8+ quotes from Under Fire by Henri Barbusse

Quotes from Under Fire

Henri Barbusse ·  352 pages

Rating: (1.1K votes)


“These are not soldiers, these are men. They are notadventurers or warriors, designed for human butchery - as butchers or cattle. They are the ploughmen or workers that one recognizes even in their uniforms. They are uprooted civilians. They are ready, waiting for the signal for death or murder, but when you examine their faces between the vertical ranks of bayonets, they are nothing but men.”
― Henri Barbusse, quote from Under Fire


“Déjà, le mois de septembre, lendemain d'août et veille d'octobre et qui est par sa situation le plus émouvant des mois parsème les beaux jours de quelques fins avertissements. Déjà, on comprend ces feuilles mortes qui courent sur les pierres plates comme une bande de moineaux.”
― Henri Barbusse, quote from Under Fire


“An aeroplane booms overhead. We follow its evolutions with our faces skyward, our necks twisted, our eyes watering at the piercing brightness of the sky. Lamuse declares to me, when we have brought our gaze back to earth, “Those machines ’ll never become practical, never.”

“How can you say that? Look at the progress they’ve made already, and the speed of it.”

“Yes, but they’ll stop there. They’ll never do any better, never.”
― Henri Barbusse, quote from Under Fire


“Paradis: «Sì, questa è la guerra», ripete con voce remota, distante. «Nient’altro che questo».
Capisco benissimo il senso delle sue parole. «Più delle cariche che sembrano parate, più delle battaglie visibili dispiegate come stendardi, più ancora dei corpo a corpo dove ci si dibatte e si grida, questa guerra è spaventosa e sovrumana fatica, è acqua fino al ventre, è fango, escrementi e infame sporcizia. È facce ammuffite e carni a brandelli, è cadaveri che non sembrano più nemmeno cadaveri, mentre galleggiano sulla terra famelica. È tutto questo, è questa miserabile monotonia interrotta da momenti drammatici; è questa, e non la baionetta scintillante come fosse d’argento, né il chicchirichì della tromba al sorgere del sole!»”
― Henri Barbusse, quote from Under Fire


“Andiamo avanti, non sappiamo dove. Non sappiamo niente, tranne che il cielo e la terra stanno per confondersi nel medesimo abisso.”
― Henri Barbusse, quote from Under Fire


“Quando si viene a sapere, o la si vede di persona, della morte di uno di quelli che facevano la guerra accanto a te e che vivevano esattamente alla tua stessa maniera, prima ancora di capire provi un colpo al cuore. È come se d’un tratto venissi a sapere che tu stesso sei stato annientato. Il dolore arriva solo dopo un po’.”
― Henri Barbusse, quote from Under Fire


“«Se anche ce ne fossero, […] sarebbe da veri criminali esaltare gli aspetti belli della guerra!»”
― Henri Barbusse, quote from Under Fire


“In a state of war, one is always waiting. We have become waiting-machines. For the moment it is food we are waiting for. Then it will be the post. But each in its turn. When we have done with dinner we will think about the letters. After that, we shall set ourselves to wait for something else.”
― Henri Barbusse, quote from Under Fire


About the author

Henri Barbusse
Born place: in Asnières-sur-Seine, France
Born date May 17, 1873
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