The Cross of Carl:An Allegory; The story of one who went down into the depths and was buried; who, doubting much, yet at the last lifted up his eyes unto the hills and rose again and was transfigured

The Cross of Carl An Allegory The story of one who went down into the depths and was buried who doubting much yet at the last lifted up his eyes unto the hills and rose again and was transfigured An anti war religious allegory this is the story of Carl s first and last day of combat as a soldier in World War I He can be identified from hints as a German but his nationality is not the point h

  • Title: The Cross of Carl:An Allegory; The story of one who went down into the depths and was buried; who, doubting much, yet at the last lifted up his eyes unto the hills and rose again and was transfigured
  • Author: Walter Owen
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 125
  • Format: Hardcover
  • An anti war religious allegory, this is the story of Carl s first and last day of combat as a soldier in World War I He can be identified from hints as a German, but his nationality is not the point here Carl is presented as an Everyman and a Christ figure carl, from the Old Norse for man, meant peasant or serf in earlier periods of English The four chapters An anti war religious allegory, this is the story of Carl s first and last day of combat as a soldier in World War I He can be identified from hints as a German, but his nationality is not the point here Carl is presented as an Everyman and a Christ figure carl, from the Old Norse for man, meant peasant or serf in earlier periods of English The four chapters of the book are named after the stages of the Passion Gethsemane, Golgotha, Sepulture and Resurrection In the first, he takes part in a dawn advance on Hill 50, receives several wounds all described, as are the wounds of nearby soldiers, with an almost nauseating vividness and passes out in the enemy s trench In the second, mistaken for a corpse, he is taken to a rendering plant where the remains of soldiers are ground up, boiled down in a giant vat and separated into useful products pig food, oil, manure etc Carl wakes up and barely manages to escape from this place In the third section he wanders on the moor, his mind unhinged or, from a different point of view, purged of earthly restraints finds a broken shovel, digs his own grave and lies down in it In the final section, two generals come upon him the following morning and listen to his visionary rambling, then shoot him as a dangerously subversive figure and put him back in his grave The author s descriptions of horrors on the battlefield and in the rendering plant must have tested the limits of taste for his day When he sticks to straightforward description, his story has a good deal of power, but he frequently coats the horrors with a heavy, honeyed prose that blurs their outlines Still, a remarkable book for its graphic descriptions of mangled bodies and deranged souls, part of that small sub genre of fiction including, most notably, Machen s The Bowmen that brings the supernatural and the military into close proximity The author, in a clinical prefatory note, explains how the story came to him in 1917 in the course of visions, or hallucinations, while he was taking opiates for a physical ailment that kept him out of the war a bi location of his spirit enabled him to inhabit temporarily the body of a German soldier on the battlefield Thus the book is also of relevance for those interested in automatic writing and drug induced literature Robert Eldridge.

    One thought on “The Cross of Carl:An Allegory; The story of one who went down into the depths and was buried; who, doubting much, yet at the last lifted up his eyes unto the hills and rose again and was transfigured”

    1. This is a short book. It can easily be read in one sitting and looks to have been originally published in the form of a tract. I'm not exactly sure how it was first published since I've read it in the Groff Conklin 1951 collection In the Grip of Terror. I would describe it a novella due to it's brevity.Cross is the story of Carl, a nondescript older recruit in a pointless war, which seems modeled after WW1. Desiring to win the "Cross", Carl becomes involved in an assault from the trenches on "Hi [...]

    2. Splatterpunk avant la lettre, weird Gnostic execration and unction, desperate plea for peace, The Cross of Carl is one of the strangest books I've ever read. Carl's passion takes places on the gory field of a WWI battle and in a factory where the bodies of fallen soldiers are rendered down into fat and manure. A heartrending yowl in plangent prose.

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