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Her Privates We av Frederic Manning
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Her Privates We (urspr publ 1929; utgåvan 2018)

av Frederic Manning (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3511155,763 (4.05)25
First published privately in 1929 as The Middle Parts of Fortune, Her Privates We is the novel of the Battle of the Somme told from the perspective of an ordinary private. This edition now restores all the 'prunings and excisions' that were made to the first edition because the bluntness of language was thought to make the book unfit for public distribution. An undisputed classic of war writing and a lasting tribute to all who participated in the war, Her Privates We was originally published as written by 'Private 19022'. Championed by amongst others Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, TS Eliot and TE Lawrence, it has become recognised as a classic in the seventy years since its first publication. Now republished, with an introduction by William Boyd, it will again amaze a new generation of readers.… (mer)
Medlem:PLF1915
Titel:Her Privates We
Författare:Frederic Manning (Författare)
Info:Independently published (2018), 257 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:
Taggar:Ingen/inga

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Her Privates We av Frederic Manning (1929)

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» Se även 25 omnämnanden

engelska (10)  katalanska (1)  Alla språk (11)
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I don't know if this is my kind of book, since I find war novels and memoirs unsettling, but the excerpts and chapters I read convinced me that Manning - a delicate, largely English figure who shared some familial relationship with Australia - wrote the fantastic WWI novel that many critics of the time felt this to be.

For me, the most affecting moment is when the narrator recalls a loss of spirit halfway through the deployment, once the men have seen real action, and realised that the Germans on the other side know as little about the complex politics and motivations of the war than they do. Wow. ( )
  therebelprince | Nov 15, 2020 |
Every so often a book comes along that defines a generation in a certain time and place. This is just one of those books. Her Privates We tells the story of the ordinary men fighting for Britain in the trenches at Somme in the summer and fall of 1916. The language and events described are raw and unflinching. They are not the idealized, separate world of the officer corp, but the war as it was, filled with filth and muck, anger and apathy.

We are told this story through the third person narrative of a soldier identified only as Bourne. He is a little different from the rest of the men, clearly of a different class. It is evident in his age, his, manners, his speech, and his education. It is clear to not only the fighting men, but also the officers who both resent and respect him. He is told repeatedly to go in for an officer's commission, something which he tries to avoid but eventually accepts as his duty.

There are times when this book moves slowly. This can be hard on some readers, but I think it was intentional and used to show what war was like. It was filled with waiting, endless drilling and parades, and when they moved to the front, it was just quick and violent, over almost before you knew what had happened, only to be replaced with more of the interminable waiting.

Bourne is modeled on the author himself and is loosely based on his own experiences. He wrote this book at the urging of a friend in 1929, when it was published anonymously, under the name The Middle Parts of Fortune. At the time of publication it was considered vulgar and had to be edited and an expurgated version was released the following year, the original version all but disappearing until 1977.

This book was quite popular among leading literary figures and other personages of the time. Included among them are Lawrence of Arabia, who counted it among his favorites, and Ernest Hemingway who described it as "the finest and noblest book of war among men." I am inclined to agree with that sentiment. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
4.5 stars. Full review on my blog with photos but highly recommended book!

http://thereadersroom.org/2015/03/26/1001-book-review-her-privates-we-by-frederi...

Her Privates We refers to the common soldiers who fought during World War I. The novel is the fictionalized account of the author’s own experiences as a soldier. It is a extraordinary account of the lives of foot soldiers that is told with the elegance and emotionally-evocative brilliance that only the best authors can achieve.

Manning first published this book under the title, The Middle Part of Fortune. Both versions of the title are derived from a passage in Hamlet, and each chapter begins with a quote from Shakespeare. The term “privates” has meaning in both the military sense and as an allusion to sex (which is appropriate in that it reflects the vulgarity of language we hear from some of the soldiers in the book).

The novel centers primarily on one soldier, Bourne, who is not quite like all the other foot soldiers. He is charismatic, resourceful, well-respected and intelligent but there is a sense of alienation between Bourne and the other soldiers. Bourne closely resembles the author and is the reason this is considered to be a semi-autobiographical novel. Manning was born in Australia and served as a private in WWI. He was selected for officer training but failed the course and some historical accounts indicated that he drank heavily and was frequently in trouble with his superiors. Like his protagonist, Manning fought in the Battle of the Somme and experienced life in the trenches.

