One Man's Meat

One Man's Meat

One Man's Meat

One Man's Meat

Excerpt

For about a year after the first edition of One Man's Meat was published in 1942, I continued to write a monthly piece for Harper's Magazine. Now the book is being re-issued to include this additional material, which follows in its natural sequence and which covers roughly the first year of our entrance into the war. I am grateful to my publishers for allowing me to do it this way, instead of insisting that I pad out the new material and publish it under a different title -- which would have been the more conventional way of going about it. It seemed to me that these extra pieces, winding up the journal, belonged here, not in some other book. Part of the foreword of the original edition also appears in this edition, in its proper chronological position -- April 1942.

One Man's Meat is, as the title suggests, a personal record. It is a collection of essays which I wrote from a salt water farm in Maine while engaged in trivial, peaceable pursuits, knowing all the time that the world hadn't arranged any true peace or granted anyone the privilege of indulging himself for long in trivialities. Although such a record is likely to seem incongruous, I see no harm in preserving it, the more so since I have begun to receive letters from soldiers overseas assuring me that there is a positive value to them in the memory of peace and of home.

Usually, when a man quits writing in his journal, it is either because things are happening to him that he doesn't want to commit to paper or because he has lost interest in life. I don't know which of these reasons applies in my case, but I rather think neither does. The war unquestionably had something to do with it. Over-age males are restless during a war. Being beyond gun range, they are eternally seeking a change in activity, in the . . .

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