The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries from April 2016

Couldn’t say

April 30th, 2016 · No Comments

“It is quite pleasant to be famous. Probably bad for the soul.” – General George S. Patton, Jr. (quoted by  Rick Atkinson in The Guns at Last Light)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Not even so much as a scratch in the dust

April 29th, 2016 · No Comments

“Writing a book is usually a humdrum affair. You read a lot of other books and articles in your field, produce a draft, polish it, send it out, wait anxiously for reviews, gnash your teeth over the reviews (or the lack of reviews), compulsively check the book’s Amazon ranking for a month or so, and […]

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Tags: George Scialabba · Lit & Crit

Which one are you?

April 28th, 2016 · No Comments

“Great minds discuss ideas, average ones discuss events, and small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

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Tags: Verandah

Not so wild a dream

April 27th, 2016 · No Comments

“The working of democracy is boring, most of the time, and dull compared with other systems, but that is a small price to pay for so great a thing.” – Eric Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream

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Tags: Politics & Law

Nothing and everything

April 26th, 2016 · No Comments

“Nothing is so beautiful, marvelous, ever new, ever surprising, so full of sweet and continual delight, as the good. Nothing is so barren and dismal, monotonous and boring as evil. That is the way with real good and evil. Fictional good and evil are quite the opposite, though. Fictional good is boring and flat. Fictional […]

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

Just go back to sleep

April 25th, 2016 · No Comments

“More than anything else, what makes totalitarianism possible is a people’s submissiveness to authority: its slowness to perceive and unwillingness to resist injustices committed not by distant villains and official enemies but at home, by those with the power to make resistance dangerous.” – George Scialabba, “An Enemy of the State”

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Tags: George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Same as for creative writers

April 24th, 2016 · No Comments

“Emphasis, omission, and distortion rather than outright lying are the tools of the war propagandists.” – I. F. Stone, The Hidden History of the Korean War

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Tags: Lit & Crit · The Korean War

Keeping clean

April 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

“It is simply good intellectual hygiene to reject politically-motivated demands to devalue art or arguments by citing the real or alleged failings of their author.” – George Scialabba, “An Enemy of the State”

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Tags: George Scialabba · Lit & Crit

The theory, anyway

April 22nd, 2016 · No Comments

“Artistic originality emerges only after a lengthy assimilation of many traditions. The artist surrenders his individuality, and it is returned to him enriched. The tradition too is enriched.” – George Scialabba, “The Critic As Radical”

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Tags: George Scialabba · Lit & Crit

Nice work if you can get it

April 21st, 2016 · No Comments

“Don’t come to work just for the paycheck. You want to be challenged, you want to learn, and you want to grow. Break out of your comfort zone and keep an open mind. As long as you’re in a position where you’re expanding your mind and learning new things, you’re going to be fulfilled.” – […]

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Tags: Economics · Verandah

Liberation celebration

April 20th, 2016 · No Comments

“[Colonel] Howze at twilight led a tank company toward the central rail station to find boulevards empty and windows shuttered. Then a sash flew open, a voice shrieked ‘Americano!,’ and Romans by the thousands swept into the streets despite the occasional ping from a sniper round. Delirious citizens flung themselves on to Howze’s jeep and […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

New positions opening all the time

April 19th, 2016 · No Comments

“All troops were at risk, but none more than infantrymen, who accounted for 14 percent of the Army’s overseas strength and sustained 70 percent of the casualties. A study of four infantry divisions in Italy found that a soldier typically no longer wondered ‘whether he will be hit, but when and how bad.’ The army […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

The hand of fate is on me now

April 18th, 2016 · No Comments

“Everything is in the hands of the fates, and many of the boys have met theirs already. I badly want to get home to my wife and son. I want to be able to enjoy something of the beauty of life again. Here we have nothing but terror and horror, death and damnation.” Unidentified German […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

All watched over by virgins of loving grace

April 17th, 2016 · No Comments

“The Guards’ command post occupied the crypt beneath a Catholic church, entered only on hands and knees through a hole scratched in the rubble. A decomposing German soldier lay near the entrance and those passing in and out would subsequently bow to him for luck, whispering, ‘Good evening, Hans.’ Shell fire and bombs had sliced […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Matters worth fighting over

April 16th, 2016 · No Comments

“Berlin had always considered Mussolini to be weak-kneed on the Jewish question, and on September 24, 1943, with the Duce reduced to a pathetic puppet, the Reichsführer-SS, Heinrich Himmler, secretly ordered the Gestapo chief in Rome, Lieutenant Colonel Herbert Kappler, to arrest all Jews in the city. The thirty-five-year-old Kappler, gray-eyed son of a Stuttgart […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Not a glamour shot

