In My Opinion: An Inquiry into the Contemporary Novel

By Orville Prescott | Go to book overview

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NOVELISTS AND WAR:
Hersey, Michener, Mailer, Jones, Baron, Wouk

"I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have never fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation."

-- William Tecumseh Sherman

Nearly seven years ago when peace broke out and the first scattered bits of paper began to flutter lazily in the air over Wall Street I was standing in Trinity Churchyard looking at the gravestone of a captain who had fought in the Revolutionary War. Like the soldiers in Europe, whose victory was at last won, he too had fought for liberty and honor and what he believed to be right. A few minutes later when my errand took me into an office high in the air above the rapidly filling street, all the stenographers and filing clerks save one were hanging out the windows emptying wastepaper baskets with screams and laughter.

An executive of the firm noticed the lone girl sitting at her typewriter. "You don't have to work any more," he said. "Go and celebrate with the others."

"Thank you," she said. "I will later, but I'm praying now."

-146-

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