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GADDA, Carlo Emilio

Eros and Priapus

‘The cause of the crime’, i.e. the sinister movements that constituted for the euphoric gang the first impulse towards a series of criminal actions is a cause not exclusive but predominantly ‘erotic’ (in the broad sense that, as you will have realised, I confer to that word) in its complex: it signals the prevalence of a morose and destructive Eros over the motives of Logos. To the careful external examiner, all the abuse of power over the Twenty Years is distinguished by the extreme characters of slaughter, puerile criminality , the lack of sense and the lack of cultural history: not mention the lack of a sense of ethics and religion. It is a nett retrogression from that point of development that humanity had reached (at the end of the positivist era) towards a convoluted, lying phase, born of half-baked ideas, of ready made phrases, of habit, of faked passion, of a substantial atheism that wants to gild itself in a simply verbal ‘spirituality’ and ‘religiosity’. Now this characteristic shows precisely that the pragma of the gang and of the leader is a basely erotic one, a base itch or rather a libido of possession, of command, of exhibitionism, of food, of females, of clothes, of money, of land, of commodities and of idleness: not exalted by any ethnico-political movement, by humanity or real charity, by any artistic or human sensibility and even less by the intervention of critical thought. It was mostly to do with time-wasters, happy go luckies, jobless folk blessed only with an itch and an appetite that they called virility, who tried to shortcut their careers towards ‘politics’: understanding for politics their racketeering. Lacking totally any obedient internal discipline, deprived totally of any specific preparation like certain abandoned urchins of today, not being (nor capable of being) neither sailors, nor farmers. nor jurists, nor merchants, nor doctors, misadorned with the wretched decoration of a diploma from a middle school they had tried very much to fail and with the putting on of riding boots on their flabby and malformed legs and with facile agitation and croakings totally useless to the country and in the end to the common good. They tried to get promoted in the ‘gerarchy’, but not by work and effort and intelligence of biological facts like those having on their shoulders years of work and job experience. Other times they already held the prime titles, and offices, medals and licences: and then they tried to get ahead with verbosity and services to the police, with verbose and policely zeal. These were the ‘short cuts’ to ascent.

Now this base itchiness was not conscious virility of their obligations, but the unreadiness of violent people ready to take home a grant and exhibit themselves booted and armed with a hunting knife: ready all in all to applaud one who is ‘on high’ (the thieves most favoured by fortune and shrewdness) and to play the spy and cop on ‘a mate of mine’. They began to kick up a fuss when in the GUF, the seminary, the pepiniere of spies. They played the spy on teachers and classmates. Then the faithful of the group became thieves and concussers and local spies at twenty; members of the federation at twenty-five; prefects at twenty-eight. The whole nation was placed in the hands of this ruffianity: with the chorus of ‘Giovinezza’ youth youth spring of good looks: like a claque of hotheaded violent diddies, that I won’t call ‘tomboyish’ qualities, but rather phallic ornaments and seminal blisters. In those Twenty Years they lost their heads completely. ‘I am a Fascist, I love my Country’ they said with a trembling hope in the soul, in expectation.

Now all this is Eros, and not Logos. I don’t wish to deny women the right to ‘prefer the young , as those which are more ferocious’ (Machiavelli, The Prince), that is, the most aggressive sexually; that is the right of women and their duty. I don’t deny that the Patria asks of women that they adhere to their duty to the Patria which is, above all, to let themselves be fucked. And with broadmindedness! But ‘the young’ if they take them to bed shouldn’t pretend to acclaim themselves prefects and ministers managing a country. And the women should adhere to their obligations and inclinations and not be about to break the bank with this political nymphomania. Politics is not made for the vagina: for the vagina there is the tampon, appositely made for it by the Eternal Maker and is the miracle cure of all miracle cures; when not infected, you understand. Some of them warbling, some whinnying hysterically of ‘Patria’, others that ‘Eng-gehr-land must pay for her crimes.