The Gents Glembays

Gospoda Glembajevi


svi-glembajevi

Gledalište je prepuno, s mnogim sumnjama i neizvjesnostima iščekuje se nadolazeća predstava uprizorena prema djelu „Gospoda Glembajevi“,  jednom od najvećih klasika hrvatske književnosti 20. stoljeća. Cijelo Hrvatsko narodno kazalište zauzeli su mladi srednjoškolci u pratnji svojih profesora, što je posebno lijep prizor s obzirom na opće zaziranje mladih od kulturnih sadržaja. Pred nama je jednostavan, ali luksuzno uređen salon s prigušenim svjetlima. Dok se žamor postepeno smanjuje, pred našim se očima započinje odigravati jedno od najpoznatijih djela poznatog hrvatskog pisca i enciklopedista Miroslava Krleže.

„Mutno je sve to u nama, draga moja dobra Beatrice, nevjerojatno mutno.“ Tim riječima Leone Glembay, sin bankara Ignjata Glembaya i glavni lik, započinje dijalog ove drame ukazujući na gotovo cjelokupan tijek radnje, obmanjujuće, sarkastične i tragične. Ulazeći u svijet Glembaya, jedne noći kasnog ljeta, godinu dana prije Prvog svjetskog rata, nalazimo se na proslavi 70. godišnjice tvrtke Glembay Ltd. Od samog početka, Leone, srednjovječni slikar koji se nakon 11 godina izbivanja vratio u roditeljsku kuću, stoji kao opreka ostalim likovima. Sa svima ulazi u konflikte osim s dominikankom Beatrice. Gledavši ga, promatrač najviše suosjeća s tom figurom koja jedina uviđa svo licemjerje i zločine u pravom svjetlu, ne podilazeći nikome jer ni o kome ne ovisi. Njemu u susret dolazi redovnica Beatrice, udovica njegova brata Ivana, koja od samih početaka gubi svoj sjaj dopuštajući Leoneovo udvaranje. Likovi koji prebivaju u kući Glembayevih sivi su ili potpuno crni, njih vidimo kroz prizmu neiskrenog ulagivanja, borbe za moći i vlastite interese. Osobna korist prožima sve odnose gdje se gubi svaki trag prijateljstva i srčanosti, iskrene ljubavi, ali zapravo i bilo kakvih viših ideala.

barunica-i-leone

Kao da samo vrijeme radnje opisuje srž ove drame. Ona se odvija u večeri između prvog i petog sata, a dan nikako ne sviće, kao ni junacima bilo kakva nada. Isprepletenost strašnih ubojstava, prijevara i nemorala u svakom obliku opsjele su ovu obitelj otkad je predak Glembajevih počinio ubojstvo i potom izgradio kapelicu umjesto pokajanja. Od tog trenutka, zločinačka krv kola venama obitelji Glembay.  Nedavni događaji vezani uz Ignjatova drugu ženu, barunicu Castelli, samo nastavljaju zlosutnu tradiciju. Iz novinskih izvještaja doznajemo kako je ona  svojom kočijom pregazila Staru Rupertovu, ali je oslobođena krivnje, nakon čega cijela obitelj biva podvrgnuta oštrim prozivanjima javnosti. Njena kći Fanika došla je kod barunice moliti odštetu u obliku šivaće mašine kako bi od toga mogla uzdržavati svoju obitelj. Nakon što ju je barunica hladnokrvno odbila, Fanika se sa svojim nerođenim djetetom baca s prozora njihove kuće. Izvrtanje cijelog događaja u prilog Glembayevima te njihovo uporno odbijanje suočavanja s krivicom tih nesreća u Leoneu izazivaju sve veći nemir te on otkriva sve uznemirujuće detalje obiteljskog nemorala koji se očituje u kriminalu, preljubu i sumnjivim ubojstvima pritom razotkrivajući nastranu narav barunice Castelli u najgorim razmjerima.

