WAR--Louis Nazzi (1884-1913)
Benjamin Tucker, writing in Dora Marsden's The New Freewoman (1913-19), said that "ON the death of Louis Nazzi at the age of twenty-eight, France has lost one of the most promising of her younger writers, and one whose promise had already resulted in a considerable performance. I shall venture to offer THE NEW FREEWOMAN a sample of his quality, though I do so With some foreboding, lest this offering also may appear, to the editorial eye, or ear, as mere "bombast and fustian. "Writing of armed peace and compulsory military service, he says:"
"I hate war, violently, with all my filial and fierce love of life. From the day when I understood the work of faith, ardour, and suffering that is summed up in the single word, life, I have refused my consent to war, which at school I was taught to venerate. When one thinks of the amount of goodwill, tenderness, devotion, fruitless effort, anxious and vigilant thought, toilsome deeds, and tiresome marches, requisite to the filling of a man's existence from the cradle to the grave, one cannot admit its criminal destruction in the name of an interest declared superior. No reason can triumph over it. Nothing can make me deny the individual; I am for him, against sanguinary czars and republics. Man is his own country, and the vastest of all. All that I know, feel, and am, my entire being, rises and refuses its complicity for the day of the next butchery. I need my arms and my brain, my heat and my thought, for my own, my work, and myself. My country is what I love and understand; it overruns four frontiers. If you wish me to kill, efface from my soul my dreams of happiness, efface the words of peace and love, efface everything. Drive from my vision all the images of earth, expel all light ! Burn my deepest recollections, my dearest associations, my reasons to hope and smile again ! Devastate my past, all that has been and all that means to be—the uncertain future that I have prepared by the painful labour of my loyal and trusting hands ! Break the embrace of the mother, the wife, and the child ! If you wish me to kill, kill first the man that is in me; perhaps then the beast will obey you."