dimecres, 18 de febrer de 2009

America's naked portrait

The naked and the dead

“Why do you think a regiment of Southerners is worth two regiments of Easterners?”
“I don’t think they are”
“Well, it happens to be true”. The General placed his fingertips together judiciously and looked Hearn. “I’m not pledging theories. This is observation. And the conclusions leave me, as a general officer, in a poor position. We have the highest standard of living in the world and, as one would expect, the worst individual fighting soldiers of any big power. Or at least in their natural state they are. They’re comparatively wealthy, they’re spoiled, and as Americans they share most of them the peculiar manifestation of our democracy. They have an exaggerated idea of the rights due themselves as individuals and no idea at all of the rights due others. It’s the reverse of the peasant, and it’s the peasant who makes the soldier”

Norman Malier wrote “The naked and the dead” in 1948, three years after returning from the II World War Pacific campaign. A detailed, rich and complex portrait of the North American society still valid sixty years later. In the middle of the oppressive landscape of an imaginary island –Anopopei-, his heroes represent all the tensions, the energy and the contradictions of the cultural melting-pot of Irish, Jewish, Italian, Polish, Mexican, and Afro-Americans
It is not an easy novel to read -700 pages full of different accents and slang masterfully used to build all the characters, from the Irish and Mexican plain soldiers to the college-educated officers as well as the fascist West-Point alumni General Cummings.“The naked and the dead” was published originally published by Picador and a Catalan version was published by Edicions 62 in 1991

2 comentaris:

Isma ha dit...

Thanks, Àlex: another interesting book for es Grau's holidays, in the catalan version. My english is so poor (this words are a good example of this), sadly, but I think is necessary read books in their original versions (translation sometimes means betrayal).

àlex ha dit...

ben igual que al cine, estic d'acord que en general, a poder ser, millor llegir en versió original. I dit això sense desmerèixer gens la feina dels traductors.
Per altra banda et confés que he tardat un parell llarg de mesos en llegir The naked and the Dead i a estones n'ha passat un fum. No és precisament una lectura de tauleta de nit o d'avió de vol llarg. Esper que per tu sigui, també, una bona lectura d'estiu.


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