The Wars – Timothy Findley 1-21

Ok this is my homework.
Gotta read up to section 21.
Never read or heard of Timothy Findley nor this book.
Well I know who the Governor General is currently but not at the time of publishing.
That makes Jules Léger , or Roland Michener. Both of em with a bunch of awards.
Michener being the governor General that invoked the War Measures act during FLQ crisis.

“Never that which is shall die.”
EURIPIDES

Did that marble statue, that hates kids, really utter these words?
What does it mean ?
Who cares.
When is the last time I took a playwrights advice on life?
What does that mean, all things that live must die, nothing lasts forever?
All things that exist never die.
Nonsense.

Next page.
“In such dangerous things as war the errors which proceed from a spirit of benevolence are the worst.”

– von Clausewitz .
Some German sounding officer type. Its ironic the statement cause hes probably doing the sending to dying, not the fighting from, my first impression of quote.
Yet I could be wrong lets let the research speak for itself.
This one makes more sense, lets see someone trying to spare lives ends up killing more.
Well and what else, this is then sense I get: When its time for war and killing its not time for benevolent action.
If I was a troop on the ground, gotta have that mindset kill or be killed. There is no time for kind-human hesitations lest you be the next dead.
Its gonna be a bloodbath.
von Clausewitz
Ok hes a failed Prussian cavalry officer called it. Just cause hes 189 years older than me doesnt mean I gotta like nor respect him.
I can think of a few generals that I would rather work/die for.
Hes a strategist philosopher nerd that mislead a bunch of people to their deaths. Seems like a warmonger to me.
So I dont think von whatever knows the definition of benevolence, nor errors.
Does he mean benevolence as in the 763000 German civilians estimated killed by the allied blockade, and the 2037000 German soldiers killed.
Does he mean errors in which over self confident idealistic officers make errors in judgement and write abomination literature leading to death and maiming of subordinates?
Empty words from a man that couldn’t finish his life project writings of spreading death and destruction.

Lets read on.
Ok thrown into some memory by Magdalene woods
Ok well they’re at some scene, there is a train crash or whatever and i guess some animals in the train cars.
Theres no one around except this Robert Ross guy. He jumps on the majestic beast that woke him up. they ride off into the sunset after rescuing the other animals.

1
Ok switch scene completely now were in some hospital for the mental. Some incoherent vegetables must be the veterans and the narrator must be like a child trying to find out what his ancestor did in the war. Yea reading the news on the generic public statements from the past nothing in between the lines. I mean its ww1, notorious for empty graves, because the body vaporized or buried by insane amounts of dirt. Here the author acknowledged my mocking of Euripides and the dog. Its all hearsay, not that I care so much its a point hes making maybe. I recall some similar feelings as young troop myself after seeing the news report of a battle I was in, Ive never respected cheese reporters since.

2
So it is some retrospective, the guy at some archives ? Sure. Sign out a box of your loved ones effects seems a bit fantasy to me but go on..
Yellow dust is that foreshadowing. Theres a boat and the woods mentioned again.

