University of Chicago Magazine's Reviews > An Artist as Soldier: Seeking Refuge in Love and Art

An Artist as Soldier by Barbara Heisler
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's review
Sep 12, 2017

bookshelves: ssd

Barbara Heisler, AM'76, PhD'79
Editor, Translator

From Heisler: "At the center of this book are the World War II letters (Feldpostbriefe) of a German artist and art teacher to his wife. When he was drafted in the Wehrmacht, Bernhard Epple was at the beginning of his career. The letters are unusual in two respect. Each letter is lovingly decorated with a drawing, a present to his wife Gudrun, herself an artist; and the letters make few references to the war. In addition to expressing his love for his wife and young child, Epple's letters are about art, about the landscapes he saw, the churches and museums and bookstores he visited. Epple's letter give testimony to how a particular German soldier who was drafted and survived the war did his best to remain a civilian in uniform, distancing himself from a reality he did not choose, seeking comfort and refuge in his love for art and his ability to share this love with is wife. While Epple's letters are deeply personal, this book is about the human experience of war and the separation from civilian life and from family and friends."

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Finished Reading
September 12, 2017 – Shelved
September 12, 2017 – Shelved as: ssd

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