Its ranks have been swelled by young Kashmiris, who disappear from their colleges or homes and surface again clutching rifles in videos widely circulated on social media. Such announcements are celebrated in Delhi, but brew alienation and anger among Kashmiris. Civilians have started running to the sites of armed clashes, putting their bodies on the line to help insurgents escape. Wani, 28, is part of a generation of Kashmiris who have grown up during the insurgency. If India and Pakistan were to fight another war over Kashmir, it would make no difference to his life, he says.
We have never seen peace. A bitter winter in Srinagar had just started to ease when the latest crisis was sparked on 14 February. That afternoon a local member of a Pakistan-based militant group rammed a car laden with explosives into a bus carrying Indian paramilitaries. The explosion was heard for miles around. At least 40 people were killed, the highest death toll from a single attack in the history of the insurgency. Economic life in the region, which is frequently interrupted, has virtually ground to a halt, said the manager of an insurance company.
Kashmir is landlocked, and supplies of food and petrol were already running short after landslides and snow closed the only highway into the region.
What Is the Cause of Conflict?
The prospect of war prompted panic buying. Supermarket shelves emptied of staple foods and there were long queues for fuel. We got stocks to last for at least two months. Since merchants on both sides of divided Kashmir have exchanged goods in a barter system intended to build confidence between the countries. The trucks that ply the route have been dormant, parked at a trading point near the ceasefire line, for more than two weeks.
But resentment among those who live there will continue to grow, planting the seeds for the next crisis, says Noor Ahmad Baba, a retired professor of political science at the Central University of Kashmir. He got so close my father could see the clothes he was wearing: light-colored trousers and a yellow-and-black striped shirt.
My father braked. There was screaming in the compartments.
My father got off the train, followed by a group of passengers. They found no one on the tracks. This happened twice more.
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The screeching halts are unanticipated and come one by one. Looting remainders and finding people guilty by association was a feature of the Francoist modus operandi. Each scene requires a not insignificant degree of suspension of disbelief, the combination of violent imagery and unlikely outcome propelling our narrator, like a ragdoll, into the next scene.
After the Spanish Civil War, Rodoreda took several years to return to writing novels. In the mids, she claimed that pain in her right arm prevented her from writing. She suddenly took up painting, and, over the next decade, would complete some canvases — watercolors and collages, never oils.
Like the scenes that make up War, So Much War , her paintings revealed their meaning less in their pictorial subjects than in the thick and blurry lines that gave them shape. And that certainly appears to be true in War, So Much War.
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Despite the promise of the title, she never addresses the Spanish Civil War directly. She explains in the prologue, which was unfortunately left out of the English translation, that her original title for the novel was El soldat i les roses ; in English, The Soldier and the Roses.
We instead see its wreckage.
Repetition becomes a mode of survival. She placed it on the ground, and the two of them started poking it with twigs.
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The slick, red worm kept squirming. The bricklayer said it was to beat back the enemy, but then the carpenter pointed out that, to our enemies, we are the enemy.
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The hearth builder joined us and said that we could cry all we wanted and there would still be nothing to plow, we were all cannon fodder, nothing but cannon fodder. He sees the working classes rebuild houses flattened by bombs and large estates rotting next to their wealthy owners. Not ten minutes had elapsed since the rowboat had headed out to sea when we heard an airplane engine. Both the light in the bay and the distant red light stopped signaling each other.
Flares leapt from a large ship into the sky, streaks of fire searching for the airplane. It all ended with several explosions, followed by tongues of fire that licked the sky.
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The rowboat did not return and the sound of the plane faded away. Historians such as Paul Preston help us connect the dots of airstrikes and famine. Inevitably, hunger took its toll on morale and solidarity. Suffering was intensified by the steady rhythm of air raids on towns with little anti-aircraft artillery and infrequent fighter cover. These problems were most severe in Catalonia.
Though the Catalonian countryside might sound like an idyllic backdrop for a pen and a notepad, for Rodoreda it was, in many ways, the ground zero of the Spanish Civil War.