I stand there and wonder whether, when I am twenty, I shall have experienced the bewildering emotions of love.
Pikat e renda e goditen ne fytyre. dhe pernjeheresh ai s’po e merrte vesh ne ishte qesharak apo i mjere, ne vuante apo nuk vuante-dinte vetem se po jetonte. Po jetonte! ai ekzistonte, jeta e kishte pushtuar serisht, dhe ai nuk ishte me spektator, nuk qendronte me jashte saj; shkelqimi i forte i ndjenjes se pakontrollueshme vershonte perseri neper damaret e tij, si zjarri neper oxhake furrnaltash; dhe nuk kishte pike rendesie ne ishte i lumtur apo fatkeq; ai po jetonte dhe e ndiente fort qe po jetonte- dhe kjo ishte mjaft!
We are not, indeed, in the front-line, but only in the reserves, yet in every face can be read: This is the front, now we are within its embrace.
Through the years our business has been killing;-it was our first calling in life. Our knowledge of lif eis limited to death.
I think it’s more a kind of fever,’ says Albert. ‘Nobody really wants it, but all of a sudden, there it is. We didn’t want the war, they say the same thing on the other side – and in spite of that, half the world is at it hammer and tongs.
Our life alternates between billets and the front. We have almost grown accustomed to it; war is the cause of death like cancer and tuberculosis, like influenza and dysentery. The deaths are merely more frequent, more varied and terrible.
Nachts ist man das, was man eigentlich sein soll; nicht das, was man geworden ist.
Kropp on the other hand is a thinker. He proposes that a declaration of war should be a kind of popular festival with entrance-tickets and bands, like a bull fight. Then in the arena the ministers and generals of the two countries, dressed in bathing-drawers and armed with clubs, can have it out among themselves. Whoever survives, his country wins. That would be much simpler and more just than this arrangement, where the wrong people do the fighting. The
once more, dully menacing, comes the noise of gunfire, and already from afar, like the bill of a woodpecker, sounds the knock-knocking of a machine gun. We grow calm and are almost glad to hear again the familiar, trusty noises of death.
I say to the dead man, but I say it calmly, “to-day you, to-morrow me. But if I come out of it, comrade, I will fight against this, that has struck us both down; from you, taken life-and from me-? Life also. I promise you, comrade. It shall never happen again.