Slušajući i promatrajući razgovor ovih likova, vidljivo je kako težnja izvrsnosti, poštivanju ljudskog dostojanstva, kao i težnja življenju univerzalnih ljudskih vrednota,  stoji samo kao vanjska fasada; za pokazivanje svijetu, a unutar sebe krije ruševinu.

beatrice-i-njena-slika

Promatrajući razvoj događaja, u nama raste svijest da se svemu tome ne smije pokoriti, takvo ponašanje u nama nailazi na potpuno neodobravanje i mi se ograđujemo od takvoga nazora, od takvoga svijeta. Upravo ta naša zgranutost odlično je iskazana u liku Leonea Glembaya koji odbija takvo poimanje života, gdje dobro postoji samo kao fikcija. Dokaz da Leone u čovjeku ne pronalazi samo sredstvo do ostvarenja vlastitog cilja vidljiv je u dijelu u kojem izriče kako je Faniki Canjeg kupio toliko željenu šivaću mašinu, iako je nije poznavao i od toga nije imao nikakve koristi. Kao opreka takvom ponašanju stoje mnogi drugi njegovi postupci koje ne možemo opravdati, ali u kojima se iskazuje samo njegova ljudskost i pogrešivost. Pojedinac bi tako mogao onako u sebi, potpuno nečujno, navijati za tog hrabrog junaka koji kao da se hrva s nekim nevidljivim silama koje u nama pobuđuju ono najgore. To njegovo previranje najočitije je u njegovoj prvoj rečenici. „Mutno je sve to  u nama.“ Za njega doista i jest. U njemu se isprepliće ono plemenito i ono nečasno što je učinio i to na kraju doista i biva mutno, nedovoljno jasno da ga usmjeri kuda treba ići. On je, iako rastrgan, svjestan zla oko sebe i u sebi, i protiv toga se bori, no ta ga neprestana borba uvelike iscrpljuje te joj na kraju ne može uzvratiti. Ne može jer ne zna način, ne poznaje put. On ga traži, ali ga ne nalazi.

Nakon završetka predstave, stalno su mi se vraćala ista pitanja. Zašto baš odlazak na Krležinu predstavu? Zašto baš Gopoda Glemajevi kao obavezna lektira u srednjim školama? Zašto prikazivati one najniže grane na koje čovjek može pasti?  Zato što Glembajevi poznaju zakon ljudske naravi, oni se imaju potrebu opravdati te oprati ruke od svega. Povedeni vlastitom strašću, nagonima i željama ne prežu ni pred čim, ali to na kraju vodi i njihovom vlastitom samouništenju. No, možda se ipak vrijednost ovoga djela pronalazi u pitanjima koje sam si i ja osobno postavila nakon predstave. Pitanja o tome kako ipak ne posustati, pasti kao što se to dogodilo Leoneu? Kako se othrvati tim strastima za koje vidimo i znamo da nas ali i druge vode u propast? Osim tog pitanja njemu slijede i ona o čovjekovoj naravi, jesmo li doista toliko prepredeni, iskvareni i prolazni, što se na kraju pitaju župan Fabriczy i liječnik Altmann. Na kraju, iako u ovom djelu ne doživljavamo svjetlo na kraju tunela, postajemo svjesni kako imamo izbor. Izbor koji nas dovodi do onoga što jesmo. Možemo doista biti mutni poput Leonea, crni poput Ignjata ili ipak nešto puno svjetlije i bolje od obojice, unatoč tome što  taj lik u ovoj predstavi ne nalazimo.

Napisala Martina Papić, Svjetski savez mladih Hrvatska.

 

The auditorium is full. ‘The Gents Glembays’, one of the greatest classics of Croatian literature of the 20th century are being portrayed, and the auditorium is expecting it with many doubts and suspense. Croatian National Theatre is occupied by high school students and their professors, which is quite a beautiful sight considering young people shrinking from any cultural events. In front of us there is a simple, yet luxuriously decorated lounge with dimed lights. While the humming diminishes, one of most famous works of the Croatian writer and encyclopedist, Miroslav Krleža, takes place before our eyes.

