I remember first reading Paul Fussell back in the 1980’s. The book was about the great war and its mood was distinctly grumpy. Paul didn’t like that people who had never fought in a war found war to be romantic. He had fought and he wanted to share what it was really like. There was something very different about his writing style. I couldn’t put that in words back then. But I can now. Paul preferred reality to entertainment about reality. And this was going against the grain in those days and still now. BTW, Wendell Berry shared that same style. Well, Paul just passed away at age 88. Let’s hope that his attitude doesn’t go with him.
As we live longer and longer, and think about living longer still, we might keep in mind what Paul had to say. A life lived with a shuttered view of reality is boring.