MEMOIR OF THE BOBOTES by Joyce Cary

MEMOIR OF THE BOBOTES

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This fairly thin account (while the longest of Joyce Cary's autobiographical writings) was left unpublished at his death and is the memoir of the very young Cary (then a student at Oxford) ""young and eager for any sort of adventure""- in this case the adventure of war. The war was the short First Balkan War (1912- 1913) and Cary joined a Red Cross unit in Montenegro and during this time, the siege of Scutari which led to the surrender of the Turks, was stationed primarily in the mountain village of Bobote- high on a ridge. The reminiscence, which was later filled in from diaries, memoranda, etc. has random but telling notes on this faraway outpost, on the warriors in the sheepskin and the treatment of the wounded, on the securing of stores and supplies, but particularly on the food- ""a war is not made up of fighting, but just exactly of stew, and if you are lucky, egg"". In his introduction, James Meriwether finds this reminiscence significant, as a picture of a young man ""coming to grips with war and a mixture of foreign cultures"" and ""for the light it throws on the development of an important novelist"". This is somewhat of a magnification of an early, minor record which, even with Joyce Cary's name, is for a marginal audience.

Publisher: University of Texas Press