Who told them to reduce Spain to Ruins? is a story that presents the Spanish Civil War, seen from the Portuguese border. In the first years of Salazar’s dictatorial regime, Franco needed to conquer the regions close to the Portuguese border in order to isolate the II Republican Government and both dictators became allies in the process. During the conflict, a very violent battle took place in Badajoz, the capital of the Spanish border province of Extremadura. Only ten kilometres away from there, in the small Portuguese town of Elvas, there is a boy who thinks he has it all figured out.
Unlike most, he doesn’t work in the wheat fields: he has a good job as an errand boy in the new tomato factory. He smokes his first cigarettes and feels the first hair growing up his upper lip. Yet to become a man, there is one thing left to do: being with a woman. He lusts after a certain prostitute, a half-crazy refugee that wonders around a garden outside the city. Still, he has yet to figure out how to properly solicit such a woman. Meanwhile, the Portuguese authorities have received orders to deliver any refugees suspected of being republicans or communists to the Spanish border. And from there, to the Bullring …
O exército de mouros e legionários do Tenente-Coronel Yagüe veio por aí acima, bem armado, inexpugnável e sem perder tempo, conforme o Coronel prometera a Franco. Os mortos do lado de lá da fronteira serão mais que muitos. Não terá ficado pedra sobre pedra, a julgar pelos espectáculos a que se tem assistido da muralha junto ao Quartel Militar. Graças a Deus não tem havido trovoadas. A vista para Espanha, separada de Elvas por dez quilómetros de paisagem, manteve-se aberta o tempo todo, e ainda está por rebentar nos céus da Feira do S. Mateus uma girândula que sobrepuje a grandiosidade daquilo, dos rebentamentos de artilharia ou dos assobios voadores dos Junkers alemães. Nem o rapaz, tão convicto das benesses de acordar com os galos e adormecer com as ovelhas, se conseguiu furtar a ficar acordado. O espectáculo, no entanto, acabou há já uns dias. Não há tempo para o aparvalhamento das lembranças.
The army of Moors and Legionnaires led by Lieutenant-Colonel Yagüe had come all the way from Africa. Well-armed and unassailable, it wasted little time – just as the Coronel had promised to Franco. Beyond the border, the dead must now number in the thousands. No stone has been left unturned, judging by the shows the citizens have enjoyed watching from the city walls. Thank God there have been no thunderstorms. The view over Spain, separated from Elvas by ten kilometres of landscape, has remained clear all the time, and there is yet to explode in the skies over St. Matthew’s Market a girandola surpassing the grandeur of that spectacle, of the artillery explosions or the flying whistles of the German Junkers. Even this boy, so convinced of the blessings of waking up with the roosters and falling asleep with the sheep, has stayed stay awake for the show. Yet, since a few days it has been over. No time to think about such things right now, anyway …
Eduardo César is a teacher and writer. While studying Aeronautical Engineering, he joined the theatre group TeatrUBI, where he worked with the stage director Harvey Grossman, a student of the pioneering director Gordon Grieg, and the poet Ruth Mandel. He also worked with Susana Vidal and António Abernú, among other artists. During this time, he co-founded the group Incentiv’Art and published in the literary magazine Ponto. Recently, he co-founded the group Tiptoes Digital, responsible for the Skyvella Initiative. His literary awards include the »UBI Literatura, 2005«, »Jovens Criadores, 2004«, and »500 Anos dos Descobrimentos Portugueses, 1997«.
Writing is an attempt to fit the whole Universe into a transparent bottle and then label it with authorship. Often, since we write about things that don’t belong to us, we are robbing life itself. This, however, can be compared to an ant trying to steal a mountain. In the end, we fail. Not all can fit into that idealised transparent bottle. Yet, this is one of the few cases in which the process of failure leads to an extreme peace: a sense of coming to terms with our own humanity. This is a paradox. I will go on failing. – Eduardo César
»Im Namen der Republik.« Kinderprogramm, Lesung, Theater, Literaturperformance, Clubabend | 7. Juni 2014 | DAI Heidelberg
Zur Anthologie: http://imnamenderrepublik.wordpress.com/die-anthologie