"Let us pray that the great historic tragedy of our time may not have been enacted without instructing our whole beloved country through terror and pity; and may fulfillment verify in the end those expectations which kindle the bards of Progress and Humanity."
"War is thus divine in itself, since it is a law of the world. War is divine through its consequences of a supernatural nature which are as much general as particular.... War is divine in the mysterious glory that surrounds it and in the no less inexplicable attraction that draws us to it.... War is divine by the manner in which it breaks out."
"A nation fights well in proportion to the amount of men and materials it has. And the other equation is that the individual soldier in that army is a more effective soldier the poorer his standard of living has been in the past."
"There was never a revolution to equal it, and never a city more glorious than Petrograd, and for all that period of my life I lived another and braved the ice of winter and the summer flies in Vyborg while across my adopted country of the past, winds of the revolution blew their flame, and all of us suffered hunger while we drank at the wine of equality."
"Those who have been immersed in the tragedy of massive death during wartime, and who have faced it squarely, never allowing their senses and feelings to become numbed and indifferent, have emerged from their experiences with growth and humanness greater than that achieved through almost any other means."
"The more prosperous and settled a nation, the more readily it tends to think of war as a regrettable accident; to nations less fortunate the chance of war presents itself as a possible bountiful friend."
"I believe that there was a great age, a great epoch when man did not make war: previous to 2000 B.C. Then the self had not really become aware of itself, it had not separated itself off, the spirit was not yet born, so there was no internal conflict, and hence no permanent external conflict."
"War. Fighting. Men ... every man in the whole realm is in the army.... Every man in uniform ... An economy entirely geared to war ... but there is not much war ... hardly any fighting ... yet every man a soldier from birth till death ... Men ... all men for fighting ... but no war, no wars to fight ... what is it, what does it mean?"
"There was a kind of shifting of the balances of my brain, of the way I had been thinking, the same kind of realignment as when, a few days before, words like democracy, liberty, freedom, had faded under pressure of a new sort of understanding of the real movement of the world towards dark, hardening power. I knew, but of course the word, written, cannot convey the quality of this knowing, that whatever already is has its logic and its force. I felt this, like a vision, in a new kind of knowing. And I knew that the cruelty and the spite and the I.I.I.I. of Saul and of Anna were part of the logic of war; and I knew how strong these emotions were, in a way that would never leave me, would become part of how I saw the world."
"All the old supports going, gone, this man reaches out a hand to steady himself on a ledge of rough brick that is warm in the sun: his hand feeds him messages of solidity, but his mind messages of destruction, for this breathing substance, made of earth, will be a dance of atoms, he knows it, his intelligence tells him so: there will soon be war, he is in the middle of war, where he stands will be a waste, mounds of rubble, and this solid earthy substance will be a film of dust on ruins."
"She was watching, fearfully, the effect on herself of the poetry of suffering; the words "no man's land," "star shells," "Boche," touched off in her images like those of poetry; no man's land was the black and wasted desert between the living forces; star shells exploded in coloured lights, like fireworks, across her brain, drenched in reminiscence; Boche was fearful and gigantic, nothing human, a night figure; the tripping word "Gallipoli" was like a heroic dance. She was afraid because of the power of these words, which affected her so strongly, who had nothing to do with what they stood for."
"We are all of us made by war, twisted and warped by war, but we seem to forget it. A war does not end with the Armistice. In 1919, all over a Europe filled with graves, hung miasmas and miseries, and over the whole world too, because of the flu and its nearly thirty million deaths. I used to joke that it was the war that had give birth to me, as a defence when weary with the talk about the war that went on--and on--and on. But it was no joke. I used to feel there was something like a dark grey cloud, like poison gas, over my early childhood. Later I found people who had the same experience. Perhaps it was from that war that I first felt the struggling panicky need to escape, with a nervous aversion to where I have just stood, as if something there might blow up or drag me down by the heel."