Fuck the war

(Some day soon, after illness, overemployment, and Texas’ three weeks a year of beautiful weather have faded, I’ll get around to typing something, but for now, a couple of paragraphs from Gravity’s Rainbow, which I’m reading now.)

And past the exhaustion with it there is also this. If they have not quite seceded from war’s state, at least they’ve found the beginnings of gentle withdrawal . . . there’s never been the space or time to talk about it, and perhaps the need — but both know, clearly, it’s better together, snuggled in, than back out in the paper, fires, khaki, steel of the Home Front. That, indeed, the Home Front is something of a fiction and lie, designed, not too subtly, to draw them apart, to subvert love in favor of work, abstraction, required pain, bitter death.

They have found a house in the stay-away zone, under the barrage balloons south of London. The town, evacuated in ’40, is still “regulated” — still on the Ministry’s list. Roger and Jessica occupy the place illegally, in a defiance they can never measure unless they’re caught. Jessica has brought an old doll, seashells, her auth’s grip filled with lace knickers and silk stockings. Roger’s managed to scare up a few chickens to nest in the empty garage. Whenever they meet here, one always remembers to bring a fresh flower or two. The nights are filled with explosion and motor transport, and wind that brings them up over the downs a last smack of the sea. Day begins with a hot cup and a cigarette over a little table with a weak leg that Roger has repaired, provisionally, with brown tine. There’s never much talk but touches and looks, smiles together, curses for parting. It is marginal, hungry, chilly — most times they’re too paranoid to risk a fire — but it’s something they want to keep, so much that to keep it, they will take on more than propaganda has ever asked them for. They are in love. Fuck the war.

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4 thoughts on “Fuck the war

  1. Yes. I’m only a third of the way through, but it’s really phenomenal. I’m glad my only other attempt to read it, 15 years ago, was unsuccessful, as I’m getting a lot more now that I would have then. I hope to post a bit more about it soon.

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