Paul Fussell

The Lost Boys
The story of WWII deserters
June 10, 2013

A new book goes deep into the desertion of WWII soldiers.

Charles Darwin's Clumsy Prose and Paul Fussell's Legacy: Today's TNR Reader
June 12, 2012

Editor's Note: We'll be running the article recommendations of our friends at TNR Reader each afternoon on The Plank, just in time to print out or save for your commute home. Enjoy! Darwin's work was compassionate, humble, and full of his excitement for the world. But could he actually write an English sentence? Times Literary Supplement | 5 min (1, 258 words) The year is 1863. You are a newly liberated slave.

War’s Laureate
June 08, 2012

THE DEFINING MOMENT in Paul Fussell’s long life (1924–2012) occurred on March 15, 1945, in eastern France when shrapnel from a German shell tore into the young lieutenant’s back and thigh. Next to him, his platoon sergeant, Edward Hudson, was killed. Thirty years later, in 1975, Fussell published The Great War and Modern Memory, a defining moment in his career as a writer and critic and in our understanding of the place of war in modern society and consciousness.

PTSD And The Good War
May 28, 2012

The National Film Preservation Foundation recently restored Let There Be Light, a 1946 documentary by John Huston (narrated by his father, the actor Walter Huston) about psychologically damaged veterans of World War II being treated at an Army hospital in Long Island. The film was suppressed for 34 years, ostensibly for the same sort of privacy concerns cited in the 25-year suppression of Frederick Wiseman's 1967 documentary Titicut Follies, about a Massachusetts state prison for the criminally insane.

Fleeing Moment
June 17, 2009

About 400,000 people, many of them children, annually tour the battlegrounds of Ypres, near the French border in Western Belgium, the scene of some of history's most savage combat. Millions of troops fought here during World War I; more than 600,000 of them died.

Fighting Words
September 09, 2002

The Language of War: Literature and Culture in the U.S. From the Civil War Through World War II by James Dawes (Harvard University Press, 300 pp., $39.95) "The real war," Walt Whitman wrote soon after Appomattox, "will never get in the books." In "The Wound Dresser" and other poems, Whitman tried to transcribe his Civil War experience in a Washington hospital, where he tended the dismembered and the dying. But he sensed that there was something new about the carnage of modern war, something that resisted literary convention and ultimately language itself. He was not alone.