« | Home | »

Empty Intervals

Tags: | | |

p1010822

Maybe editors should only ever be gratified, never startled, to come across a photograph of someone caught actually reading what they publish. Startled somewhat we were, however, by this image. A someone in camouflage and with an assault rifle to hand: not your average phantom subscriber. It is in fact a young officer in the British army serving in Afghanistan and he’s one of the illustrations in a newly published military memoir called The Junior Officers’ Reading Club, whose author, Patrick Hennessey, has now resigned from the army to become a lawyer. He helped start the club when he was in Iraq and then took it with him to Afghanistan. He describes it as a product of ‘a post-9/11 army of graduates and wise-arse Thatcherite kids’, and then lets it be known, so as to bring out the remarkable extent of the literary turn the service has now taken, that its activities in Afghanistan come under the heading of Operation Herrick – unless that honours a different Herrick from the ‘gather ye rosebuds’ man.

It’s hard to know whether the LRB should now be planning to make use of 2Lt Will Harries’s photograph – disappointingly captioned as being of him only ‘playing with guns’ – by way of a publicity windfall; it would be nice to imagine, however, that the army’s own hard-pressed recruiters might exploit it, as suggesting the opportunities for the mind’s improvement that may come up in the empty intervals between the gunfire.

Comments on “Empty Intervals”

  1. Martin says:

    The photo seems fairly staged to me, particularly as one of the articles is “England goes it alone”. (Admittedly not about the war in Afghanistan.) The magazine could even have been Photoshopped in.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • fbkun on Justice for Théo: Polls show that more than half of French police(wo)men vote for the Front National. Quelle surprise...
    • jcscott on The Deep State: How we get rid of Trump is at least as important as whether we get rid of him. The best would be a progressive landslide election in 2020 repudiating ...
    • Oliver Miles on Shambles in Court: A very difficult problem, almost insoluble. Many people are quite unaware of it and just assume that if there is an interpreter there is no problem. I...
    • michael bosley on Arguing with Strangers: Meanwhile, in the UK, cuts in sexual health services are being made by stealth, with hardly any public/political debate. As a report by the Advis...
    • Mat Snow on Not So Innocent: Agreed. But I suspect that when Trump does meet Putin, such pressing issues as international terrorism, nuclear proliferation, drug trafficking and ot...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement