The way we're heading

Tout "V." dans un seul et bref dialogue:

"'Where we going', Profane said. 'The way we're heading', said Pig."

Et les deux derniers extraits:

“This is a curious country, populated only by a breed called ‘tourists’. Its landscape is one of inanimate monuments and buildings; near-inanimate barmen, taxi-drivers, bellhops, guides: there to do any bidding, to varying degrees of efficiency, on receipt of the recommended baksheesh, pourboire, mancia, tip. More than this it is two-dimensional, as is the Street, as are the pages and maps of those little red handbooks. As long as the Cook’s Travellers’ Clubs and banks are open, the Distribution of Time section followed scrupulously, the plumbing at the hotel in order (…), the tourist may wander anywhere in this coordinate system without fear. War never becomes more serious than a scuffle with a pickpocket (…); depression and prosperity are reflected only in the rate of exchange; politics are of course never discussed with the native population. Tourism thus is supranational, like the Catholic Church, and perhaps the most absolute communion we know on earth: for be its members American, German, Italian, whatever, the Tour Eiffel, Pyramids, and Campanile all evoke identical responses from them; their bible is clearly written and does not admit of private interpretations; they share the same landscape, suffer the same inconveniences, live by the same pellucid time-scale. They are the Street’s own.”

“But we reach a point (…) we old campaigner, when the habits of the past become too strong. Where we can say, and believe, that this abattoir, but lately bankrupt, was fundamentally no different from the Franco-Prussian conflict, the Sudanese wars, even the Crimea. It is perhaps a delusion – say a convenience- necessary to our line of work. But more honourable surely than this loathsome weakness of retreat into dreams: pastel visions of disarmament, a league, a universal law. Ten million dead. Gas. Paschendaele. Let that be now a large figure, now a chemical formula, now an historical account. But dear lord, not the Nameless Horror, the sudden prodigy sprung on a world unaware. We all saw it. There was no innovation, no special breach of nature, or suspension of familiar principles. If it came as any surprise to the public then their own blindness is the Great Tragedy, hardly the war itself.”

Le service habituel reprend la semaine prochaine.


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