"Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise you are making their destiny not brighter but darker."
Couldn't write last night: the only thing was to try and forget it all.
the orderlies have a very hard life--and no glory.
I had not yet acquired the self-protective callousness of later days, and I put into the writing of my diary that evening an emotion comparable to the feeling of shock and impotent pity that had seized Roland when he found the first dead man from his platoon at the bottom of the trench.
Had I been able to look into the future and see myself finding platforms accessible long before editors and publishers ceased to be impervious, I should have believed myself destined to die in the interval and waken again to quite another life. And such a fat was perhaps, after all, not so different from the one that actually befell me.
The mutilated body of the soldier in Testament of Youth looms behind Brittain's hand, touching hers, meeting ours as we turn the pages of the book-each alone.
The nurse, as well as the reader, is left with a crippling sense of inadequacy.
The detailed, often gruesome, descriptions of wounds that one finds in nurses' memoirs is not only prompted by the weight of memory but is also an attempt to transmit the pain.
one of the central problems of both frightful witnessing and representation: the limits of sympathy and language.
the memoirs of the nurses speak to us in a double voice: the exhilaration of service-of taking part in a man's world and actively moulding the course of history through the remaking of the soldiers-often has as its underside the trauma of the helpless witness. If moments of actual physical contact help the nurses to stake their legitimate claim on history and establish a common ground with the soldiers, the recollection of the traumatic moments also serves as faultlines within the text, marking points of ideological rupture.