Jules Romains: Colloquy on God and war

For peace, against war: literary selections

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Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

French writers on war and peace

Jules Romains: Selections on war

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Jules Romains
From Verdun: The Battle (1938)
Translated by Gerard Hopkins

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The Abbé Jean was hurrying because he had just received a message which had caught at his heart-strings.

«There’s a badly wounded man asking for you at No. 2 casualty clearing station. He knew you were here. He says he made his first Communion with you. He’s been very badly hit in both legs. They’ll probably carry out a double amputation this afternoon.»

The Abbé Jean made his way toward the bed which had been pointed out to him. He did his best to recognize the face that lay on the pillow. But it was one of those faces often to be met with in Paris, the kind, too, that manhood transforms, by coarsening and enlarging the features…

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