Walk the Dark Streets, by William Krasner – 1949 [Unknown Artist]

walk-the-dark-streets-william-krasner-1950-1The Marne Hotel

The yellow fog was already creeping up around the Marne Hotel,
mingling with the white breath from the sewers,
carrying the faint, sweet, rotting scent off the Ohio River. 
It was not thick yet,
only a gentle curdling in the atmosphere,
but it laid damp greasy fingers on the crumbling granite,
on the pavement,
and on the windshield of the coupe
that Detective Captain Sam Birge of the Homicide Squad
was pulling to the curb across the street.

 

walk-the-dark-streets-william-krasner-1950-2He looked at his watch.  It was late now.
It was time to be on his way home.
Time to go home, to Edna, and to his son.
He got up.
Nobody called to him as he went through the outer office,
or through the brightly lit corridor.
No one was at the doors as he passed through.
It seemed to him, outside, that it should have been lighter there,
now that it was time for dawn.
But the fog was all around, a moving, blinding sheet,
and he could not see in any direction.
He lifted his eyes toward the sky.
Perhaps it was becoming lighter somewhere,
far above,
but there was not way to be sure.
He turned his collar up and stepped out into the dark street.

Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman -1980, 1987 [Christopher Zacharow]

life-and-fate-vasily-grossman-1985-1987-christopher-zacharow-newThe fate of many of them seemed so poignantly sad
that to speak of them in even the most tender, quiet, kind words
would have been like touching a heart torn open
with a rough and insensitive hand. 

It was really quite impossible to speak of them at all..

grossman109_edited-2But an invisible force was crushing him.
He could feel its weight, its hypnotic power;
it was forcing him to think as it wanted, to write as it dictated.
This force was inside him;
it could dissolve his will and cause his heart to stop beating;
it came between him and his family;
it insinuated itself into his past, into his childhood memories.
He began to feel that he really was untalented and boring,
someone who wore out the people around him with dull chatter.
Even his work seemed to have grown dull,
to be covered with a layer of dust;
the thought of it no longer filled him with light and joy.
Only people who have never felt such a force themselves
can be surprised that others submit to it.
Those who have felt it, on the other hand,
feel astonished that a man can rebel against it even for a moment
– with one sudden word of anger,
one timid gesture of protest.

The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy

the-moviegoer-walker-percy-1980-1982-gifThat is the way I got to know Mr. Kinsella:
engaging him in conversation about the theater business.
I have discovered that most people have no one to talk to,
no one, that is, who really wants to listen.
When it does at last dawn on a man
that you really want to hear about his business,
the look that comes over his face is something to see.

the-moviegoer-walker-percy-1980-1982-2-cover-art-editNo, I do it for my own selfish reasons.
If I did not talk to the theater owner or the ticket seller,
I should be lost, cut loose, metaphysically speaking.
I should be seeing one copy of a film
which might be shown anywhere at any time.
There is a danger of slipping clean out of space and time.
It is possible to become a ghost
and not know whether one is in
downtown Loews in Denver or surburban Bijou in Jacksonville.

 

Here Is Your War, by Ernie Pyle [Carol Johnson]

00 Here Is Your War - Ernie Plye - 1945 (Carol Johnson) 2(Forum Books Edition, 1945)

00 Here Is Your War - Ernie Pyle (1943) 1944 1(Pocket Books Edition, 1944 – front)

00 Here Is Your War - Ernie Pyle (1943) 1944 2

(Pocket Books Edition, 1944 – rear)

Here is Your War - 000 - Frontspiece 2

Frontspiece

Here is Your War - 003 (Convoy to Africa) 2

Convoy to Africa (3)

Here is Your War - 004 (Convoy to Africa - Soldiers Aboard Ship) 2Convoy to Africa (4)

Here is Your War - 008 (Convoy to Africa - Soldiers Aboard Ship) 2

Convoy to Africa (8)

Here is Your War - 011 (Convoy to Africa) 2

Convoy to Africa (11)

Here is Your War - 025 (The Americans Have Landed) 2

The Americans Have Landed (25)

Here is Your War - 031 (Not Too Dark Africa) 2

Not Too Dark Africa (31)

Here is Your War - 036 (Not Too Dark Africa - Arab Family) 2

Not Too Dark Africa (Arab Family) (36)

Here is Your War - 054 (On The Land - MPs) 2

On The Land (MPs) (54)

Here is Your War - 065 (The Medical Front - Dentist Major Vaiden Kendrick) 2

The Medical Front (Major Vaiden Kendrick, Dentist) (65)

Here is Your War - 080 (In The Air) 2

In The Air (B-25 Mitchell Bomber) (80)

Here is Your War - 089 (In The Air - Fighter Pilots) 2

In The Air (Fighter Pilots) (89)

Here is Your War - 100 (In The Air) 2

In The Air (B-25 Mitchell Bomber) (100)

Here is Your War - 109 (Sherman Had a Word For It) 2

Sherman Had a Word For It (109)

Here is Your War - 113 (Sherman Had a Word For It - Bartering with Arabs) 2

Sherman Had a Word For It (Bartering With Arabs) (113)

