Monday, March 20, 2006

Three years in Iraq

Reviewing a book for the Virginia Woolf Miscellany puts me in mind of an entry in Woolf's diary of Aug. 27, 1918:

Now I confess that I have half forgotten what I meant to say about the German prisoners; Milton & life. I think it was that ? all I can remember now (Friday, Aug. 30th) is that the existence of life in another human being is as difficult to realise as a play of Shakespeare when the book is shut. This occurred to me when I saw Adrian talking to the tall German prisoner. By rights they should have been killing each other. The reason why it is easy to kill another person must be that one’s imagination is too sluggish to conceive what his life means to him--the infinite possibilities of a succession of days which are furled in him, & have already been spent. However, I forget how this was to go on . . .

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