Ian McEwan’s ‘Atonement’ and Post-Apocalyptic Literature

There comes a moment, as the reader moves through Part Two of Ian McEwan‘s Atonement, of sensing something familiar and  recognizable, a deja-vu of sorts, in the sparse yet rich, brutal, unsparing descriptions of physical and moral catastrophe on the long, hot, bloodstained road of retreat to Dunkirk. They are all here: the dead–animal andContinue reading “Ian McEwan’s ‘Atonement’ and Post-Apocalyptic Literature”

War is Hell – I: The Battlefield as Open Toilet

The smell of the battlefield is, quite often, a recurrent theme in the ‘war is hell‘ school of military writing. As the dead decay, slowly putrefying in the open, their remain are worked on by maggots and flies and slowly leach into the ground beneath them. The malodorous miasma that results from these corpses hangsContinue reading “War is Hell – I: The Battlefield as Open Toilet”