Strange Meeting (1971) is a novel by Susan Hill about the First World War. The title of the book is taken from a poem by the First World War poet Wilfred Owen.
== Part I ==
He thought I want to go back for there was nothing for him here.
Then he thought that he could hear the thudding of the guns. But there were so many noises now, imagined or remembered.
He tried not to count over all the possible ways in which, after tomorrow, he was going to die.
She was like the others. Understood nothing.
He knew that when he left here, he would not be able to believe that it would all continue to exist.
…pieces of a past belonging to some stranger.
There is no one that knows. Don’t go.
He thought, we need him, he has something that none of us have.
He was almost beside himself in a rush of dread on Barton’s behalf.
== Part II ==
Had seen that Barton has appalled by the sight of Feurvy, as he had not been by the sight of the dead pilot in the crashed plane.
We can imagine it thats all.
But wasn’t Harris better off? For would he not have gone through terror after terror in the front line, only to meet a death less sudden, more painful, more clearly foreseen?
But I have been ashamed of myself for getting so thoroughly hardened so quickly.
They seem like some dream country which we inhabited long ago.
John says one of the most difficult things is getting used to new faces, new faces.
Oh it was like meeting ghosts.
This agony of feeling on behalf of someone else was entirely new to him.
His initial excitement had gone long since.
He wanted to take the body … and dig a grave for him… for would that have been more purposeful, would he have done the first thing of vague since coming into this war?
Isn’t that why you read him to try and make some sense of all this?
The War? I shouldn’t think that’s possible.
I’ve been trying…give it a point and purpose when there are none.
That day it hit me, that I’d been feeling nothing. I’d become entirely callous.
You can’t feel everyman’s death.
I’m afraid of myself, of what I’m becoming.
I love you John.
== Part III ==
We are drones not fighting men.
John says he may have a head to lose but certainly not a heart.
He can’t wait to get his bayonet into someone, which I find very chilling, and more so because he is basically a nice chap.
the old familiar stumps of rotten black teeth.
It is the constant possibility of accident which erodes ones courage most of all.
There will never be another war.
Men could never be so stupid, John! After all this!
We had better not start building castles in Spain.
The letters were so full of formal expressions of love and sympathy.
== External links ==