Ink brush, 35.8 x 26 in.

Private collection

"A little germ like influenza carried off five maybe ten million people in a single winter. Then how could a guy lose his arms and legs and ears and eyes and nose and mouth and still be alive? How did you make any sense out of it? The war had been a wonderful thing for the doctors and he was the lucky guy who hat profited by everything they learned. But there was one thing they couldn´t do. They might be perfectly able to put a guy back into the womb but they couldn´t get him out again. He was there for good. All the parts that were gone from him were gone forever. That was the thing he must remember. That was the thing he must try to believe. When that sank in he could calm down and think.“

(From: "Johnny got his gun“, Kensington Publishing Corp.) 

Die Hauptfigur des Romans „Johnny got his gun“ Joe Bonham durchlebt nach schwersten Kriegsverletzungen ein Martyrium. Er ist nun bewegungslos, verstümmelt, taubstumm und blind. Trotz der daraus resultierenden Isolation sind sein Bewusstsein und Intellekt jedoch schärfer denn je. 

The main character of the novel "Johnny got his gun" Joe Bonham undergoes martyrdom after the most severe war injuries. He is now immobile, maimed, deaf-mute and blind. Despite the resulting isolation, however, his awareness and intellect are sharper than ever. Johnny now recalls the cluelessness that led him to volunteer to participate on the American side in the belligerent conflicts of World War 1. He also recalls the empty promises of bombproof shelters. His current condition is akin to a lifetime of solitary confinement. Johnny thinks with horror of future children for whom a similar fate may await if there is no transformation in public consciousness. If they do not wake up from the daydream of blind obedience and dull nationalism they do not turn away from institutionalized murder in acts of war.