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On War and Writing by Samuel Hynes

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October 2018, no. 405

On War and Writing by Samuel Hynes

University of Chicago Press (Footprint), $44.99 hb, 215 pp, 9780226468785

On War and Writing by Samuel Hynes

by
October 2018, no. 405

'Every man thinks meanly of himself for not having been a soldier.’ Samuel Johnson’s aphorism was commended to me many years ago by Peter Ryan, then the long-serving publisher at Melbourne University Press. The author of a superb personal account of his war experience in New Guinea, Fear Drive My Feet (1959), Ryan had just read a manuscript I had submitted to MUP. It was a critical and possibly excessively sarcastic account of the heroic theme in Australian war writing. My cynicism about the Anzac industry had a personal basis, Ryan seemed to be implying. Apparently I was driven by envy and self-loathing. Nevertheless, he published the manuscript, and in the book I shamelessly deployed the ever-quotable Johnson as an epigraph.

Robin Gerster reviews 'On War and Writing' by Samuel Hynes

On War and Writing

by Samuel Hynes

University of Chicago Press (Footprint), $44.99 hb, 215 pp, 9780226468785

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