3- Begin some fantasy dialogue of what its like 1915. Ok anthropomorphizing old photos and giving them personality. Ok its some kind of opening credit scene people are going about their business of 1915 etc. Then battle of Ypres in April wasnt good battle for the allied expeditionary force. Calgary unit I belonged to has Ypres as battle honor. First gas attack where men had to soak rags in piss to try to survive, lets read on.
Ok were in Toronto (via written description photos) Yonge street.
48th highlanders was still is renamed,reserve unit, 3rd infantry brigade 1st Canadian Division ww1 , also Ypres in Battle honors. Kings crown is displaced on all unit cap badges and insignia.
Author has mental, problems because without warning hes having so psychosis about Robert Ross riding a horse. I guess it might mean to say that the picture is leaping top life and there is a man person that lived these events however created in the authors mind. Ok learning more about the imagined Robert,hes old enough to volunteer, he doubts the war will go on too long and anxious to get to the front. Thats maybe a common experience, generalized like in other fictions ive read.
Who is Rowena, and this Robert fellow he transcends time space and memories then. Did they just try to put him from photos to a disabled veteran getting pushed around the park or does he have a disabled friend ? Who knows who cares.
Ok thers a for truck now, and another name. Thomas Ross and family. so raymond ross farm equipment.
Ok war always a chance to make a buck and photo op. These people typically make farm equipment now make ambulance or something. Gotta get credit for your field ambulance. Im sorry i see this as a scummy advertisers move. Whoever Rowena is is bound to a wheelchair. Seems about right everyone trying to get in front of cameras as usual.
Ok disability too much water in the brain, wheelchair. Well theres a moral historic reason to fight. Ok too many characters introduced, Rob Rowena brothers sisters probably. Robs mom gives flowers at the station, rob doesnt like that. Merghh old person. ok losing interest this supposed to be family intro ? IK dont know. Heatrher lawson his gf ? Wtf is going on.Ok he has british family and spends holiday there where he must hear about the upcoming war and all these british and german politician and rich people industrialism problems. Yawn. Miss turner no context but it wil be important later. Ok fine keeping a open mind. Ok so the Turner is a real person nurse that had some tape that talked about Rob. Ok the nurse statement, hes just a generic soldier with no face but equal heroics as anyone else. I guess it was a big thing the test under fire to see hjow one would react and if you were noble to fight or cowardly and flee. This was a big status thing im sure with young men of the time. She also comments on the differences and similatrities between the so called leaders and the ordinary heroics they labelled extra ordinary. So she spoke of Robert Ross. i dunno im barely curious. Lets read on.

Finally 4. 3 was ugh.
Who is taking these photos of Rob, and why dont we all have personal photographers. Yeh slouching looks unprofessional. Don’t wanna be leaning onto some booby trap stand up straight.
Ok so seems hes on the train with other volunteers taking a look around. Well Heather sure was a profound character turns out theyre not in love and he dislikes her. Ok well hes at some recruiting thing and joining artillery. Couple things artillery, Vimy where Canadians invented the creeping barrage and counter artillery methods using trigonometry and sound to pin point enemy cannon locations. Artillery absolutely nessecary in modern warfare. Certainly isnt the tip of the spear like infantry or cavalry. Ok so Rob lost in his thoughts I guess his sister died.

5. Some more details on the sister whoever Stuart was supposed to be watching her but was masturbating or something, and well Rob might have some guilt on her death now.

6. Not much details the dates are moving for no rhyme or reason, well thats sad, I was lead to believe they had a special bond and now shes dead. Probably more sad for Rob than Rowena.
Using that rabbit imagery as a innocence maybe. Maybe a connection to the von whatever quote. In Rob trying to do something righteous he lost his sister. Ok some Rowena – Stuart talking,
who is speaking ? Rowena as a ghost now will stay with Rob, and the white rabbit too.

7. No clue what the hell is going on. Rob has to kill the rabbits now, only for the authors pleasure in making this reader sad. No ones gonna take care of the rabbits so he has to kill them. Why no one knows. Rob’s mom is a dis likable monster. I guess hes got a good motivation to run.

8. More nonsense, Robs mom is mourning ? I dont know i guess I can see its a tough situation for family. Im not emotionally connected to this story nor family. Im sorry sounds like a cruel thing to say. I can sympathize with Rob losing part of himself when his disabled sister he loves dies. In regards to the fictional family I dont really care. The mom is obviously takes the role of victim. But what do i know i never lost a child. Youd think that if that parent loved the disabled child could keep the rabbits around. So what does Rob have left at the house I guess it creates conflict so he doesnt stay at home the whole war.

9. Ok some aftermath of whatever the audience just had to endure.
Ok so new logic if you love something it must die. Logic from the drunk mom. So she must have hired someone to kill the rabbits, Rob gets really upsets and decides justifiable homicide.
But he doesnt get his way. As he gets dragged away. Anyways now got a reason for Rob to leave home as a prodigal son in a sense. Theres nothing left for him at the family home.
He gets some significant blunt force trauma for trying to protect the bunnies.
I wish he woulda bashed that guys head in with a rock or something. Some revenge for the bunnies which I appreciated more than most of the characters in this book so far.\

