By Keith Douglas
'This is the one publication from the second one global struggle similar with the first-war narratives of Sassoon, Blunden or Graves... while the conflict of El Alamein begun, the poet Keith Douglas used to be in Cairo with Divisional HQ. keen to not pass over the motion, he took a truck and, opposed to orders, drove to re-join his regiment. He served as a tank commander in the course of the entire of the allied improve throughout North Africa, and Alamein to Zem Zem (1946) is his tale. Boyishness and inexperience supply it flash-bulb immediacy... Scenes of unforgettable pity and terror unfold... every little thing, from plants carpeting the wilderness in iciness to vanquished enemies, is visible with a poet's eye and the generosity of youth.' John Carey, Guardian
This Faber unearths variation of Keith Douglas's vintage paintings - initially released years after his dying in Normandy in 1944 - features a new preface via the novelist Richard Skinner.
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Additional resources for Alamein to Zem Zem
I did not expect to remain at large in Central Asia for long, even supposing that I got there, but judging by my last journey, my experiences once I left the beaten track were likely to be unusual and entertaining. The chief danger was that I would be picked up and sent back to Moscow as soon as I left the Trans-Siberian. I started from Moscow on September 21st with a first-class ticket, bought quite openly, a supply of roubles, some tins of foie gras, no more luggage than I could carry on my back, and no definite plans.
My journey was over. I had not reached Central Asia and I had made a number of major tactical errors. On the other hand I had caught my first glimpse of the East and I had lived on and off in considerably closer proximity to the Soviet population than I would have believed possible. Next time, I decided, I would profit by this experience. Next time___ 5i CHAPTER V TOUCH AND GO the end of the summer my turn had come for another spell of leave, and I was free to make a fresh attempt to reach Central Asia.
It was quite clear that hers was the dominant personality in the neighbourhood. I noticed with pleasure that she still spoke Russian with a strong English accent. I asked her if she had had any trouble with the local authorities. ‘None to speak of/ she said. ‘They keep trying to make me give up my English nationality. But I tell them not to be silly/ Later on she took me to see the cemetery, a sad little place, hidden away on the outskirts of the town, which she had cared for and tended for the best part of twenty years, fighting a never-ceasing battle against weeds, stray dogs, hens and marauding Soviet children.