Paul Fussell

Paul Fussell teaches at Rutgers University in the USA. He is the author of The Great War and Modern Memory. His new book, Abroad, will be published this autumn.

Walking among ghosts

Paul Fussell, 18 September 1980

The large university library I use contains few books which the undergraduates have read virtually to pulp. One is Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines, published 95 years ago. Its pages are falling out and its binding has been worn to threads and cardboard. Clearly students told off to go and read Wittgenstein and George Eliot have been spending delicious secret hours enjoying Allan Quatermain’s phlegmatic accounts of people crushed to death, impaled, dismembered and beheaded. (Anyone imagining that ‘violence’ in fiction and films is somehow modern or post-modern should re-read some Victorian male-romances of the Haggard kind. They make Death of a Princess look like The Young Visiters.)

Condy’s Fluid

P.N. Furbank, 25 October 1990

That the ‘Great War’ is still deeply disturbing to the imagination came home to one last year, when a First World War tank stood on display in the forecourt of the British Museum. One...

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Dogface

Ian Hamilton, 28 September 1989

In a 1982 essay called ‘My War’ Paul Fussell described how – at the age of 20 – he became a full-time ironist: one who, by means of his experience in combat, had learned...

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X marks the snob

W.G. Runciman, 17 May 1984

The point of Dwarfs’ Lib is not to convince the world that differences in height are an optical illusion foisted by sinister interests on a gullible public. Nor is it to promote a literal...

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Boss of the Plains

D.A.N. Jones, 19 May 1983

Paul Fussell’s 34 essays were written in different moods and time-zones for different British and American journals, between 1967 and 1982. Some are boyishly truculent, politically...

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Plumping

J.I.M. Stewart, 19 March 1981

Paul Fussell’s aim in this book, he tells us in a preface, is ‘to suggest what it felt like to be young and clever and literate in the final age of travel’. Or, more precisely,...

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