Read Loopgravenoorlog: 1914 1918 by Jacques Tardi Free Online
Book Title: Loopgravenoorlog: 1914 1918|
The author of the book: Jacques Tardi
ISBN 13: 9789030384670
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 19.39 MB
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Reader ratings: 3.9
Date of issue: 1993
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Jacques Tardi vs. Otto Dix, & The Horrors of The War that Should Have Ended All Wars
This is Tardi working at the absolute peak of his creative powers. The passion & righteous hatred he derives from the subject matter:
01. The sheer waste, futility, and soul-crushing injustices of war, never more devastatingly demonstrated than during the protracted 4-year nightmare of trench warfare.
02. The arrogance and ignorance of the senior officers responsible for ordering hundreds of thousands of men to horrible deaths for the sake of a strategically insane plan to gain 50 meters of mud, rats & rotten corpses; if an officer's plan worked, he was honored & promoted & celebrated in the Rococo decadence of a long-dead aristocrat's mansion, while the 50% of soldiers who survived the pointless slaughter celebrated by trying to bury the 50% who didn't, but beneath the foot-&-a-half of sucking mud hides near-frozen earth... and nothing will keep the already ravaged bodies of their friends & comrades from being violated by the swarming rats; if the plans fail, the officer will still be praised for his iron resolve, and for being unafraid to make hard, bold decisions. The officer will blame the failure on the soldiers themselves, and order that the surviving 35% who retreated back to their lines be labelled cowards & traitors... sentencing the remaining regiment or company to old-school Roman Decimation - a random selection of every 10th man, sentenced to death by firing squad as traitors and deserters.
03. All of the insanity triggered by stupid old men who would never pick up a weapon, and whose children & grandchildren would never approach the Front; the stupid old fucks who gave the orders from the long-dead aristocrat's mansion a mile away - watching dots & sparks & smoke through spyglasses and talking about 'the glory of battle' and 'the burden of leadership' - never ventured close enough to see the faceless cadavers in tattered uniforms, the scattered limbs & organs inside the impact craters; to be assaulted by the stench of bodies in every stage of decomposition; or hear the screams & desperate entreaties for help, soldiers intentionally gutshot and left to a long, agonizing death... bait for any stretcher-bearing friends mad enough to rush into the cross-hairs of the .50 caliber meat-grinders, and join the chorus of suffering, serving to utterly demoralize the enemy. The stupid old fucks had no idea of what this utter hell on earth they helped create was really like. There was a vast, unbridgeable disconnect between 19th Century ideas about war, and the modern reality of war... airplanes, tanks, machine-guns, mustard-gas: between the Napoleonic romance of war as a forge for the heart of man to be beaten into shaped steel & hardened in the blood of the enemy; and the industrialized slaughter of the 20th Century. There is no glory to be won dying from one of the countless varieties of pestilence in the trenches, shitting your life out your asshole of cholera. And there is no honor in charging across a No Man's Land of barbed wire & mines, every inch pre-sighted by snipers & machine-gun emplacements, when the Lieutenant is executing anyone refusing to go over-the-top.
And all of this is reflected with vivid clarity in the artwork. Tardi is no slouch, but his use of tones and textures here is exquisite, allowing him to portray the muck and slime and rotting corpses with a level of detail that he usually avoids. This is the masterpiece of an artist who is already among the sequential art elite, and has had an incalculable influence on younger cartoonists, in particular Joe Sacco and Ivan B. It belongs next to Stanley Kubrick & Jim (Killer Inside Me) Thompson's 'Paths of Glory' as narrative masterworks about the horror of The Great War.
[Post-script: Reading some of the other reviews, the question was raised of how anyone could have lived through the sheer horror of the trenches and still be hungry enough for battle to start WWII? Who would want a rematch? As is always the case, the 'loser' of the first fight.
There are very few things worse than the butchery of war, seeing men's lives sold so cheaply... except knowing that it was all for nothing. The loss made the horror of it all that much worse. And it made veterans defensive and insecure. Otto Dix spoke about his experiences in WWI as if it were a rite of manhood, an inevitable test of the steel in one's soul. But his art told another story: 'Trench', his tryptychs from the early 30's, and his many paintings of the legless, armless, grievously deformed war vets who were a constant reminder of Germany's futile sacrifices, all seem to indicate that WWI was much more than an education or crucible.
