Antiwar literary and philosophical selections

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Jules Romains: Selections on war

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Jules Romains
From Verdun: The Battle (1938)
Translated by Gerard Hopkins

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Since leaving the track they had originally taken for one solitary path after another, they had come across considerably less traffic. How odd it had been – when one could shake off one’s weariness enough to think over what had passed before one’s eyes – that movement of ghosts, many of them so much blood-stained baggage, across the snow, through the woods and valleys, under a diffused and ghostlike radiance; a veiled and waning moon, flickering will-o’-the-wisps, falling stars, and signs and portents in the heavens. A true setting this for processions in the darkness and crimes at dead of night, for secret plottings of a massacre, for the coming and going of wizards and witches on their way to some great meeting in…

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