Here is Your War - 121 (Sherman Had a Word For It) 2

Sherman Had a Word For It (121)

Here is Your War - 125 (Bullets, Battles, and Retreat) 2

Bullets, Battles and Retreat (125)

Here is Your War - 140 (Bullets, Battles, and Retreat) 2

Bullets, Battles and Retreat (140)

Here is Your War - 150 (Sidelights - Corporal Lester Gray, Chicago) 2

Sidelights (Corporal Lester Gray, Chicago) (150)

Here is Your War - 159 (Desert Sortie - French Soldier) 2

Desert Sortie (French Soldier) (159)

Here is Your War - 173 (Roving Reporters) 2

Roving Reporters (173)

Here is Your War - 177 (Roving Reporters - Sleeping Accomodations) 2

Roving Reporters (Sleeping Accommodations) (177)

Here is Your War - 183 (The End in Sight - Tunisia) 2

The End in Sight (Tunisia) (183)

Here is Your War - 184 (The End in Sight - Tunisia) 2

The End in Sight (Tunisia) (184)

Here is Your War - 188 (The End in Sight - Tunisia - German Cemetery) 2

The End in Sight (Tunisia – German Cemetery) (184)

Here is Your War - 191 (The End in Sight - Fighter Pilots) 2

The End in Sight (Fighter Pilots) (191)

Here is Your War - 196 (The End in Sight) 2

The End in Sight (196)

Here is Your War - 202 (The Final Push) 2

The Final Push (202)

Here is Your War - 224 (Victory - German POW) 2

Victory (German POW) (224)

Here is Your War - 228 (Victory - Entering Ferryville) 2

Victory (Entering Ferryville) (228)

Here is Your War - 234 (Victory - Jeep at Airfield) 2

Victory (Jeep at Airfield) (234)

Here is Your War - 237 (Victory - Tunisia) 2

Victory (Tunisia) (237)

Here is Your War - 241 (Victory) 2

Victory (241)

 

Zotz!, by Walter Karig – 1947 [Walter Karig]

Thus is gained the power of the silent death that strikes without sound,
without wound,
by night,
by day.
First prayeth one in the language of the ancient ones thus:

Khatnoth takhath blecho.

Now draweth one the symbol of the female and upon it the symbol of the male,
the whole making the symbol of the unmoving star with is the home of Zotz…
Now cometh the letting of blood and the drinking of blood
and thereafter if ye would strike any living thing dead
thou hast but to point thy finger and call upon Zotz…

Z o t z!

zotz-walter-karig-1947_edited-1

zotz-walter-karig-11_edited-2 zotz-walter-karig-045_edited-2 zotz-walter-karig-75_edited-2 zotz-walter-karig-107_edited-2 zotz-walter-karig-141_edited-2 zotz-walter-karig-249_edited-2 zotz-walter-karig-207_edited-2 zotz-walter-karig-265_edited-2

 

Forever Flowing, by Vasily Grossman – (1970) 1986 [Christopher Zacharow]

There is nothing more difficult than to be a stepson of time;
there is no heavier fate than to live in an age that is not your own. 
Time loves only those it has given birth to itself:
its own children, its own heroes, its own labourers.
Never can it come to love the children of a past age,
and more than a woman can love the heroes of a past age,
or a stepmother love the children of another woman.

forever-flowing-vasily-grossman-1986-christopher-zacharowAnd so he asked: “I was right, wasn’t I?”
Lyudmilla shook her head.  Decades of intimacy can also divide people.
‘Lyuda,’ said Viktor humbly,
‘people who are in the right often don’t know how to behave. 
They lose their tempers and swear. 
They act tactlessly and intolerantly. 
Usually they get blamed for everything that goes wrong at home and at work. 
While those who are in the wrong, those who hurt others,
always know how to behave. 
They act calmly, logically and tactfully – and appear to be in the right.’

grossman-vasily-forever-flowing067_edited-2Why had his life been so hard?
He had not preached nor had he taught –
he had remained exactly what he had been from his birth:
a human being.
The slope of the mountain opened before him.
From behind the pass the peaks of the oak trees showed.
In his childhood, he had gone there into the forest twilight,
and searched out the remnants of the vanished life of the Circassians –
the fruit trees gone wild,
the traces of the fences around their obliterated houses.
Perhaps his own home was still standing there just as changelessly
as the streets and the stream seemed changeless.
Here was one more bend of the road.
For a moment, it seemed to him as if an impossibly bright light,
brighter than any he had ever seen in his life,
had flooded the earth.
A few steps more and in this light he would see that home,
and his mother would come out to meet him, her prodigal son,
and he would kneel down before her,
and her young and beautiful hands would lie upon his gray,
balding head.
He saw the thickets of thorns and hops.
There was nothing left of the house nor of the well –
only a few stones that shone white in the dusty grass,
burned by the sun.
He stood there – gray, bent, and changeless.

(1955-1963)

 

Hell in the Heavens, by Capt. John M. Foster, USMCR

Hell in the Heavens - John M Foster - 1961 - 1(Ace Giant Edition, 1961)

     While reading an old newspaper that afternoon, I heard a dull distant noise that sounded like a muffled explosion, but I didn’t pay any attention to it.

