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Showing posts from September 13, 2016

Ernest Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn - World War II

On August 25th 1944, Martha Gellhorn was sitting on a beach overlooking the Adriatic reading D.H. Lawrence's Women In Love, drinking rum and watching a young Allied airman float down to Earth (dead or alive she did not know) hanging from the very life tentacles of his parachute. She wondered how many more young men must die before this bloody war was over.

As Martha flicked over the page, unable to concentrate as the airman came ever closer to earth, she came across this passage:
“ Whatever life might be, it could not take away death, the inhuman transcendent death. Oh, let us ask no question of it, what it is or is not. To know is human, and in death we do not know, we are not human. And the joy of this compensates for all the bitterness of knowledge and the sordidness of our humanity. In death we shall not be human, and we shall not know. The promise of this is our heritage, we look forward like heirs to their majority.”
Martha was struck dumb by this passage, by the very correctne…