quarta-feira, 27 de maio de 2015

The horror, the horror

“The way in which he carried out his crime, and the way his thoughts contextualized it, resembles role-playing, rather than political terrorism. The solitude this implies is enormous, not to mention the need for self-assertion.”
 “He wanted to be seen; that is what drove him, nothing else."
"Look at me. Look at me. Look at me.”

“It is as if Hannah Arendt’s notion of the banality of evil had, in Breivik’s case, received an additional twist. Adolf Eichmann, the man whom Arendt wrote about, belonged to an organization and a bureaucracy and a structure, all of which he obediently served, and which protected him from ultimate insight into the consequences of his actions. In contrast, from the very first moment Breivik was utterly alone, and his smallness and wretchedness, which were, in a way, grotesquely inflated by his actions, make it all the more difficult to reconcile oneself to the crime, which the media have termed “the worst attack on Norwegian soil since the Second World War.”

“While corpses were lying around the island in pools of blood, and many of the wounded had yet to be transported to shore, Breivik was interrogated in the camp’s wooden headquarters. For the police, the situation was unclear, and the essential thing was to find out whether Breivik had acted alone, or if there were more terrorists. For his part, Breivik was concerned that he might die of dehydration, since he had taken a combination of ephedrine, caffeine, and aspirin earlier that day. He was given a soda before questioning began. Moments later, his concern shifted to a cut on his finger.

“He is a person filled to the brim with himself. And that is perhaps the most painful thing of all, the realization that this whole gruesome massacre, all those extinguished lives, was the result of a frustrated young man’s need for self-representation.

“In many ways, I find it repellent to write about Anders Behring Breivik. Every time his name appears in public, he gets what he wants, and becomes who he wants, while those whom he murdered, at whose expense he asserted himself, lost not only their lives but also their names—we remember his name, but they have become numbers. And yet we must write about him, we must think about the crisis that Breivik’s actions represent.

“Breivik’s childhood explains nothing, his character explains nothing, his political ideas explain nothing.

“What does it take to kill another person? Or, to put it another way, what is it that prevents us from killing?
In the book “Bagdad Indigo,” about the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, my friend Geir Angell Øygarden asks what can impel one person to kill another. It is one of the most difficult things you can bring someone to do. Even after people have been issued uniforms, weapons, and permission to take the enemy’s life, they will balk. Releasing bombs over a populated area is one thing, but killing those same people at close range, face to face, is another. What makes the difference? It is the face, the eyes, their light.”

“One of the American soldiers Øygarden interviewed in Iraq put it like this: “My enemy doesn’t have a face. He doesn’t have a face. He has, I guess, what you would call a target on him. That’s what I go for. I don’t see a human being. I can’t see a human being.”

“Murder is against human nature, but in extreme cases this can be overcome if the community to which one belongs enjoins or encourages it.”

“Breivik’s deed, single-handedly killing seventy-seven people, most of them one by one, many of them eye to eye, did not take place in a wartime society, where all norms and rules were lifted and all institutions dissolved; it occurred in a small, harmonious, well-functioning, and prosperous land during peacetime. All norms and rules were annulled in him, a war culture had arisen in him, and he was completely indifferent to human life, and absolutely ruthless.
That is where we should direct our attention, to the collapse within the human being which these actions represent, and which makes them possible. Killing another person requires a tremendous amount of distance, and the space that makes such distance possible has appeared in the midst of our culture. It has appeared among us, and it exists here, now.
The most powerful human forces are found in the meeting of the face and the gaze. Only there do we exist for one another. In the gaze of the other, we become, and in our own gaze others become. It is there, too, that we can be destroyed. Being unseen is devastating, and so is not seeing.

“Everything in Anders Behring Breivik’s history up until the horrific deed can be more or less found in every life story; he was and is one of us. The fact that he did what he did, and that other young men, misfits, have shot scores of people, implies that the necessary distance from the other is attainable in our culture, probably more so now than it was a couple of generations ago. Still, we all inhabit this culture, we all move between fiction and reality, between image and material, and the distance to the other is no straightforward quantity, and neither is the act of averting one’s gaze. In order to see the culture, one must stand outside it; in order to see the individual, one must stand outside him.

Excertos de artigo de Karl Ove Knausgard, artigo completo aqui:
Mal e porcamente editado, que me falta qualquer coisa para saber pôr as letrinhas todas do mesmo tamanho.

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