     “A plane went in – a plane went in,” someone yelled.

     I ran outside and jumped on the running board of a command car.  We drove down the taxi-strip toward the east.

     A tall column of black smoke funneled into the sky from fifty feet offshore.  We stopped and I stood on a coral boulder that provided a good view.

     “My hell” I exclaimed at the full scene.  Only fifty feet away a piece of metal showed above the water, burning with the flame of a gasoline and oil fire and sending the cloud of smoke skyward.  A propeller poked one of its blades above the surface of the burning water.  Farther out in the water and a few feet away, another part of an airplane was partly above the water.  There were five men pulling something out of the metal.

Hell in the Heavens - John M Foster - 1961 - Dedication_edited-2

(G.P. Putnam’s Sons Edition, 1961)

     They waded through chest-deep water with a body and carried it toward me.  It was the limp, still form of the pilot.  They carried him to within five feet of me.  I could see the face burned black, with its scorched remnants of a beard.  The white bones of the knuckles protruded from a blackened hand from which a glove had been partly burned off.  A steamy smell of charred hair and flesh came to me as they passed.

     The pilot was not dead when he was carried past me, amazing though it was that he could still be alive.  The doctors did all they could to maintain that spark of life and fan it into flame.  They injected adrenalin, administered oxygen and plasma.  Fifteen minutes later he died.

     The casualty list would rise by one tiny digit in the KILLED IN ACTION column.  In a few days his next of kin would receive a telegram informing them of that fact.  They would cry and feel very bad.  The neighbors would try to console them.  A funeral would be held with praying and singing and sentiments expressed – perhaps by someone who had never known him.

Hell in the Heavens - John M Foster - 1961 - 4(G.P. Putnam’s Sons Edition, Back Cover, 1961)

     A few lives would feel empty, as they had while he was away at college and out in the Pacific, fighting.  The father and mother and the sisters and the brothers would always remember him and regret that he had to die so young.  The sweetheart would be brokenhearted and hysterical.

     Time would pass and the family again would laugh at jokes and enjoy the dancing, the theatres and their fellow men; the sweetheart would find that someone else could matter.  She would marry, have children, and soon but faint remembrances of the pilot who died so young, so long ago, would remain.

     Very quickly in the lives of mankind all is forgotten.  All that remains is the record – DIED IN ACTION.

We Are of Clay, by 2 Lieut. Charles J. “Chick” Rainear [James C. McKell]

we-are-of-clay-charles-j-rainear-0(Portrait)

“They would not find me changed

from him they knew

Only more sure of all I thought was true.

– From Robert Frost

 

* * * * * * * * *

We Are of Clay - Charles J Rainear 1_edited-1

(Frontspiece)

My life is at variance with my thoughts

Unsubdued by nature, yet struggling to get free.

All the world is verily a stage to me

I cannot turn but look, and then I’m caught.

* * * * * * * * *

We Are of Clay - Charles J Rainear 2L’Envoi

If you have courage, I have too,

And your strong mind I’ll lean upon

When the going’s rough –

You may be the many and I the few,

But faith in one’s enough.

 

The Bridge of San Luis Rey, by Thornton Wilder [Mary Drevenstedt]

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 00 1 Thornton Wilder - 1967The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Washington Square Press Edition, 1967

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 00 0 - Thornton Wilder - 1927 (Amy Drevenstedt)The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Grosset & Dunlap, First Edition, 1927

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 01 - Frontspiece (Drevenstedt)(Frontspiece)

From all this saddening data

Brother Juniper contrived an index for each peasant.

He added up the total for victims

and compared it with the total for survivors,

to discover that the dead were five times more worth saving.

 

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 37 - Marquesa de Montemayor (Drevenstedt)Marquesa de Montemayor (37)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 65 - Marquesa de Montemayor (Drevenstedt)Marquesa de Montemayor (65)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 77 - Marquesa de Montemayor (Drevenstedt)Marquesa de Montemayor (77)

It looked almost as though the pestilence had been directed

against the really valuable people in the village of Puerto.

 

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 86 - Marquesa de Montemayor (Drevenstedt)Marquesa de Montemayor (86)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 91 - Esteban (Drevenstedt)Esteban (91)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 113 - Esteban (Drevenstedt)Esteban (113)

And on that afternoon

Brother Juniper took a walk along the edge of the Pacific.

He tore up his findings and cast them into the waves;

he gazed for an hour upon the great clouds of pearl

that hang forever upon the horizon of that sea,

and extracted from their beauty a resignation

that he did not permit his reason to examine.

 

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 149 - Uncle Pio (Drevenstedt)Uncle Pio (149)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 173 - Esteban (Drevenstedt)Esteban (173)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 205 - Uncle Pio (Drevenstedt)Uncle Pio (205)

The discrepancy between faith and the facts

is greater than is generally assumed.

 

The Bridge of San Luis Rey - 221 - Perhaps an Intention (Drevenstedt)Perhaps an Intention (221)