April 15th, 2016 · No Comments

“Daily life in combat units resolved itself into noise, filth, isolation, confusion, fatigue, and mortality; everything else seemed extraneous. Soldiers distrusted the gung ho, the cocksure, and anyone less miserable than themselves. ‘We learned to live as perhaps once we were long ago, as simply as animals without hope for ourselves or pity for another,’ […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Adults only

April 14th, 2016 · No Comments

“At 3:30 p.m. on February 7 [1944], a Luftwaffe bomber chased by a Spitfire jettisoned five antipersonnel bombs over the 95th Evacuation Hospital, where four hundred patients lay in ward tents. Newly wounded soldiers had just arrived by ambulance, and operating rooms were jammed when flame and steel swept the compound. . . .  Twenty-eight […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Where the fault lies

April 13th, 2016 · No Comments

“Ninety percent of the trouble with Negro troops was the fault of the whites.” – Lieutenant General Ira C. Eaker, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean Allied Air Forces, 1944 (quoted by Rick Atkinson in The Day of Battle)

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

But it still takes so long

April 12th, 2016 · No Comments

“Before the war, only nine black Americans possessed commercial pilot certificates, and fewer than three hundred had private licenses. Training began at Tuskegee Army Air Field in July 1941; the first pilots received their wings the following spring, then waited a year before deploying to North Africa as the only black AAF unit in a […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Rick Atkinson

Going to the mountaintop

April 11th, 2016 · No Comments

“Under pressure from black civic leaders and a crying need for fighters, three black Army divisions had been created: the 2nd Cavalry, which arrived in North Africa only to be disbanded to provide service troops; the 93rd Infantry, shipped to the Pacific; and the 92nd Infantry, which would arrive in Italy in late summer 1944 […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Studies reveal . . .

April 10th, 2016 · No Comments

“Among the prevalent stereotypes was a belief that blacks were too dumb, too lazy, or too apathetic to serve as combat troops. An Army study decried their ‘lack of education and mechanical skill,’ as well as ‘a venereal rate eight to ten times that of white troops, a tendency to abuse equipment, lack of interest […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Fear of flying

April 9th, 2016 · No Comments

“The 1940 Draft Act banned racial discrimination, but only 250 blacks sat on the nation’s 6,400 draft boards; most southern states forbade any African-American board members. White America’s treatment of the hundreds of thousands of black volunteers and draftees ranged from unfortunate to despicable. The Mississippi congressional delegation asked the War Department to keep all […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

High flight

April 8th, 2016 · No Comments

“The brightest news awaiting [General] Clark at Anzio was not on the beachhead but a mile above it. On January 27 and 28 [1944], an obscure fighter unit, known formally as the 99th Fighter Squadron (Separate), made its first significant mark in combat with guns blazing, shooting down twelve German aircraft. . . . [T]he […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

All we are is . . .

April 7th, 2016 · No Comments

“We are only specks of dust that have settled in the night on the map of the world.” – Winston Churchill (quoted by Rick Atkinson in The Day of Battle)

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Rick Atkinson · The Second World War · Winston Churchill

Someone should

April 6th, 2016 · No Comments

“You can’t believe men will do to each other the things they do. I suppose I’m soft, but I’ve got to say, God forgive us all.” – Unidentified U.S. Army artillery forward observer (quoted by Rick Atkinson in The Day of Battle)

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Tell me about it

April 5th, 2016 · No Comments

“Artists do their best work when they’re old or young. Middle age is the enemy of art.” – Orson Welles

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Verandah

You can set it to music

April 4th, 2016 · No Comments

“The longer I live the more I think of the quality of fortitude—men who fall, pick themselves up and stumble on, fall again, and are trying to get up when they die.” – Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (quoted by Rick Atkinson in The Day of Battle)

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

No appeal

April 3rd, 2016 · No Comments

“Fate, not the Germans or Italians, was our undiscriminating enemy. With the same callousness as Army orders, without fairness or judgment, ‘You and you—dead. The rest of you, on the truck.’ ” – Unidentified Corporal, Royal Engineers, quoted by Rick Atkinson in The Day of Battle

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

What’s your pleasure?

April 2nd, 2016 · No Comments

“I could not, with a clear conscience, ask God to take me safely through this war, but I can ask Him for strength and courage to do my job.” – First Sergeant Randall Harris, United States Army Rangers (quoted by Rick Atkinson in The Day of Battle)

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War

Breaking it all down

April 1st, 2016 · No Comments

“Much had been learned through hard experience in Tunisia about caring for casualties, and the fleet was provisioned on the assumption that the assault force would suffer 15 percent wounded and sick in the first week. A chart distributed to medics helped assess what proportion of a man’s body surface had been burned—4.5 percent if […]

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Tags: Rick Atkinson · The Second World War