Monday, November 23, 2009

The Naked and the Dead (9).

Norman Mailer. New York: The New American Library: A Signet Book. 1948.

Why read it? The thoughts of the enlisted man before and during the fighting. The antagonism of the enlisted man for the officer. The thoughts of the General who had complete power over the men under his control. The General, who finally suspected that he had had nothing to do with the victory.


“He was unhappy because he felt continually betrayed.” p. 349.

“Like the others, Red was wondering if this patrol would be the one where his luck ran out.” p. 349.

“Croft always despised a platoon leader who made efforts to have his men like him…goddam platoon’ll go to hell, he told himself.” p. 355.

Martinez had the suppressed malice, the contempt, and the anxiety of a servant who knows he is superior to his master.” p. 360.

“…but personally I think a Jew is a Jew, because he suffers.” p. 376.

“We [the Jews] have suffered so much that we know how to endure.” p. 376.

Red: “Listen, boy, forget about it, you ain’t gonna get out of the Army, aint’ any of us gonna get out.” p. 389.

“About them the hills shimmered in the noon heat, and a boundless nodding silence had settled over everything…whirring of the insects was steady and not unpleasant…it brewed vague warm images of farm lands in summer heat, quiet and bountiful, stirring only in the fragile traceries a butterfly might make against the sky…drifted through a train of memories, idly, as if they were sauntering down a country road, seeing again the fertile roll of the fields, smelling in the musty damp germination of the earth after the rain, the ancient redolent odors of plowed land and sweating horses.” p. 393.

“…but all these discomforts were minor, almost unnoticed in the leaden stupor of marching….” p. 393.

“…the anesthesia of exhaustion.”

To be continued.

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