Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"An account mostly false..."

Thoughts on Bierce/CivilWar

An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.

""One need only attempt to construct a narrative of a battle action to see what Bierce already knew. After-action reports, letters from the field, newspaper reports – accounts usually framed in the immediate aftermath of battles – were in themselves at best fragmentary, unreliable when it came to reporting events outside the direct observation of the writer, and open to question even when the author claimed to have witnessed what he reported. Distortions and rationalizations multiplied in the weeks after the battle, with a few participants demonstrating an unusual inventiveness in telling their stories. That process became even more evident in the decades after the war, when participants continued to clash with each other over who did what, what happened, and how it happened. They did so in autobiographies, interviews, articles, after-dinner speeches, and in the pages of several journals, notably Century Magazine, which between 1884 and 1887 published numerous pieces by various participants in what became known as the “Century War Series.” Many of the pieces were later published in the four-volume Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.""

You don't know jack about the....Chickamauga of the Mind, rube.

Ambrose Bierce

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