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Günter Grass no New Yorker

Para quem curte o escritor alemão Günter Grass, e acompanhou a polêmica [1] em torno da sua autobiografia, o site da revista New Yorker publicou um relato [2] do cara sobre sua juventude na Luftwaffe, bastante detalhado. Para quem não sabe, Grass alistou-se no exército alemão durante a Segunda Guerra Mundial. Entre relatórios e notícias do front, visitas regulares à família nos finais de semana e devaneios literários – a cabeça delicadamente apoiada numa metralhadora anti-aérea 88-mm -, Grass vai confessando intenções e sentimentos nem sempre muito nobres a respeito dos motivos e consequências das suas decisões. O trecho sobre seus pais é especialmente revelador.

The two-room hole. The family trap. Everything there conspired to constrain the weekend visitor. Not even the mother’s hand could smooth away the son’s distress. True, he was no longer expected to sleep in his parents’ bedroom like his sister, but even on the couch made up for him in the living room he remained a witness to the married life that continued unbroken from Saturday to Sunday. That is, I could hear—or thought I could hear—sounds I had heard, muffled as they were, from childhood on, sounds that had lodged in my mind in the form of a monstrous ritual: the anticipatory whispers, the lip-smacking, the creaking bedsprings, the sighing horsehair mattress, the moaning, the groaning, the entire aural repertory of lovemaking, so potent, especially in the dark. I had a clear picture of all the variations on marital coupling, and in my cinematic version of the act the mother was always the victim: she yielded, she gave the go-ahead, she held out to the point of exhaustion.

The hatred of a mother’s boy for his father, the subliminal battleground that determined the course of Greek tragedies and has been so eloquently updated by Dr. Freud and his disciples, was thus, if not the primary cause, then at least one of the factors in my push to leave home.

Havia também o tédio e o romantismo guerreiro do Sturm und Drang alemão.

All winter long, the front moved closer to home. The Wehrmacht’s high command tried to tone down the retreat by dubbing it a front-straightening operation. Victory bulletins virtually ceased, and more and more bombardment victims were seeking refuge in our city and its environs. The urge to break away, to flee to any front that would have me, had lost its force. My desire was moving in another direction: I read Eichendorff and Lenau at their most romantic, pored over Kleist’s “Kohlhaas” and Hölderlin’s “Hyperion,” and stood guard by the ack-ack guns, lost in thought, my eyes wandering over the frozen sea.

Há uma história em movimento nestes relatos de vida pessoais durante este período na Alemanha – de Viktor Klemperer a Albert Speer. Para além das análises históricas de longo alcance ou das detalhadas biografias de grandes personalidades, a percepção da vida cotidiana como síntese da totalidade da experiência de uma época faz ressurgir – ressuscitar, como diria Michelet – o sentido mais essencial do viver. Há uma autenticidade neste relatos que nenhum texto moralista, por exemplo, poderia proporcionar, principalmente ao esclarecer como o “medonho” plasmou-se ao viver cotidiano. Por isso, talvez, nos cause estranheza a imagem do Hyperion de Hölderin, aberto, rabiscado, apoiado sobre os canhões enquanto o olhar do leitor/soldado mira o “mar gelado”. Vale a leitura.

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