ANNO DOMINI: Three Stories by George Steiner

ANNO DOMINI: Three Stories

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At the end of the last of these long short stories, one of the characters comes sadly to the conclusion which any one of the three has already firmly established in the reader's mind-- ""Wars kill a long time after, don't they?"" Licking their wounds, which somehow can never be healed are (a) the German cripple Falk of Return No Nore who partly in the hope of exchanging or expiating his guilt, namely a youngster's hanging, returns to the French farm where he had been billeted. On the night of his wedding to one of the farmer's daughters he finds that ""he came back too soon."" Then (b) there's the American who joined an underground reseau and was driven by fear to feign insanity and found himself in the mental home run by a Dr. de Veeld, a refuge for runaways and Jews. And finally the strongest of the collection, Sweet Mars, deals with (c) two English soldiers emotionally neutered by more than the fact of their survival.... The physical circumstances of the stories are interesting but Mr. Steiner is a sometimes awkward stylist. ""Fear shrilled in me""--it's enough to set the literary sensibility on edge.

Pub Date: Oct. 12th, 1964
Publisher: Atheneum