lunedì 29 agosto 2011

The Citadel of the Autarch - Gene Wolfe

I had never seen war, o even talked of it at length with someone who had, but I was young and knew something of violence, and so believed that war would be no more than a new experience for me, as other things - the possession of authority in Thrax, say, or my escape from the House Absolute - had been new experiences.
War is not a new experience; it is a new world. Its inhabitants are more different from human beings than Famulimus and her friends. Its law are new, and even its geography in which insignificant hills and hollows are lifted to the importance of cities. Just as our familiar Urth holds such monstrosities as Erebus, Abaia and Arioch, so the world of war is stalked by the monsters called battles, whose cells are individuals but who have a life and intelligence of their own, and whom one approaches through an ever-thickening array of portents.

One night I woke long before dawn. Everything seemed still, and I was afraid some enemy had come near, so that my mind had stirred at his malignancy. I rose and looked about. The hills were lost in the darkness. I was in a nest of long grass, a nest I had trampled flat for myself. Crickets sang.
Something caught my eye far to the north: a flash, I thought, of violet just on the horizon. I stared at the point from wich it seemed to have come. Just as I had convinced myself that what I believed I had seen was no more than a foult of vision, perhaps some lingering effect of the drug I had been given in the hetman’s house, there was a flare of magenta a trifle to the left of the point I had been staring at.

I continued to stand there for a watch or more, rewarded from time to time with these mysteries of light. At last, having satisfied myself that they were a great way off and came no nearer, and that they did not appear to change in frequency, coming on the average with each five hundreth beat of my heart, I lay down again. And because I was the throtoughly awake, I became aware that the ground was shaking, very slightly, beneath me.

The Citadel of the Autarch - Gene Wolfe








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