Quotation by Doris Lessing

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.
Doris Lessing (b. 1919), British novelist. Under My Skin, ch. 1, p. 10, Harper Collins (1994).
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