‘Everything in ourselves is vague my dear Beatrice, incredibly vague’. These are the words Leone Glembay, a son of a banker Ignjat Glembay and the main character, uses to start the play’s dialogue. This sentence indicates nearly the entire course of the play, which is deceitful, sarcastic and  tragic. As we are entering the world of Glembay family, we find ourselves on a late summer night, one year before World War One, on the 70th anniversary of the Glembay Ltd company. Since the very beginning of the play, Leone, a middle-aged painter who returns to the family home after 11 years of absence, stands in contrast to other characters in the play. He enters in the conflict with everyone except a Dominican nun, Beatrice. While watching him, the spectator mostly feels compassion with this character, who is the only one that sees the hypocrisy and crime in their real light. He panders no one and depends on no one. Sister Beatrice, the widow of his brother John, loses her brightness from the very beginning by allowing Leone’s courtship. The characters living in Glembay residence are gray or completely dark. We can see them through a prism of dishonest pandering, fight for power and personal interest. Personal benefit, which pervades all relations, causes loss of any trace of friendship or hardiness, true love, as well as other higher ideals.

barunica-i-leone

It is almost as if the time describes the essence of the play. The play is set in the evening between the first and fifth hour, and day break is not coming, as well as the hope for the play’s characters. A mesh of horrible murders, deceits and immorality are upon the Glembay family since their ancestor committed murder and built a chapel instead of repenting. From that moment vile blood flows through the veins of Glembay family. Recent events connected to Ignjats second wife, Baroness Castelli, only continue this bad tradition. We discover, from the newspaper reports, that she ran over old lady Rupert, but was found innocent. After this event, the whole family was submitted to public judgment. Old lady’s daughter, Franka, came to beg the baroness for compensation in a form of a sewing machine so that she could provide for her family. The baroness rejects her in cold blood and Franka throws herself and her unborn baby from the window of their house. Twisting this event in Glembays benefit and their constant rejection of facing their blame for this accidents cause a great turmoil in Leone. While revealing all the disturbing details of family immorality visible in crime, adultery, and suspicious murders, Leone uncovers the deviant nature of Baroness Castelli in its worst proportions.

While listening and watching the dialogue of the characters it becomes obvious that the aspiration for excellence and respect for human dignity, as well as living universal human values is only a facade, something to show to the world, but underneath there is a ruin.

beatrice-i-njena-slika

Watching the play develop, we grow the consciousness that all this should not conquer us, that we do not approve this kind of behavior and we fence ourselves from this view of the world. Our flabbergast is excellently portrayed in the character of Leone Glembay, who rejects this concept of life, where there is only fiction. Leone does not think of a person only as a means to an end, which we see in his act of buying a sewing machine to Franka Canjeg, although he did not know her or had any benefit from it. Many of his actions are in contrast with this and we cannot justify them but they show his humanness and fallibility. As a contrast are many his other actions, which we cannot justify, but in them is his humanity and errors. As individuals, we could silently support this brave hero, who seems to be wrestling invisible forces, which awaken the worst in us. His struggle is most obvious in the first sentence: ‘Everything in ourselves is vague.’ For him it really is. That what is noble and that what is foul interweaves in him and in the end it truly becomes vague, blurry, not clear enough to guide him the right way. Although torn apart, he is aware of the evil around him and the one inside him so he fights it, but the constant struggle wears him out and in the end, he cannot fight back anymore. He cannot, for he does not know how he does not know the way. He seeks for it but does not find it.

After the end of the play, the same questions kept coming to me. Why going to a play by Krleža? Why are ‘The Gents Glembays’ obligatory literature in high schools? Why show the lowest a person can fall? Glembays know the law of human nature, so they have a need to justify and wash their hands of everything. Lead by personal passion urges and wishes they do not refrain from anything, but at the end that leads to their self-destruction. Maybe the value of this play is in the questions which arose in me after the play. Questions about how not to fall in the way Leone fell? How to fight passions, which we can see are leading us and others to doom? Except that, there are questions about human nature, are we really that cunning, corrupt, and transient, which is the question of Fabriczy and Altmann. At the and, although in this play we do not see a light at the end of the tunnel, we become aware that we do have a choice. A choice which leads us to what we are. We can be vague as Leone, dark as Ignjat or something much brighter and better than both, despite the fact we do not meet such character in the play.

Written by Martina Papić, a member of the WYA Croatia Chapter.