkt!

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