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OUR BOOKS > MINI–MAGS > THESE FIELDS ARE MINE!

An Opera Suite

reflection
Written and designed by Chester Eagle
Circa 5,520 words
DTP by Karen Wilson
Electronic publication 2015 by Brad Webb for Trojan Press, and print publication of 200 copies 2015 by Chris Giacomi of Design To Print Solutions, Somerville Victoria 3912

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The writing of this book:

I have long admired Frederic Manning’s classic WW1 book, and, on a recent re-reading of books by James Gould Cozzens, I noticed in Guard of Honour (first published 1949) an incident which reminded me of a passage in The Middle Parts of Fortune. Both books featured a moment when an isolated woman, farming on the humblest scale, had her agricultural routine interrupted by military preparations. It seemed to me that a reader sympathetic to the purposes of Manning and of Cozzens could not fail to see that the two writers used similar incidents for entirely different purposes. What were these purposes and how could they be made apparent? I set myself to answer these questions. The task was easy enough to define, not so easy to achieve. I don’t much like people – including other writers – explicating the meaning of first rate writers’ work, on the basis that if Shakespeare said ‘To be or not to be, that is the question’ then, if Shakespeare is as great a writer as we like to say he is, it is simply not possible to put his thought in other words. My task, then, or so it seemed to me, was first to select the passages from my two writers, then to give them a setting which made apparent to the reader the similarities and differences in the two writers’ intentions. This is what I attempted to do.

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