Across the River and into the Trees (2)
book by E. Hemingway
“I guess the cards we draw are those we get. You wouldn’t like to re-deal, would you dealer? No, they only deal to you once, and then you pick them up and play them.“
A sorrowful, touching story about lost youth. About everything that would not be repeated in life, if he had another chance. Only the end, this sincere love with Renata. The woman, who portrays all key female characters, including a daughter, he never had. Peace finally arrived, albeit late. But he accepted his fate gracefully, without regrets. At that he was the best, giving and especially taking commands.
Through the testimony of Colonel Hemingway there are excellent displays of the perversion of war, power games for the price of countless innocent human lives. War is the business of those who never killed anyone literally – they shared commands, even though most do not keep weapons in their hands. How the awareness of soldiers at the front turns into a psychological battle, responsibility for their own and others' mistakes, realizing that the political objectives are of anything but peace in the world.
“I understand the necessity of the big executive being removed from contact with his working people. I understand about the size of the army. I even understand logistics which is not difficult. But no one commanded from that far back in history. “
“The Basin of San Marco on Ascension day“, by Canaletto, cca 1740, National Gallery of London
Venice, with its romantic streets and mysterious channels, affectionately accompanies this sad story. We learn how the Torcello boys, as a result of floods on the Caorle coast, came with stones of their houses to fix the foundation of this beautiful city on the water, with the aim that they would be protected against foreign armies. The other parts of the city, restaurants, cafes, markets, are elaborately painted with Hemingway’s words only.
This all makes me want to go there again soon and see it through this book's eyes. Above all, I will pay attention to the description of the Venetians, who are supposed to be the most friendly people in the world, though Venice is the place with the toughest people in the world. How contradictory, but making sense at the same time.
“What happened to people that love each other? I suppose they have whatever they have, and they are more fortunate than others. Then one of them gets emptiness forever.“
“Mind? Not me. I only give orders and obey orders. I don't mind.“
“Saint Mark's Square in Venice“, Giacomo Guardi, 1780-1810
Read and see more images: part I