Thursday, November 18, 2004

Boys and their toys

My much promised discussion on Thomas' history of the Spanish civil war will have to wait.

I spent my Sunday - I had a proper Sunday for one doing bugger all - re-reading:
Slaughterhouse 5 / Kurt Vonnegut
It was a rollercoaster ride of emotion - being in the hands of Vonnegut's writing is like being pleasured by a world-class courtesan - or a professional torturer (it did occur to me that at some bizarre point the two professionsconverge - expertise in stimulating and sustaining sensation, but to diametrical effect).

The story of a small town American taken prisoner of war, and being present to witness the firebombing of Dresden and it's aftermath is told in sparse - unsparing even - prose, using the device of science fiction and time travel to unfurl the plot.

The most effective scene is when the pruported narrator goes to visit his old comrade in arms to discuss their experiences of the war, and his wife explodes with anger and tears: "You were just children".

Just children.

So it goes.


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