10.
omg finally almost halfway done.
Robs taking a bath , his disgraced drunk white trash mom comes in while hes bathing. Shes a character like Willy Loman. I love to hate this type of character.
I say shes a character like Willy because just like Rob says she uses things that someone cannot control like being a infant.
Mom/willy loman type : “when you were a infant you were so weak I baby sat you and now as adult I expect some compensation and for you to be humiliated while we speak!”
Its like some ego power trip and trying to hold advantage over someone. Everyones childhood as a weapon. Reminiscing some embarrassing memory of Rob, and pretty much mocking him at this point. Yeah but he made the hockey team after getting back up so many times, shes really just self dialogue and yep some people fall and die. Then some sinistger witch comes out and cackles at rob, something about cant keep someone alive. So the evil drunkness couldnt help but creeping out and dropping some horrible words on Rob. Hopefully this is the end of the morbid family.
Then in the morning rob leaves well good riddance, I hope this is where the book becomes good after he stoop up for himself.
Thankfully my mom wasnt a drunk buffoon. I wish Rob was a little more assertive and used his words more but im sure he has much heroics left in him.
So Robs love for animals has a connection to the horses from earlier, or is it from the future. Anyways set the house on fire for all I care.

11.
Well right away I guess that ends Rob’s youth as he joins up. Lethbridge air defence unit now. Ok is he an officer or a NCO? ugh. Cadet officer isnt a commission anyone is going to respect during training. Well he runs. The author making him sound like a individual soldier, he doesnt associate with the other troops bit of a loner, dressing and running on his own.
Are you sure this is the Canadian army ?
Might raise some red flags as not being a team player.

12. Running with coyotes at night, ok..
Ok well more animals. Keeping pace with animals being one with nature. This is cheesy. Hes having a flashback again. Yea they stop for a drink then the coyote howls to the moon.
Then he gets confined to barracks like he wasnt already confined to barracks during training. Very minor penalty for being AWOL he must be higher rank than the base commander .
So right away you got a troop disregarding orders timings, and AWOL not even done training. Yeesh. Thats desertion on paper. Death by firing squad.
Ok in fantasy land he has metaphorical moment with the coyote and the valley. The coyote whisperer.
Sat on a roof. I can think of about 100 NCO’s that would freak out at the idea of private no-name day dreaming on the roof.

13. Its another day Rob breaking in some horses. Then some horses go missing so he and Clifford get to go try to find them.
Ok so again theyre just wandering on their own and here is captain Taffler just chilling in the grass. Cause he doesn’t have superiors right.
Ok so hes out of uniform drinking by himself, good behavior for a Captain.
But then I guess this scene serves to rob as talking to someone having been overseas, and how you could simply throw a rock between trenches.
Ok it was encounter, so they leave Rob chases a fox while clifford is distracted.
Rob notes that a person (Taffler) at that distance is a dot, a dot is anonymous, meaning you wont see their face when the round strikes. One body is the same as the rest.
Distance is safety, well a cannon can only shoot so far. Alright well they got the 2 horses back, successful quiet mission. Probably soon the last of those.

—————————————Break—————————————————————————

New day. Its April 29th 2020. Lets see after some reflection decided to not be so harsh to ole fictional Rob and this whole book/story.
Im not gonna lie, the book is ok but I dont really like it.
But im not gonna focus on what I dont like try to be true neutral which is challenging mighrt nopt even be attainable.
I think i8m being pretty honest and maybe a touch of current event making me sour. So im trying to de-sour and sweeten (gc)
How do you tell a unknown persons story. I have a bit of an issue with World War 1 fiction I find might trivialize the common man experience.
Not even sure how I really feel about the tomb of the unknown soldier in Ottawa.
And whose authority does he have to respresent every unknown soldier, or even a fabricated one. Who needs permission.
Maybe its cause i dont have a distant great war relative or do I? When I was at Vimy I didnt see my surname. I suppose I could inquire. Maybe Im afraid of what ill find.
Whats the purpose of this book? Entertainment ? Drama? (makes me sad) Historical? Experience? Retorical Question? Philosophical in nature.

Lets revisit the Quotes both of them first Euripides.
“Never that which is shall die”
Someone wrote me this and it helped me understand more:
“Without the ‘never’ it means we all die sometime. With the never it means the human race will never die.”

Ok well thats similar to my impressions but thats a clearer way of looking at it.
I was playing with removing/adding the ‘shall die’ part.
When i should have been adding removing the never.

