We pay for these things too much in honour and in innocent lives. I went up the Tigris with one hundred Devon Territorials, young, clean, delightful fellows, full of the power of happiness and of making women and children glad. By them one saw vividly how great it was to be their kin, and English. And we were casting them by the thousands into the fire to the worst of deaths, not to win the war but that the corn and rice and oil of Mesopotamia might be ours… All our subject provinces to me were not worth one dead Englishman.
I felt very strongly that [T.E.] Lawrence was just completely different from all the stuff that he was surrounded by, and that it was that simple. That he was an outsider. This is what stands out in Seven Pillars: the fact that he felt so completely and totally different from all these people, as outsiders do. And he just felt total alienation. You know Heidegger’s phrase, ‘the triviality of everydayness’, seems to me to be the essence of what outsiders are against. They’re trapped in it, they find themselves being swept along by it, and hate it, and they don’t quite know how to overcome it.
Over the course of his wartime service, [T.E.] Lawrence was awarded a number of medals and ribbons, but with his profound disdain for such things, he either threw them away or never bothered to collect them. He made an exception in the case of the Croix de Guerre; after the war, according to his brother, he found amusement in placing the medal around the neck of a friend’s dog and parading it through the streets of Oxford.
Everyday I am writing my future self’s history.
We are people to whom the past is forever speaking. We listen to it because we cannot help ourselves, for the past speaks to us with many voices. Far out of that dark nowhere which is the time before we were born, men who were flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone went through fire and storm to break a path to the future. We are part of the future they died for; they are part of the past that brought the future. What they did- the lives they lived, the sacrifices they made, the stories they told and the songs they sang and, finally, the death they died- make up a part of our own experience. We cannot cut ourselves off from it. It is as real to us as something that happened last week. It is a basic part of our heritage as Americans.
Bruce Catton, historian
I’m going to have this printed on cards and whenever someone asks me why I study history, I’m just going to hand one to them silently and walk away.
Thought this was beautiful, and had to reblog it!(via youknowyoureahistorymajorwhen)
ἀναθάλλω, anathalló - to shoot up, sprout again, grow green again, flourish again, to revive.
Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.
The woman God ‘fashions’ from the man’s rib elicits on the man’s part a cry of wonder, an exclamation of love and communion: ‘This at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.’ Man discovers woman as another ‘I’, sharing the same humanity.
The object of war is now and always has been, the overcoming of the hostile will to resist. The defeat of the enemy’s armed forces is not the object of war; the occupation of his territory is not the object of war. Each of these is merely a means to an end; and the end is overcoming his will to resist. When that will is broken, when that will disintegrates, then capitulation follows.
Teach us to sit still.