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Saturday, 19 May 2018

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G'day Duffers,

Over the years I have read a fair bit on "Market Garden" and even been to Arnhem and had a look at the place on a stint in Europe. I find it difficult to comprehend how the intelligence on the presence of a strong German force was ignored. What a terrible waste of some of the finest soldiers to have fought in WW2.

As an ex para I imagine it is even closer to home for you

"the chances are I will not be in a fit state to scribble anything when I get home". That has ever been a hindrance?!

Nabokov's 'Lolita' is great, but you've probably already read it. Anything by Dostoyevsky is worthwhile. Try not to be predictable when I admit my favorite is 'The Idiot'. 'Gravity's Rainbow' by Thomas Pynchon is a WWII novel unlike any other and a challenging read. 'Being There' by Jerzy Kosinski is particularly appropriate for the times.

I saw a clip the other day which unfortunately I cannot remember where it came from, from some professor showing how Muslims had had a policy of invasion and subjugation which led to the Crusades. I don't know how true if at all that is, but I suspect that most histories of the Crusades are written from a Christian or an Islamic perspective. Who can we trust?

Sorry, Bob, I'm not much of a one for 'The Great Novels', they seem to take forever to say not very much!

Mike, I think you can trust Mr. Asbridge who makes very clear that he does not take sides. However, the fact that the so-called Christians instantly turned on each other when they had achieved their aim of taking Jerusalem says everything about human nature!

David, only Dostoyevsky's stuff would be considered great in the literary sense. The others are more pop novels, though Pynchon's is ponderous and mad and requires some concentration. You'd almost certainly like 'Lolita'. If you don't think you can read it consider watching the movie.

Sorry, Bob, 'Lolita', book or film, is so far down my list as to almost be out of sight!

No need to be sorry, David. It's your brain. Put in it what you want.

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