No Romancer


The Guardian profiles Paul Fussell, one of the best writers to tackle the topic of warfare.

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  1. no more tacitus for you! (i gotta retire that joke)

    seriously, i see this sort of argument erupt hither and yon from certain very interesting but odd folk about decadence. there are some great verbal turns here and there… “populist anticulture” is rhythmically enticing…but really…huh?

  2. Gaius,
    What are YOU MAUNDERING ON ABOUT? I take it you are Mak_Nas in another avatar or his brother.

    I’ve read a lot of Fussell. His best work is “The Great War and Modern Memory.” “Wartime” simply did not rise to the level of excellence that was the “Great War.” The poetry in the “Great War and Modern Memory” is simply stunning! “Matinee” and “When A Beau Goes In” are the two best. Never anything so dark and wonderful has crossed my eyes.
    However, his most annoying work is the “Boys Crusade.” A friend bought it for me and I read it in a night. Fussell wants to denigrate the wartime experience, in that work and in his appearances it seems. Yet, when one reads the “Boys Crusade” one is confronted with the undeniable truth, they were “boys” and the were in a CRUSADE. Fussell’s writing demonstrates it! He ends with a discussion of the camps and the Nazi’s and for all his attempts to demythologize the war he can’t. He and his cohorts saved the West from Barbarism. Just as his successors saved the West from the Communist Barbarians.
    And however he and his fans, here, may not like that. The truth is obvious. I’m not sure what Fussell’s problem is? Certainly war is not “Bang-Bang, Lay down you’re dead” nor is it “Sergeant Fury and the Howling Commandos,” but thoughtful people already KNEW this. No one thinks that the Hurtgen Forest or the Battle of the Bulge was fun, but Fussell seems determined to denigrate the valour and the necessity of them. In his own work he fails.
    Fussell is a complex/conflicted man, who has written one great work. He is one of my literary heroes. But heroes can be wrong and still be heroes.

  3. a very great interpreter. imo, men like him and barzun are electrifying testimony to the massive damage wrought on our society in the last hundred years — the flight of the west from its greatest achievements, the mad nihilistic descent into absurdist decadence and the populist anticulture.

  4. Well, it’s true Kevrob, Sergeant Rock was grittier, if I remember correctly. I liked them more.

  5. Fussell does, indeed, rock.

    I love Stan and Jack, and the Howlers were fun, but Kanigher and Kubert (and Russ Heath) kicked there butts with Sgt. Rock.

    I believe that “Marius” is, consciously or not, mimicking Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn. He, in his own way, also rocked. Check out his Four Liberalisms. @


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