YOSHAR THE SOLDIER by William Harrington


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Harrington has done two trial stories and this one is about a war-brutalized soldier's return to compassion. It is also a fairly successful tragic allegory of life, love and death to which the style is not always equal. The outline is one Hemingway often used--violence, developed action, love and rising hope, an idyllic lull, the conflict and the necessary death of a partner. In a nameless country fighting a civil war in the jungle, Yoshar the soldier is sent on a mission he thinks is hopeless. Perhaps he should desert, to home or join the opposition, often done in this unmotivated war. He is pretty sluggish analytically but alert as an animal. After killing senselessly, he goes over into enemy territory, rapes a girl, and then kidnaps her for her own good. Under bombardment they spend days escaping toward a distant country and their final lap is up a tremendous mountain. Its summit is harder to reach than Kafka's castle. And on the other side is a sheer drop--into death. At this point the author begins to wring his typewriter and one is somewhat moved, but not to tears. Just to solemnity.

Pub Date: Aug. 23rd, 1966
Publisher: Dial