Home > Uncategorized > Nathanael West: One live recruit is better than a dozen dead veterans

Nathanael West: One live recruit is better than a dozen dead veterans

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

American writers on peace and against war

Nathanael West: Selections on war

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Nathanael West
From Good Hunting (1938)

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FITZSIMMONS

We’ve been trying to take the Pepper Mill for months with that plan. We’ve held up the advance on the whole front. We’ve been hurled back again and again…routed…destroyed!

KILBRECHT

An attack is never entirely wasted. Experience under fire, you know, has moral value.

FRENIQUE

Marvelous training.

JARVIS

After all, we are turning a rabble of bookkeepers and farmers into an army of battle-tried soldiers.

FITZSIMMONS

What’s left of them.

FRENIQUE
(As though they should be glad)

They died for France!

FITZSIMMONS

Sure – only one live recruit is better than a dozen dead veterans.

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