Otto Dix, 'The War Triptych(Central Panel 1929-34)' -- Dix fought in the trenches for Germany in WWI, depicting the carnage with a cool eye, recording the horrors without judgement:
The person most responsible for WWII was another veteran of the trenches, a war hero and stretcher bearer who couldn't let the humiliation Germany suffered at the treaty of Versailles go unanswered. To be clear: Hitler was not admirable, and his cause was not just. But I think much of his appeal to the German people related to his understanding of the way that WWI gnawed at the sleeping minds of veterans, made them imagine people saw them with accusing eyes, thought them to be cowards who had surrendered Germany's honor, and worse, betrayed the men whose bones still littered the battlefield. Hitler promised them a chance to avenge the 'betrayal' of Versailles, and a chance to restore German pride.
Otto Dix, 'The Seven Deadly Sins'(1933):
I think WWII and the genocidal madness of the Third Reich could have been avoided if it weren't for the ridiculously harsh demands of Article 231, the notorious 'War Guilt Clause': military disarmament, the loss of territory, and forced reparations that would have amounted to nearly half-a-trillion dollars US in today's currency. The economic drain of WWI was exacerbated by Article 231, sending Germany into a financial crisis. There was a pervasive opinion in the Weimar years that the nation had been betrayed by its leaders. It was believed that after a long stalemate, German politicians had surrendered while the military had been determined to fight. Rich and powerful Jewish interests were at the center of a conspiracy theory that implicated them as scapegoats.
Otto Dix, 'Flanders'(1934):
In reality, Germany had been beaten. The Hundred Days Offensive launched by the Allies had decisively crushed the Germans on the Western front; the worsening economy led to massive worker strikes that shut down much of the necessary production; desertion was weakening the army, the Imperial German Navy suffered a mutiny at Kiel, and this triggered further domestic chaos and the 'German Revolution'. Blaming rich Jews and foreigners was preferable to facing such ugly truths.
The Treaty of Versailles served to nurture a seething resentment among the German people, and inflicted economic injuries that aggravated the insults, but were not enough to cripple the nation's ability to rebuild itself militarily. I wonder, if the treaty had been done differently, allowing Germany to retain some modicum of its wounded pride, would it have been enough to keep the national socialists from rising to power? Would it have been enough to prevent WWII? Or would the 'losers' have still wanted their 'rematch'?]
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Read information about the authorJacques Tardi is a French comics artist, born 30 August 1946 in Valence, Drôme. He is often credited solely as Tardi.
After graduating from the École nationale des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and the École nationale supérieure des arts décoratifs in Paris, he started writing comics in 1969, at the age of 23, in the comics magazine Pilote, initially illustrating short stories written by Jean Giraud and Serge de Beketch, before creating the political fiction story Rumeur sur le Rouergue from a scenario by Pierre Christin in 1972.
A highly versatile artist, Tardi successfully adapted novels by controversial writer Louis-Ferdinand Céline or crime novelist Léo Malet. In Malet's case, Tardi adapted his detective hero Nestor Burma into a series of critically acclaimed graphic novels, though he also wrote and drew original stories of his own.
Tardi also created one of French comics' most famous heroines, Adèle Blanc-Sec. This series recreates the Paris of early 20th century where the moody heroine encounters supernatural events, state plots, occult societies and experiments in cryogenics.
Another graphic novel was Ici Même which was written by Jean-Claude Forest, best known as the creator of Barbarella. A satire, it describes the adventures of Arthur Même who lives on the walls of his family's former property.
Tardi has produced many antiwar graphic novels and comics, mainly focusing on the collective European trauma of the First World War, and the pitfalls of patriotism spawned several albums (Adieu Brindavoine, C'était la guerre des tranchées, Le trou d'obus, Putain de Guerre...). His grandfather's involvement in the day-to-day horrors of trench warfare, seems to have had a deep influence to his artistic expression. He also completed a four-volume series on the Paris Commune, Le cri du peuple.
Fantagraphics Books translate and publish in English a wide range of Tardi's books, done by editor and translator Kim Thompson. The books released so far are West Coast Blues (Le Petit bleu de la côte ouest), You Are There (Ici Même), and It Was the War of the Trenches (C'était la guerre des tranchées); a single album collecting the first two Adele Blanc-Sec volumes has also been published.
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