Manning, Frederic - The Middle Parts of Fortune - ( Item 112877 )
Published in London by Folio Society. 2012. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Near Fine slipcase. Slight marks to panels of slipcase. Introduced by David Malouf. Illustrated by Eri Griffin. Bound in paper, printed and blocked with a design by Eri Griffin. Set in Arno Pro. 304 pages. Frontispiece and 8 colour illustrations. Book size: 9½" × 6¼". This deeply affecting novel was first published anonymously in 1929 with a print run of just 600. Describing the Battle of the Somme from the viewpoint of an ordinary soldier, it gained instant notoriety for its blunt language and graphic depiction of war. An expurgated version entitled Her Privates We was released a year later, and it was only in 1977 that The Middle Parts of Fortune was republished in the powerful original form used for this Folio edition. Frederic Manning, an Australian who served on the Somme and in Flanders, said of his book: 'the events described in it actually happened; the characters are fictitious'. Opening with a brutal offensive, it focuses on a group of soldiers as they wait, away from the front line, for the second, devastating battle with which the book ends. Their experience is distilled through the reflections of Private Bourne. Educated but unambitious, fond of his comrades but viewing himself as something of an outsider, Bourne is frank in his observations and free of illusions about the nature of war. It is this honest quality that led Ernest Hemingway to say of the novel, 'I read it over once each year to remember how things really were so that I will never lie to myself nor to anyone else about them.' Introducer David Malouf, the acclaimed Australian author, notes that, while Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen saw the war in terms of politics and 'criminal folly', Manning's view was existential. For Bourne, war is 'the ultimate problem of all human life stated barely', and it is in this light that the novel explores the paradoxes of the soldiers' condition. They are without patriotic zeal, yet show great loyalty to one another. They fill gaps between battles with the expletive-ridden pursuit of food, drink and sex, but can be sensitive and tender. They are resentful and angry – 'mere derelicts', Bourne reflects – but still possess a brutish dignity. In showing what Bourne calls 'the desolation and hopelessness of that lunatic world', The Middle Parts of Fortune also points to an innate human integrity that can survive the privations and horrors of battle. Eri Griffin has created a series of ink illustrations that evoke the contrasting sleeplessness, idleness and frenzied action of life at the front.
Price £ 9.80 Other items you may like Others by the same author
To buy this item online using any major credit or debit card or Paypal, click the appropriate delivery option below to add the item to your basket, depending on where you are in the world. Alternatively please contact us at RNewbury@ardis.co.uk for further information or to order with payment by direct bank transfer or cheque if you are in the UK.
Safe and Secure Online Buying
To buy online, please click the appropriate postage option in the item boxes above. You will be transferred to secure pages hosted by Paypal, the largest online transaction processor in the world. You can pay with any major credit or debit card or by Paypal. When ordering multiple items in the UK, you may be entitled to a postage discount. This will be refunded when your order is received. If you prefer to pay by cheque, or would like a quotation for buying multiple items, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the unique item numbers required.
Money Back Guarantee, Secure Packaging and Fast Response
We are a major online trader with excellent feedback from satisfied customers on Amazon and Ebay (over 20,000 customers). We will refund your costs for items returned within seven days for any reason. If we are at fault we will also refund your return postage. Items are sent in top grade book boxes for protection. Large items or multiple purchases may be boxed. Items will be despatched within a day of receipt of your order, usually on the same day if ordered before noon.