While Fussell wrote on a wide variety of subjects over his long life—ranging from Augustan humanism, Samuel Johnson, and Kingsley Amis to the 2nd Amendment, the Indianapolis 500, and travel in between-the-wars Europe—war, the irony of war, the suffering and lunacy and permanent damage of war, the unfairness of war, lay at the heart of his writing and of his being.
Their prose often stood head and shoulders above the standard freshman drivel, exhibiting a certain rigor of thought and depth of feeling that perhaps comes from having witnessed whole anthologies of trauma—entire villages razed by fire, wide-eyed children draped in gore, wives screaming beside mutilated husbands.
I want to apologize for walking in
When the dog was licking
Your bald head as you lay
On the couch drinking rum
Straight from the bottle…
Some men are very nearly monsters, capable of killing without compunction or remorse. In the everyday civilian world, we generally seek to lock them up. In war, they have a chance to fully flower.
However great my distaste for President Trump, I support his administration’s efforts to extricate the United States from Afghanistan….Prolonging this folly any longer does not serve U.S. interests. Rule number one of statecraft ought to be: when you’re doing something really stupid, stop.
When he called for help,
they put him on hold
longer than he could stand
and he broke
the phone in half.
It is autumn. There are not many of the old hands left. I am the last of the seven fellows from our class. Everyone talks of peace and armistice. All … Continue reading
Here’s a little war story I never told anyone. Not a horror story or a trauma story. It’s just a story I never told anyone. So a little background. Vietnam. … Continue reading
Survivors discover surprising benefits in the process of healing from a traumatic event. When Army surgeon Rhonda Cornum regained consciousness after her helicopter crashed, she looked up to see five … Continue reading