Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Here's a fantastic piece by former infantry officer Roman Skaskiw, on "Narrative and Memory at War." It's the last of a five-part New York Times series called "Retelling the War," in which veterans of the Afghanistan and/or Iraq wars reflect on recent war movies "The Hurt Locker" and "The Messenger," and on the larger topic of war and narrative. (Photo of Skaskiw is from the NYT website.)

Skaskiw's piece has special insight on the ways that life and life-story are intertwined. He cites a passage from a short story by Isaac Babel: "A well-thought-out story doesn't need to resemble real life.  Life itself with all its might tries to resemble a well-crafted story." He says that his own life has tried with all its might to resemble the story of a hero or a victim, regardless of what his own feelings and experience may be. I encourage you to read the whole piece. 

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