Saturday, January 16, 2016

Limited Contingent

From Svetlana Alexievich, Zinky Boys: Soviet Voices from the Afghanistan War (not sure why I have just spent a beautiful afternoon at a tropical island beach hotel lying in bed in air-conditioning reading an incredibly grim book - but it is a very good book!):
Sometimes I want to write down everything I saw. Like, in hospital, the lad who'd lost his arms, his legs and his mate. I remember sitting on his bed writing a letter for him to his mother. Or the little Afghan girl who pinched a sweet from a Soviet soldier and had both her hands hacked off by her own people. I'd like to write it all down exactly as it was and without any comments. If it rained I'd say it rained, just that, without a lot of talk about whether it was a good or bad thing that it was raining.

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