By Jean Echenoz
5 Frenchmen burst off to warfare, of them forsaking a definite younger girl who longs for his or her go back. however the major personality in 1914 is the nice warfare itself. Jean Echenoz, the multi–award–winning French literary magician whose paintings has been in comparison to Joseph Conrad and Lawrence Sterne, has introduced that deathtrap again to existence, top us lightly from a balmy summer season day deep into the insatiable—and nonetheless unthinkable—carnage of trench warfare.
With the delicacy of a miniaturist and with irony either witty and clear–eyed, the writer deals us an intimate epic with the ambience of a vintage motion picture: within the landscape of a transparent blue sky, a biplane spirals without notice into the floor; a tardy piece of shrapnel shears the pinnacle off a man's head as though it have been a soft–boiled egg; we dawdle dreamily in a spring–scented clearing with a lonely shell–shocked soldier jogging innocently to a firing squad able to shoot him for desertion.
But finally, the grace notes of humanity in 1914 upward push above the terrors of battle during this superbly crafted story that Echenoz tells with discretion, precision, and love.
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Extra resources for 1914 (UK Edition)
He tilted his head toward the supply wagon. “The cook. ” SAMANTHA AND THE COWBOY 43 He shrugged. “They just do. ” She untied the burlap sack from around the saddle horn and cautiously approached the man who was now tying things into place at the wagon. “My supplies,” she offered. Such as they were. He harrumphed, took them, and stuffed her bag in a corner in the back of the wagon. “Appreciate it,” she told him. He grumbled something about “wet behind the ears” before turning away. Sam returned to her horse and pulled herself into the saddle.
That answer seemed to irritate Matthew even more. SAMANTHA AND THE COWBOY 41 The last thing Sam wanted was to cause hardship for the one who’d helped her. ” Jake looked at her as though she was too ignorant to know not to question his orders. “No,” he said in a voice that vibrated with warning. ” “Yes, sir,” she replied meekly. She’d run the farm for so long that she’d almost forgotten what it felt like not to be the one in charge. He looked at Matt. ” Jake turned his attention to Sam. “Cookie can store your gear in the supply wagon.
Although, truth be told, he figured he’d become a man at fourteen, when he’d marched into his first battle beating a drum to signal out the commanding officer’s orders. The roaring cannons and mortars had caused the ground to reverberate beneath his feet. He’d clutched the sticks he used to beat the drum so tightly that his knuckles had turned white. He thought he might have even cried the first time with the hail of bullets and the wailing of men surrounding him. But there had been so much black smoke swirling around and dirt flying that if he had cried, no one had 26 A N AV O N T R U E R O M A N C E noticed.
1914 (UK Edition) by Jean Echenoz