Monday, 17 August 2015
Literary Accounts Of War
"One imaginative moment seems now to matter more than the realities that followed. It was the first bullet I heard - so far from me that it 'whined' like a journalist's or a peacetime poet's bullet. At that moment there was something not exactly like fear, much less like indifference: a little quavering signal that said, 'This is War. This is what Homer wrote about.'"
-CS Lewis, Surprised By Joy (London, 1964), pp. 157-158)
And in the Hindu epic, the Mahabharata, Krishna teaches Arjuna in a chariot between two armies before the slaughter begins.
In Poul Anderson's The People Of The Wind and Ensign Flandry, I thoroughly enjoyed the accounts of battles in space. Now that I am reading Marching Through Georgia by SM Stirling, it is enjoyable to read about Draka forces attacking Germans though not about the Draka napalming noncombatants and shooting prisoners. However, we are not being asked to approve of the latter. We are simply learning what the Draka are like.
We, or at least I, also hope that such large scale slaughter and destruction can be prevented from recurring in future.