annus

THE E’ER INSCRUTABLE | 1916: Annus Fugae Deorum

“Nulla è cambiato, la terribilità della tragedia è identica, tutte le apparenze effimere con cui la civiltà maschera e diversifica nei tempi il puro istinto umano sono qui abolite; l’uomo modern, l’uomo del secolo ventesimo, l’uomo che possiede cannoni e torpedini si ricongiunge al suo progenitore selvaggio, al suo antenato remoto armato soltanto del suo rude vigore e del suo coraggio feroce.” -Mario Morasso, writing of the Russo-Japanese War, April 3, 1904

This is my last article during my first year as a student at Cornell. I normally avoid personal pronouns and excessive self-reference in my articles; today, however, calls for a break in that routine, hopefully not to the displeasure of my readership of one and a half. I have a contention to make: 1916 was the year Germany should have won the war. The world would have been a better place if the apish “Mad Brute” of American wartime caricature, if the perpetrator of the Rape of Belgium had carried the day at Verdun and at the Somme. This is, I am aware, as argumentum ex silentio as it gets: bear with me.