Quotation by James Fenton

Those who actually set out to see the fall of a city ... or those who choose to go to a front line, are obviously asking themselves to what extent they are cowards. But the tests they set themselves—there is a dead body, can you bear to look at it?—are nothing in comparison with the tests that are sprung on them. It is not the obvious tests that matter (do you go to pieces in a mortar attack?) but the unexpected ones (here is a man on the run, seeking your help—can you face him honestly?).
James Fenton (b. 1949), British poet, critic. repr. In All the Wrong Places (1988). "The Fall of Saigon," no. 15, Granta (Cambridge, England, 1985).
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