Ok Euripides.
Nothing lasts forever?
Lemme introduce you to extinction and dinosaurs, world war, pandemic, climate change.. The observable universe, rocket-ships and planned colonization of Mars!
As long as we dont destroy ourselves first.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

The von clausewitz quote. Its a sympathetic quote from an world domination intent.
Isnt that a oxymoron, benevolent action, in war?
Im not afraid to challenge that type of thinking that brought on some much death.
Thats between the lines though. Consider booby traps in recent wars including France World War one. The most heinous thing you could think of would be a effective booby trap.

First thing you get taught never pick anything up. There could be food or medicine and have a intent to help people, pick up the box and boom error.
I wonder now if Rob or any of his companions will be victim to exactly what i wrote. On that note moving on.

Ok the characters Clifford and Rob just had encounter with Captain Taffer? Theres some type of analogy made about life and Taffer just throwing rocks at bottles simple and well thats pretty much it.

14. Ok commentary on the weather, and how summer is nice and then in autumn it get wet.Snow. Ok learning more about Rib and communications with his parents. I guess hes getting spoiled with things so his family in Toronto somewhat wealthy and he gets a bunch of useless scarves and mittens useful things like compass and boots. I mean on personal experience try getting a side arm in Afghanistan with our ww2 era jiggling pistols probably easier to buy an AK-47 black market than get issued from the army.. 105 years later still same problems I digress.
To me makes total sense to get a reliable firearm to go to war. World war one is unique as in its in the peak of industrial machine revolution.
Leopold Bloom not sure the reference gotta peep it.Anyways so the researcher is obviously reading these telegrams and the only physical things left from Robs day.
Kinda alludes to the news in the prologue it happened as news once and also for the rest of the world like facts public information..
Ok and here is is like Platoon volunteering to go to war meanwhile he has somewhat of a life of privilege in the real world. Lastly introduces some another place near Lethbridge, Lousetown, maybe hes gonna get in trouble again before deploying.

15. Lousetown could be a bunch of different places but near lethbridge anyways. Anyways just giving a brief account of the town and Dreyfus, a funny anecdote about mr and mrs drygoods. Ok so basically if Rob doesnt go to whore house hes gonna be called homo sexual by his companions and somehow trhe researcher knows all this and describes the scene as they are on a night off.
Kinda reminding me of this on rainy river, its like talking about everything but army. Alright having some drinks reminds him of his mom cause shes a drunk.
Im guessing hes gonna have a bad experience here that turns him off liquor probably. Ok well i guess wrong but here the author describes the scene by the saloon horse tied up and in the rain passed out drunk is taffert and his dog. So rob is now collecting bottles and taking them back to that fence. Ok the gist is that captain Taffert is a drunk from the war passed out outside.

16. Enter the bar. The Swede mute greets you.odalisque not sure what that is. Its describing the madam , Maria drygoods dreyfus is the madam from next door i guess.German jewish. Probably tell the non army folk now by mannerisms and dress and deportment. Now hes gotta awkward dance with some redhead and Heather the ol gf was red-haired so he doenst trust her.Alright well what is that clove in the mouth as a breath mint.

17 Anyways so some graphic content , Rob gets drunk from whisky first time and women too, in couple awkard chapters. Ok some premature ejaculation jeez going up the stairs so hes nervous and shy etc. Anyways Ella is her name and they discuss ‘being happy’ and maria and I guess they have a kinda intimate moment, but anyways i geuss Ella has a peephole and they observe some people having sex. You can tell hes afraid and uncomfortable. So previous discussion Ella wont get paid unless they’ve been laid and Maria has away of knowing.. Is maybe why he threw the boots to make some sound to pretend he did the deed, or he was genuinely pissed off seeing that character through the peephole.

