In this week's reading Lee Sandlin offers us quite interesting perspective on a war that we are all familiar with but that we were never around to see. I think that Sandlin probes the question, "do we see it now?" At one point Sandlin describes the war from his own eyes as "a metaphysical struggle." Although he describes that this is the way he saw it when he was a child, I get the sense that Sandlin believes that the general population looks at the war this way still. On page 322 he writes, "but that just shows how little anyboyd really understood what was happening to the world."
On page 320 we read the end of the beginning. Sandlin writes, "That' the truth about the war: the sense that what happened over there simply can't be told in the language of peace.
And so, Sandlin gives us a "lyrical history" lesson. Taking us through WWII in a beautifully composed essay. On his web site, Sandlin said that he writes historical essays based on events people are familiar with. He relies heavily on the work of others for facts on these historical events. Yet, he brings interesting perspective, including his childhood, his relationship and interactions with his veteran father.
What I find interesting is that Sandlin admitts he doesn't fancy reporting. He wants to know what happened but he would never want to call to see what happened. My question for the class is, what type of reporting is this? Obviously we see a narrative in Sandlin's work but where is it coming from. If he doesn't like reporting, what is he doing?