Since embarking on the 1001 challenge, I’ve read lots of war books (or books prominently featuring WWI & II) including: The Things they Carried, All Quiet on the Western Front, Storm of Steel, Birdsong, & Atonement. I’ve appreciated all the books I just mentioned, although I don’t typically enjoy reading books about the combat. This book was different than other war books. There was much less graphic description of war atrocities (injuries, deaths, etc) and while those things are not ignored or glossed over, the book is more about the emotional experience of average soldiers even before they get to the front line.

Her Privates We is a gem among even some of the best books about the war. The writing is beautifully elegant and emotionally evocative. The dialogue between the soldiers feels very realistic, at times crude, at times funny and at other times filled with incredible emotion and pain. Hemingway referred to this book as “the finest and noblest book of men in war” and it is hard to disagree with him.

As you can probably tell by now, I very much enjoyed this book. Although it started off a little slow for me, halfway through I was hooked. For my professional life, I work with military veterans and I found incredible similarity in how Manning describes the emotional impact of being in the trenches and how the veterans I work with describe their own emotional experience of war. I really felt for these soldiers and the book packed an emotional punch for me. Manning provides readers with a understanding of the tension between officers and foot soldiers and immerses readers into the complex emotional and psychological states of soldiers while they prepare for combat. Your heart breaks (and I may have even shed a few tears) for these young men as they move ever closer to their own deaths.

To get a feel for the writing in this book, I’ve included some additional quotes:

There is a gulf between men just returned from action, and those who have not been in the show, as unbridgeable as that between the sober and the drunk.

The war might be a damned sight more tolerable if it weren’t for the bloody army.

There is nothing in war which is not in human nature; but the violence and passions of men become in the aggregate, an impersonal and incalculable force, a blind and irrational movement of the collective will, which one cannot control, which one cannot understand, which one can only endure as these peasants, in their bitterness and resignation, endured. C’est la guerre.

They don’t know what we’ve got to go through, that’s the truth of it,” said Weeper. “they measure the distance, an’ they count the men, an’ the guns, an’ think a battle’s no’ but a sum you can do wi’ a pencil an’ a bit of’ paper.”

one seemed to be traveling through some sterile landscape in the moon, or some soulless region on the shadowy confines of hell.

They had been brought to the last extremity of hope, and yet they put their hands on each other’s shoulders and said with a passionate conviction that it would be all right, though they had faith in nothing but in themselves and in each other.

One could not separate the desire from the dread which restrained it; the strength of one’s hope strove equal the despair which oppressed it; one’s determination could only be measured by the terrors and difficulties which it overcame. All the mean, piddling standards of ordinary life vanished in the collision of these warring opposites. Between them one could only attempt to maintain an equilibrium which every instant disturbed and made unstable.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in WWI and the experience of soldiers who fought in this war. ( )
  JenPrim | Jan 15, 2016 |
Her Privates We Frederic Manning
★★★★

Set in the trenches of WW1 this narrative concentrates on the life of an ordinary soldier Bourne.

Bourne can speak French and uses this ability to help him and his unit get on with the local people, he is resourceful and able to get decent food and drink for him and his friends as well as find places where they can hide out, he is well liked by those who know him, although he has a reputation of being a bit odd. Bourne has no desire to be anything other than an ordinary soldier however it is impossible for him to avoid getting a commission to officer level.

Through Bourne we see how life in the trenches pans out periods of boredom, intense action, troop movements from billet to billet and the irrationalness of army life, several fatal incidents are down to bad planning on behalf of those higher up the command chain and Bourne is openly critical of this.

I found this started out slowly however towards the end of the book when the fighting starts you really get the feel of what life was like for those involved, the senseless deaths and the hopeless anger and above all the inevitableness of it all.
( )
  BookWormM | Jan 15, 2016 |
Even in the expurgated 1967 reissue version, I can see this must have been very, very different in tone at the time of original UK publication.
  ten_floors_up | Apr 22, 2012 |
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"Her Privates We" is an expurgated version of "The Middle Parts of Fortune"
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First published privately in 1929 as The Middle Parts of Fortune, Her Privates We is the novel of the Battle of the Somme told from the perspective of an ordinary private. This edition now restores all the 'prunings and excisions' that were made to the first edition because the bluntness of language was thought to make the book unfit for public distribution. An undisputed classic of war writing and a lasting tribute to all who participated in the war, Her Privates We was originally published as written by 'Private 19022'. Championed by amongst others Ernest Hemingway, Ezra Pound, TS Eliot and TE Lawrence, it has become recognised as a classic in the seventy years since its first publication. Now republished, with an introduction by William Boyd, it will again amaze a new generation of readers.

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