The Paper War: A Novel


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Other characters will engage your sympathy over time; you may be deeply surprised, by the end, by who you want to spend most time with. The book has the rhythm of life, and likability is not a steady, constant factor; sometimes Natasha is entrancing, sometimes a great bore.


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If you read it more than once, as almost everyone who reads it at all does, these responses may occur at quite different times. It understands, as James Buchan once wrote, that love is the circus hoop through which history is made to leap again and again. But romantic love is only one of the things that may interest the mind, and sometimes it does not interest the mind at all.

There are other subjects in the novel, too. The bits that interest you personally and the bits that you find of only abstract curiosity are going to change when you read the book at 20, and again at The book is the product of a very big mind, who lost interest in almost everything War and Peace was about before he died.

It is a living organism that is never quite the same as you remembered when you go back to it. Proust is twice the length.

On The Eve Of Obama’s Afghanistan Announcement, A Good War Novel – ThinkProgress

Nor is it at all difficult. Ha, ha — The Man Without Qualities is a challenge, and it took me 17 years to get to the end of Joseph and his Brothers. At the onset of the war he supported the Loyalist cause as the chairman of the Ambulance Committee for the Medical Bureau of the American Friends of Spanish Democracy and through his own personal contributions to buy ambulances, a form of support sanctioned by the U.

Having volunteered as an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I, Hemingway knew from firsthand experience the critical value of medical aid in wartime. In just under an hour, the masterful documentary attempts to show the reality of life amid the fighting in Spain. Hemingway wrote the script and narrated the film after Orson Welles declined.


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  4. He also promoted the film in the United States, speaking at fund-raising events for the Loyalist cause. His journalism makes tangible the devastating effects of war on people, but it has been criticized for its partisanship and for not presenting a balanced assessment of events. However, some recent scholarship has, in my opinion, mischaracterized his contribution, which was significant and sincere.

    A Novel About War With China Strikes a Chord at the Pentagon

    I beg to differ. The piece is full of anti-fascist opinion and thoughtfully argued assessments of military actions, which he supports with graphic details that bring the horrors of battle to life.

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    Readers may judge for themselves how close to the truth it is. Myths about Ernest Hemingway—the hard-living, hard-drinking, celebrity he-man—have proliferated almost to the same extent as his literary fame and have inevitably clouded opinions of his work, especially for those who have not read it or read it closely. To be sure, Hemingway appreciated the deep bonds forged in wartime among its fellow combatants, but he viewed war itself as a crime against humanity. He explained to F.

    It groups the maximum of material and speeds up the action and brings out all sorts of stuff that normally you have to wait a lifetime to get. Hemingway visited the front in Spain for the last time in November of When he returned he did not know he would soon begin work on his novel. He began it as a short story. His regimen was to begin writing at eight-thirty in the morning and continue until two or three in the afternoon, the same practice he had established with A Farewell to Arms.

    He frequently recorded the number of words he wrote each day, which ranged from about three hundred to over a thousand see Figure 7. Hemingway soon moved in with her and continued to work on the book there until late August By May 23, , he had completed pages of the manuscript, and by July 10, pages. Papa related to his sons Patrick and Gregory how lightning struck that July just before he had hung up the phone from speaking with their mother, Pauline, and sent him flying nearly ten feet across the living room, stiffening his arm and neck and taking away his voice for a long time.

    He joked with the boys then that it was lucky he had on dry shoes and was standing on a stone floor or it could have been the end of him and it would have been up to them to finish the novel. On Christmas Day he returned to the Finca alone and resigned himself to continue writing until the manuscript was done. By April 20, , he told Max Perkins that he had thirty-two chapters completed. That month he decided on a title. As he had done in the past, he turned to the Bible and Shakespeare for inspiration, and after considering some twenty-five possibilities he settled on The Undiscovered Country.

    But he was not completely satisfied with it. Persevering, he looked to the Oxford Book of English Verse where he found a quote from John Donne, which expressed the interconnectedness of humanity that matched the aspirations of his work. By the beginning of July he was working on the last chapter and contemplating how to end it.

    He considered having an epilogue, which he sent to Max Perkins, who describes it in some detail. However, he ultimately decided against it.

    On August 26 Hemingway wrote Perkins:. What would you think of ending the book as it ends now without the epilogue? I have written it and rewritten it and it is okay but it seems sort of like going back into the dressing room or following Catherine Barclay to the cemetery as I originally did in A Farewell to Arms and explaining what happened to Rinaldi and all.

    As those already familiar with Salter will know, it is the author's descriptive prose that is the seat of his talent. While Salter's fourth novel Light Years is rightly regarded as a beautifully descriptive novel, The Hunters is more than able to hold its own, "In June came ponderous heat and mornings like eggshells, pale and smooth. The novel that put Mailer on the literary map was based on the author's own experiences with the th Cavalry Regiment during the Philippines Campaign in WW2. Interestingly, such was the scope of Mailer's famed ego that he was planning to write the definitive war novel before he had even been deployed overseas.

    Upon his return Mailer knocked out the novel in fifteen weeks, and published it aged Speaking on the novel some years later Mailer declared, "Part of me thought it was possibly the greatest book written since War and Peace. The plot follows a British journalist in his fifties Fowler who is in love with a local Vietnamese girl and is afraid of losing her to a young CIA agent named Pyle. The love affair is a metaphor to explore foreign policy and the secondary agendas of occupying forces, a number of original reviews form American publications took offence at Greene's supposed slights on America, "What will annoy Americans most in this book is the easy way Fowler is permitted to triumph in his debates with the Americans.

    When we think about contemporary war books, literary fiction is often not what comes to mind. Gulf War fiction mainly bears the names of ex-SAS soldiers in big letters over a huge explosion on the cover. The Yellow Birds is different. O'Brien began a successful career as an author.

    Psychological trauma and obsession, fantasy and humour combine to form what may be O'Brien's most underrated novel, despite its U. National Book Award For Fiction win. News Style Culture Subscribe Newsletter. Type keyword s to search.

    The Eve of the War

    Advertisement - Continue Reading Below. Slaughterhouse Five — Kurt Vonnegut. Birdsong — Sebastian Faulks. Catch 22 — Joseph Heller.

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