Strange Meeting (book)

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Strange Meeting (1971) is a novel by Susan Hill about the First World War. The title of the book is taken from a poem by the First World War poet Wilfred Owen.

Part I

  • “He thought I want to go back for there was nothing for him here”
  • “Then he thought that he could hear the thudding of the guns. But there were so many noises now, imagined or remembered”
  • “He tried not to count over all the possible ways in which, after tomorrow, he was going to die”
  • “She was like the others. Understood nothing”
  • “He knew that when he left here, he would not be able to believe that it would all continue to exist”
  • “…pieces of a past belonging to some stranger”
  • “There is no one that knows. Don’t go”
  • “He thought, we need him, he has something that none of us have”
  • “He was almost beside himself in a rush of dread on Barton’s behalf”

Part II

  • “Had seen that Barton has appalled by the sight of Feurvy, as he had not been by the sight of the dead pilot in the crashed plane”
  • “We can imagine it thats all”
  • “But wasn’t Harris better off? For would he not have gone through terror after terror in the front line, only to meet a death less sudden, more painful, more clearly foreseen?”
  • “But I have been ashamed of myself for getting so thoroughly hardened so quickly”
  • “They seem like some dream country which we inhabited long ago”
  • “John says one of the most difficult things is getting used to new faces, new faces ”
  • “Oh it was like meeting ghosts”
  • “This agony of feeling on behalf of someone else was entirely new to him”
  • “His initial excitement had gone long since”
  • “He wanted to take the body … and dig a grave for him… for would that have been more purposeful, would he have done the first thing of vague since coming into this war?”
  • “Isn’t that why you read him to try and make some sense of all this?”

“The War? I shouldn’t think that’s possible”

  • “I’ve been trying…give it a point and purpose when there are none”
  • “That day it hit me, that I’d been feeling nothing. I’d become entirely callous”
  • “You can’t feel everyman’s death”
  • “I’m afraid of myself, of what I’m becoming”
  • “I love you John”

Part III

  • “We are drones not fighting men”
  • “John says he may have a head to lose but certainly not a heart”
  • “He can’t wait to get his bayonet into someone, which I find very chilling, and more so because he is basically a nice chap”
  • “the old familiar stumps of rotten black teeth”
  • “It is the constant possibility of accident which erodes ones courage most of all”
  • “There will never be another war”

“Men could never be so stupid, John! After all this!

  • “We had better not start building castles in Spain”
  • “The letters were so full of formal expressions of love and sympathy”

Hello john

External links

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