By Jean Echenoz
5 Frenchmen burst off to struggle, of them abandoning a undeniable younger lady who longs for his or her go back. however the major personality in 1914 is the good battle 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, major us lightly from a balmy summer time 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 by surprise into the floor; a tardy piece of shrapnel shears the head 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 walking innocently to a firing squad able to shoot him for desertion.
But eventually, the grace notes of humanity in 1914 upward thrust above the terrors of conflict during this fantastically crafted story that Echenoz tells with discretion, precision, and love.
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Extra resources for 1914 (UK Edition)
Ruth Hall, this is Michael Chase. ” “Nice to meet you, Ruth,” Michael said. Still Ruth said nothing, just kept staring. You’d think she’d never seen a guy speak to her best friend before. Since he was getting no response from Ruth, Michael turned back to me and continued where he left off. “Anyway, Ellie, I know it’s early in the week, but I wanted to ask if you were free this Saturday night. ” I shot a glance at Ruth, whose mouth had literally dropped open. We had talked about going to see the new Odeon release ourselves, this upcoming Saturday night.
No. Well, I don’t go on dates—” I turned bright red at my unintentional confession. “What I mean is I don’t have to ‘report in’ or anything—” He laughed. “I’m only kidding, Ellie. ” “A ride? ” “Of course. ” I nodded happily. Michael was quiet as he helped me into his parents’ navy Prius and headed toward my house. I wondered if I’d done or said something wrong, and tried to fill the void with chatter. But Michael seemed perfectly content driving in near-silence, with one hand on the wheel and the other nearly touching mine.
Disentangling myself from my sheets, I slid off the bed and padded over to my dresser, where I’d laid out my clothes for the day. I shivered; I could actually see my breath in the air. Why was it so cold? I looked around the room and saw that my window was ajar. Just a crack, but enough to let in the chilliness of the Maine autumn morning. I didn’t remember opening it before I went to bed. Odd, but I could be a bit absentminded at times. I closed the window, gathered up my clothes, and headed down the short hallway to my bathroom.