Thursday, June 4, 2015

The seduction of boys ix: Habits and habitat

    The cult for this practice
    persists on the strength of
    substantial disinformation -
    indeed, as a matter of taste-
    ful avoidance. How wittily
    this practice clothes, com-
    ports, and compartmentalises
    itself, to gain the favours
    of the nursery's unquestion-
    ing ornamentation. An envir-
    onment beyond decoration im-
    parts a gaiety unsustainable.

    What darlinger enchantment, 
    than Christian soldiers, on-

         Once the fighting was over, civilians in Bourcy
         and Noville emerged from their cellars to the
         sight of destruction all around, and the smell
         of damp smoke, carbonised masonry, burned iron
         and the seared flesh of farm animals killed in
         the bombardments. But even the comparative re-
         lief that the shelling had stopped was short
         lived. They found themselves rounded up by one
         of the SS security service groups from the Sich-
         erheitsdienst. Brutal interrogations began, in
         an attempt to identify members of the Belgian
         Resistance and those who had welcomed the Amer-
         icans in September. The SD officials had news-
         paper photographs with them of the event. One
         man in Bourcy, after a savage beating, was tak-
         en outside and killed with hammers. They had
         found a home-made American flag in his cellar.
         The group moved on to Noville where they mur-
         dered seven men, including the priest, Father
         Delvaux, and the village schoolmaster.

    How has Texas so failed us
    in her censorships, as to
    permit Shakespeare anywhere
    near the schools? How has
    her diligence for carnage
    flopped so shabbily, on the
    mattress of prestige? Is it
    possible, why so probable,
    that any family fortunate e-
    nough to limn its garçonnier
    upstairs, will line its lib-
    rary below with Morocco-bound
    out of the water?

                    .. He's here in double trust;
         First as I am his kinsman and his subject,
         Strong both against the deed; then as his host,
         Who should against his murderer shut the door,
         Not bear the knife myself.

Antony Beevor
Ardennes 1944
  Hitler's Last Gamble
Penguin Group
Viking, 2015©

William Shakespeare
  I, vii
op. cit.

ii  René Burri©
     Beirut, 1991

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