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It's not like the Highlander: example 804. - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

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It's not like the Highlander: example 804. [Jul. 24th, 2011|02:39 pm]
Marissa Lingen
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Dear people writing books that have anything to do with war, fiction or nonfiction:

You do not absolutely have to have epigraphs from Sun Tzu. Truly, you do not. In the history of humanity, other people have written about war. As you seem to hope to be among them, this should be clear to you. Please read more broadly in future, or at least make your friends read more broadly so that you don't blend in with quite such a huge crowd. I know he's pithy. Other people are pithy too.

Sternly,
mrissa

PS Switching to the "all Tacitus, all the time" channel is not a solution to this problem.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: also_huey
2011-07-24 07:40 pm (UTC)
How do you feel about "all Clausewitz, all the time"?
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-07-24 07:41 pm (UTC)
I haven't actually seen that much Clausewitz for epigraphs (possibly I am reading the wrong end of the historical spectrum for this). So for me, "some Clausewitz, some of the time" would be really quite refreshing.

I just feel that any time someone groans, "Oh, that again," it's gotten to be too much of A Thing.
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[User Picture]From: alecaustin
2011-07-24 08:18 pm (UTC)
Clausewitz is what people used to quote before Sun Tzu became all fashionable in the '80s, alas.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-07-24 08:34 pm (UTC)
Ah, I missed the Clausewitz phase between Tacitus and Sun Tzu.
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[User Picture]From: freelikebeer
2011-07-26 08:33 pm (UTC)

It surprises me ...

when non-military people have heard of Clausewitz. It's dense reading. Also makes me feel illiterate, since I only know about Clausewitz because I know military people.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-07-26 08:43 pm (UTC)

Re: It surprises me ...

My grandpa was a Marine, and my mother spent a year of my childhood up to her neck in Liddell-Hart, so...yes, non-military, but.
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[User Picture]From: clarentine
2011-07-25 12:14 am (UTC)
::thumbs up::
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[User Picture]From: sartorias
2011-07-24 07:55 pm (UTC)
Kinda like the only astrologer of the 1500s was John Dee.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-07-24 08:35 pm (UTC)
Blerg, yes.
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[User Picture]From: zalena
2011-07-24 08:09 pm (UTC)
Rasputin.
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[User Picture]From: howl_at_the_sun
2011-07-24 08:25 pm (UTC)
Your tags, they are awesome.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-07-24 08:35 pm (UTC)
We aim to please.
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[User Picture]From: rysmiel
2011-07-25 12:46 am (UTC)
I shall restrain my impulses to whack certain authors repeatedly (Jim Butcher specifically comes to mind) with the "To defeat your enemy you must pretend inferiority and encourage your enemy's arrogance" bit, then, because I am sick to the back teeth of reading stories containing the notion that all human conflict can be boiled down to "stand up to the bully and they will be scared off, show weakness to the bully and they will be all over you". Not all people one might wish to oppose are that tactically dumb.

Edited at 2011-07-25 12:48 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: matociquala
2011-07-25 01:51 am (UTC)
Um. Is it okay that I quoted Sun Tzu when I also quoted Liddell-Hart?

Also, this is the second Sun Tzu post on my flist currently.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2011-07-25 01:52 am (UTC)
Sure. Liddell-Hart signals that you don't just default to Sun Tzu, you use Sun Tzu when it's appropriate.

(Also, as my mother's daughter I am contractually bound to tell you that even if it had not been okay, Liddell-Hart covers a multitude of sins.)
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[User Picture]From: matociquala
2011-07-25 01:54 am (UTC)
It was even ironic Liddell-Hart, because I used the one about twisting the truth producing abominations of thought. *g*

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[User Picture]From: alecaustin
2011-07-25 02:38 am (UTC)
Liddell-Hart is often ironic, isn't he? (Unintentionally, I mean - it's hard to imagine someone with more self-awareness saying and writing some of the things he did...)
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[User Picture]From: matociquala
2011-07-25 02:41 am (UTC)
MWahahaha. Yeah, that was exactly what I meant. ;-)
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From: hawkwing_lb
2011-07-25 11:41 pm (UTC)
Tacitus isn't even a very good pre-medieval author for war-related things. Xenophon is better. The Strategikon of Emperor Maurice or the Tactica of Leo VI are better yet.

(Not that I would also be frustrated by this trend, or anything.)
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