18. ok wow almost lost my content there.
Ok 18. Robs military carreer advances. Some report on taffler seen in the news wirth some royalty.
Marquis is a title or whatever. There is a funny story about the Marquis I read and Sir geoge simpson aroiund montreal 1800’s Someone was like nah, we dont do Marquis here. you’re just mister from now on. I dont know where i read gotyta get the details that but i think its funny. The guy introduced himself as Marquis other guys like nope we dont do that here you are mister from now on. Lol typical Canadian response to a Marquis I love it. Not that I dont respect commission or salute thats just a epic funny response. I tried to find it and couldn’t. Ill try again later.
Ok anyways Robs military career advances. He finds himself on a train near Regina. The indian scene is kindof cool, make me think of during the moon landing days, the most remote tribes people on earth, they might not know politics but despite being the most isolate communities on earth knew they had put man on the moon. So perhaps its like the Indians they see the train going by off to war its a good scene I can visualize. Well its a retrospective coming back home then and some memories. Observations that he recognizes these places in the dark. Wondering where the train will lead.
Its a interesting note about the cities back in 1915 era were silent and maybe only hear a dog bark or a train go by and no one would wake up. And in the upcoming carnage of the war, the cities/civilization at night will be forever changed. Yeah changed for the worse von clausewitz. Atleast he wore a uniform I guess declaring himself a combatant.

19 Roberts is an officer I can see his capbadge on the cover but not his rank. Theres 2 types of officers bad officers and good officers. Atleast at vimy we were able to command ourselves.
As opposed to British officers in command of Canadian men. In current events book time Gallapoli had just happened. It was a allied attack on turkey strategic waterways that didnt work out for the allies. Anzac day its like a Australian remembrance day. The ottomans with machine guns there was evacuation alrthough im not very familiar with this battle. Ok hes a 2 Lt junior officer.
Anyways it goes on about the historical accuracies of the days and allioed having to change their commanders and some ego personal problems, also world war. So maybe Rob is areal person could be the any-person represent probable common experience for young men of the time. Me personally after vieweing some battlefield sites and graves in France its very to crazy to think of our countrymen going through that experience.
Kaiser Wilhem gives a speech to outgoing troops thatthe war would be over before the leaves fell and now they were in their second winter and getting worse. Ggotta love the politicians leading people to kill and to their deaths by manner of speech. Theres always at the end of any world war documentary all the rotting corpses and skeletons of the combatants, you wish you could show some of these scenes to the Kaiser.

20. Some memories of what Robert liked , Longboat indianmaybe its a story or something. Or a book.
Stories about him running marathon aft er dinner when he was young barefoot.
Tell about how he connected with his dad after the marathon collapse and had Jaundince liver disease i think.
But anyways it helped him grow. Seems like alot of responsibility being young officer at 19.
And here is a written description of the photo on the cover i think.
Well its like a commentary about death and looking at photos of the dead.
Its serious i mean mortality but unknown and to go off to war is facing your own death.

21. Boating records now ghosting overseas on a particular vessel.
Its a side story about how horses were being loaded on a boat something never thought of i suppose. Sound like quite the operation with the harness.
Well I guess his background and family is in the ross ambulance ford business . How annoying his dad is though full and raises is spirits but gets him the wrong gun. That annoys me.
The its like a glimpse of Robs last letter from the boat and like a journal entry of the sights and sounds of what someone on board might have seen.

Well that completes what i gotta read for today.
You can tell something grim gonna happen to Rob. Or a mystery. Probably some acts of benevolence.

————————————————————————————————————————–
Its April 30 2020.
Just some remainder of my homework.

Tom Longboat, is a real person from history.
Boston, New York and Hamilton, are all the marathons he won, before turning professional.
Longboat achieved popularity, but was also the victim of discrimination.
During the Great War, Tom served as dispatch runner in France.
According to the internet, he was twice wounded, and twice declared dead in Belgium.
Tom was also victim of identity theft, and discrimination from the media, nevertheless he continued to win. 
Sadly, the Brooklyn media sided with the impostor.
Thankfully, the truth is known.
Alfred Shrubb, Tom’s main rival, declared after his death: “he was one of the greatest, if not the greatest marathoner of all time.”
June 4th, officially, Is “Tom Longboat day.”
Cameron Gayleard and Lyric Atchison, are the names of the winners of the 2019 Tom Longboat award, members of sports teams at CMU, and UBC respectively.


Tom Longboat Lane, Toronto.

Tom Longboat & Longboat Hall

___
May 4, did the online portion asking about animals, Robs qualities and traits,traits of his mom, non linear plot and the shifting point of view. How were my general impressions and so on.

Author: clayton

Clayton L. CD 85

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