A Rumor Of War Essays

The essential thing was to avoid egocentricity; my story could not be mine alone; it had to reflect every fighting man’s story.

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Heller himself flew mostly routine missions as a bombardier in WWII.

He’d hardly been shot at, and believed that if he’d been in the thick of it, he might have been unable to write the ten books that followed I’m a journalist as well as a novelist who has seen the red-eyed devil from almost every angle—as a participant, an observer, and a casualty.

A part of me, and no small part, either, had proven vulnerable to the lurid excitement of violence.

Jumping into a hot landing zone, leading my platoon under fire produced an intoxication no drug could match.

He remarked that many of the writers we associate with the war novel were not in action for very long.

Hemingway, for example, served on the Italian front in WWI for a mere 12 days.

Some drill down and discover that they don’t have any. ”is simply a story about war, about the things men do in war and the things war does to them.” To expand on that thought a bit—the things men do in war is often a measure of the things it has done to them I began the book in the spring of 1967 in the bachelor officer’s quarters at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and finished it in a cabin in Pine Creek, Montana, in the fall of 1976. Anger and fear—for a long time, I couldn’t sleep without a loaded gun at my bedside.

Guilt—I was almost court-martialed after my platoon killed two Vietnamese civilians mistaken for Viet Cong.

It was winter, and for days, lost in a strange land, Eduardo had been wandering through mountains with nothing to eat and nothing to drink except what he could scoop from puddles of melted snow.

I’ve been frequently asked if I think it’s good for a writer to have been to war.


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