Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Churchill: The River War

.


The drawing itself is by Churchill. He was 24 at the time. He was looking for income, because as a soldier he did not make enough to pay for his horses and for his uniforms. He thought that he could make it as a writer. 




At that age he still considered himself an uneducated man. He envied people who had studied at a university. He tried to enroll, but they would not take him.

So the River War became an all-out effort at literary prose. He personifies the Nile and the desert and turns them into savage people, dangerous, tricky, brave and cruel in pages and pages of brilliant metaphor. -- The level falls off  each time he summarizes encyclopedia information. Skip it.







And so a modern reader might not enjoy Churchill's prose. -- Maybe.

Anyway, there is a problem. Churchill is considered a racist by many people, and it is a touchy issue, but his bias is cultural and more like exasperation at the strain that Muslims, Arabs, Egyptians and black people imposed on UK strategic aims. Here is a quote:


Churchill was born in 1874.-- The River War was published in 1899; he would have started to write it when he was 23, and -- remember -- long before all hell broke loose.

Unlike his other books, this one is in public domain and can be downloaded from the Gutenberg project at http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/4943


Credits:

The desert in Lybia is by Lucca Galuzzi under under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 Generic license at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Libya_4985_Tadrart_Acacus_Luca_Galuzzi_2007.jpg and explained as " Leaving traces on soft sand dunes in Tadrart Acacus, a desert area in western Libya, part of the Sahara."

The elephant photo is by Ikiwaner  under a GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Etosha_elefant.jpg

.
.