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May 30, 2012
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Title from the Peter Fox song ( :iconcharmquark: I blame you!)

Also, the original inspiration for this little thing as well. Oh, the First World War, aren't you so cheerful. This is set in Dec 1918.

So it was mostly written for :iconlove-literature:'s "after the war contest". I got to thinking about it and banged out a little story because there IS no after the war, not for you at least Harry Brandt. I imagine having to occupy Germany at the end of the first world war when you're a first generation German-American is not a fun trip.

Some fun facts about the American army at the time: There were sergeants and first sergeants who were slipped into most every regiment to check the translators or anyone with a german-esque last name for treason, desertion, even just sympathizing with the enemy could get you in bad trouble. So I assume Harry has to be pretty careful not to get caught. Fortunately his Major doesn't give a damn as long as all the work gets done, and at this point since all the selected divisions are massing on Coblenz to set up an occupation point in the Rhineland, it's unlikely that any such spy-sergeants have managed to slip into his unit yet.

So, I'm pretty sure the history is correct but someone jump in if you think I've messed up. Also I don't know German and I used a translator but we all know how reliable those are, so if I made a German mistake please tell me.
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:iconlw97:
LW97 Featured By Owner Aug 6, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Guten Morgen Berlin, du kannst so hässlich sein, so dreckig und grau!
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:iconthatlibraryguy:
thatlibraryguy Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2013
I really enjoyed reading this piece, great job!
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Mar 12, 2013  Professional Writer
Thank you so much, for the fav, and for taking the time to leave feedback! :)
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:iconanapests-and-ink:
anapests-and-ink Featured By Owner Jul 6, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
There's an understated sorrow in this piece; grief and heartache held back by sheer exhaustion. There's a pain much deeper than the physical ache Harry is experiencing. The organization--even jst that the entire thing takes place at night--really adds to the mood. Lovely piece.
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Professional Writer
thanks for the comment, and the fav. I was hoping this would get a little more attention, because i worked for a whole month on it, and that's about 3 weeks longer than usual.

i'm a little concerned that it's more a character or scene sketch than a stand alone story - I suppose what i'm saying is that i'm afraid the plot is weak or lacking, even if the prose is strong and the characterization is good. thoughts?
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:iconanapests-and-ink:
anapests-and-ink Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Maybe there isn't plot as in "this happened, which caused this, and then it was all resolved and we all felt better," but it's certainly more than a character sketch. There's so much going on, both within the story and without. I'm not familiar with Harry outside of this story (have got to read more), so I had nothing else to base my impressions of him--or his backstory--on. But I got so much out of it. Not just this one night, but the feel of an entire life.
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:iconoboe-wan:
oboe-wan Featured By Owner May 30, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This has such a strong sense of suppressed emotion. It's all there - all of Lucky's (sorry, hard for me to call him Harry!) grief and guilt and sorrow, but he's keeping it under control in order to go on, to do what he has to do. There's a fine balance here - you can tell he feels for the common German people, and he's taking responsibility for the part he's played in the war, but I don't think he's blaming himself too much. Probably a good sign for him, personally.

There's a certain plainspoken simplicity about the narration that seems very fitting with his character. Not to say that there aren't moments of beauty in the writing, because there certainly are, especially the description of the snow when Lucky is out smoking with the doctor. It's very poignant, the way he's dwelling on the immediate - the people he's with, his aches and pains - to avoid having to think back on the friends he's lost or his deeper sorrow. You know that sooner or later it's going to break through the surface, but not just yet.

Also I'm impressed that though Neil Andrews is never mentioned by name, there was no doubt in my mind who the Major was. That is some strong characterization.

Excellent work, though one expects nothing less from you!
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:icondoughboycafe:
doughboycafe Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2012  Professional Writer
:heart: you always leave the best comment.

Yea, I was really trying hard for a sense of forced suppression of emotion and controlled... nothingness. So I'm glad you picked that up, and all the guilt and the sadness, perhaps a bit of anger somewhere vaguely in there, and the dwelling on things that don't matter to avoid those that do.

We all know how THAT goes for him later on down the line :c

Also lololol. Everyone who read it told me "omg, neil andrews!" and I was like haha, it's true. You always know it's him.
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