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Of Memory, Mortality, and Interesting Times

  • Simon Trussler

Extract

IN THE BACKS of my mother's wartime diaries are long lists of the dates of letters written to and received from my reluctant soldier father, all neatly numbered to accord with some arcane requirement of the military mail. The letters have not survived: but the diaries, though little more than appointments books, were gathered into decennial sets and secured by long-perished rubber- bands. Trying to reconstruct a little of my early childhood from the names and places of those barebones jottings, I have often wondered why the diaries were felt to be so sacrosanct, while letters which exchanged emotions, shared feelings about war, Went uncherished and unkept. Of course, when the war came to an end, so did the letters.

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Of Memory, Mortality, and Interesting Times

  • Simon Trussler

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