By Jean Echenoz
5 Frenchmen burst off to struggle, of them forsaking a definite younger girl who longs for his or her go back. however the major personality in 1914 is the nice struggle 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 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 bargains us an intimate epic with the ambience of a vintage motion picture: within the landscape of a transparent blue sky, a biplane spirals all of sudden 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 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 fantastically crafted story that Echenoz tells with discretion, precision, and love.
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Additional info for 1914 (UK Edition)
Robbie didn’t like the British, on account of their being too-forceful trade competitors, and their military men very stiff and stand-offish; but he agreed with Lanny’s remark that it was the British fleet which would help to keep the Nazis away from Long Island Sound. Lanny argued that in the event of war in Europe involving Britain, Robbie wouldn’t have to worry, because it would mean that the American government would have to start buying planes for its own protection, and the Budd-Erling plant would be kept busy to capacity.
Bring them to tea tomorrow,” said the duchess. She knew that she shouldn’t have been, for, after all, any American is as good as any king, to say nothing of an ex-king, or a duchess who had hoped to be a queen and missed it by—who could say how closely? But Lizbeth knew quite well the first questions everybody at home would ask her—whether she had met “Wally,” and what was she like and what did she say and what did she wear and what did she have that they didn’t have, excepting the duke. He had attached himself to them, housed them, fed them, financed them; he had a château here in the Midi, and a villa on the Obersalzberg, and a shooting box in Scotland, all of which were always crowded with his Fascist friends.
He could hear Lizbeth saying, as he had heard Irma: “What right did you have to lie to me? ” Thinking such thoughts, Lanny would become reserved—and at the same time aware that this aloofness might only be making him more attractive. XI Hospitality such as the Holdenhursts had enjoyed had to be returned, and so the father planned an excursion. The first warm and calm day, Lanny would bring his mother and her husband, and Sophie would bring her husband and Emily to the yacht at about eleven in the morning, and they would proceed eastward along the coast, having lunch on board; they would go ashore at Monte Carlo, visit the casino and try their luck at gambling, maybe dance for a while or attend a picture show, dine at Ciro’s, most swanky, and then come home in the evening.