Guy De Maupassant on the Brutality of War

Guy De Maupassant on the Brutality of War

Guy De Maupassant has a wonderful quote on the brutality of war (from his beautiful short story entitled, “Buole De Suif”).

For the same thing [war] happens whenever the established order of things is upset, when security no longer exists, when all those rights usually protected by the law of man or of Nature are at the mercy of unreasoning, savage force. The earthquake crushing a whole nation under falling roofs; the flood let loose, and engulfing in its swirling depths the corpses of drowned peasants, along with dead oxen and beams torn from shattered houses; or the army, covered with glory, murdering those who defend themselves, making prisoners of the rest, pillaging in the name of the Sword, and giving thanks to God to the thunder of cannon—all these are appalling scourges, which destroy all belief in eternal justice, all that confidence we have been taught to feel in the protection of Heaven and the reason of man.

Civility is a veneer: a blanket that covers the body for a night. But eventually, the blanket falls  and the face of mankind is revealed: brutal and blood-thirsty. And when a war is declared, the tidal wave of terror is unleashed.

Political correctness will run for cover. The natural resources are at play, and the pretty lies will meet the maker. Death warrants are placed on the innocent and the weak are stomped out. The aristocrat will kill to please his ever-fattening wife. Scores are settled. Grudges become reality. And the homeless are driven to the grave.

Humanity has always been this way. It’s only in the air-conditioned rooms of a bourgeois life that a dark reality is concealed. But when the clock strikes twelve and the cannonballs fly, the bourgeois will discard their false robes…and they, ironically, become the executioners of death.

See Related Article: I Entered Life as a Meteor and I Shall Leave it Like a Thunderbolt

I Entered Literary Life as a Meteor, and I Shall Leave it Like a Thunderbolt

I Entered Literary Life as a Meteor, and I Shall Leave it Like a Thunderbolt

These were the words of Guy De Maupassant, the legendary French writer. I am currently reading a wonderful collection of his work, entitled Complete Original Short Stories of Guy De Maupassant. It’s filled with stories that demonstrate his greatness. Works of art that stand like a testament to his brilliance.

“I entered literary life as a meteor…”

These words might shock the common man. How vain, how conceited, how full of himself! This reaction is the response of a dullard. The irrelevant clerk. The quiet commoner. The man of no particular fire.

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The common man will never understand the fire of a Maupassant…and his girlfriend will quietly despise him.

Some men believe that greatness is their destiny; others laugh at the concept. Some burn with a dangerous flame of desire; others are a lukewarm stove. Some are always dreaming about the apex of a Mount Everest; others are stupidly staring at a traffic jam.

To quote Thomas Carlyle: “History is the Biography of Great Men.” And Maupassant is a man whose biography belongs in the list of GREAT MEN.

*On a side note, it should be said that women despise the common man. His broken dreams, his insecure back peddling, his petty anger, etc. They secretly wish that he would dissipate…fade away into the distance. And that, in his place, a GREAT MAN would emerge – a man ready to carry her off into the heroic distance.

See related article: The Nice Man is Not a Great Man