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Company K [Anglais] [Broché]

William March

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.7 étoiles sur 5  16 commentaires
31 internautes sur 31 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 a surprisingly modern old book 29 décembre 2000
Par Michel Aaij - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
This edition of "Company K," by William March (a native of Mobile, graduate of The University of Alabama's law school, and WW I veteran), is one in a series called The Library of Alabama Classics, and it warrants its status as a classic. It's a beautiful little book, nicely typeset in a somewhat nostalgic manner, and deserves to be better known than it is--as does its author. Kudos to Alabama's UP for making this book available in paperback for a wide audience.
The book, first published in 1933, is a collection of short first-person narratives by the members of a company caught in the frontline in the first World War. Remarkable is March's ability to place himself (and the reader) in the positions of a great many very different characters--the company is a cross section of American society. This, his first novel, shows that March is an intelligent and sensitive storyteller.
More remarkable, perhaps, is how easily this book might be hypertexted--since all the narratives intersect, and various characters appear in various guises in other's narratives, it would lend itself easily to an HTML version in which a reader could click their way through the book without having to follow the book's order. Surely March must have seen this as a possible way of reading, since the chapter headings are the characters' names, allowing a reader of the book to easily flip from one character to another. The book, which seems to be suitable more for a spatial than a chronological way of reading, disrupts the boundaries of its printed format. I don't mean to call March a post-structuralist avant la lettre, but it is a feature that enhances, in my opinion, one of the themes of the book: the horror of war recognizes no hierarchy; war disrupts the human order.
As for horror, there is plenty of that. The point of view March has chosen is excellent in that it allows for multiple readings of the same event (for instance, the unnecessary and criminal shelling of a recon party); some of the voices come from beyond the grave and are particularly chilling.
One final note on the edition: it is introduced (not designed, as the Amazon heading states erroneously) by Phil Beidler, a professor of American lit at U of A. Beidler has shown a great interest in and loyalty to the literature of Alabama (see, for instance, his anthologies "The Art of Fiction in the Heart of Dixie" and "Many Voices, Many Rooms"), and his introduction to this book is insightful and touching. Beidler obviously knows his stuff; he knows both war and Alabama.
I believe that this book, as has been noted by others, is of the rank of Remarque's "All Quiet," and it is a wonderful and chilling read. Like most good war novels, it says "don't let this happen again," while realizing that it probably will, knowing human nature.
31 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 a classic veteran's tale from WW1 11 juillet 1998
Par - Publié sur
Slaughterhouse-five, and Catch-22 both borrowed from a powerful predecessor. Company-k is a simple read, short chapters each one a character of many narratives. Each one an insightful and heart-rending tale. It would be easy to ignore Company-K and most don't know it - except that it's written by a man who was there. Hemingway glorified war made it seem almost fun - March tells it as it was. Only Johnny Got His Gun, and All Quite On the Western Front come close to this passionate and shocking book.
18 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Almost a Classic 4 juillet 2004
Par Stephen M. Kerwick - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
March makes a compelling case in this text that he should be well entrenched in the second tier of American authors, if not the first. His WWI recollections do a fine job of bringing out the terrors and guilts of a war long forgotton and little remembered, except for the short period of the Twenties. If there is any shortcoming in this fine work, it is that it draws far too much from Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthologies. My guess is that March, who was trained as a lawyer like Masters (a former partner of the unethical (...) Clarence Darrow) grasped onto Masters' then-current work . It's not a heroic idea, but one that's occurred to me. In any event, Company K is a work that ought to be read far more than it is a century later. WWI [is] seldom remembered as the great trauma that it was in the US. Here's a book that tells how bad it was, and more importantly, why.
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The Most Underrated of ALL War Novels 1 juillet 2007
Par J. A. Glasgow - Publié sur
Format:Broché|Achat authentifié par Amazon
Do not take it from me, Graham Greene, one of the most respected names in Twentieth Century Fiction hails March's "Company K" as the greatest of all anti-war novels, while Hemingway thought it superior to almost all other WWI novels. This novel is not an almost-classic, it is a classic, borrowing the format made popular by Edgar Lee Masters, March expounds on the concept of individual soldier stories encompassing the full breath of the war. This novel is as appropriate now as it ever was in the post-WWI era. This novel is a must read for anyone remotely concerned with WWI and the impact war has on the survivors.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A Masterful Piece of Work on War--Real War and Its Effect on Those Who Fight It 22 février 2010
Par Big D - Publié sur
Old Men Still Send Young Men to War.

This is the story of those young men who fight those wars. Their stories, not of officers and gentlemen, but of the Dough Boys themselves.

Written as fiction, Company K is, in reality, the true life stories of author William March and his fellow soldiers in Company K. Stories of courage, valor, of fear and cowardice,needless sacrifice and in one case outright murder as enemy soldiers are gunned down in a ravine rather than go through the trouble of getting them to the rear.

This is not about a John-Wayne-war; it is about Sherman's war, the "War-Is-Hell" kind of war, told by men who actually fought it.

It is about American soldiers, but it could be about any soldier under any flag representing any country. It is universal in nature, and could have been written about any and all wars.

It is a masterful piece of work. You may never look at the glory and valor of war in the same way again...And that's a good thing!
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