All of Life is a Quiz: Who Rode the Naked Desert?

Lars Quiz header

Family business prevented me from writing my envisaged article for this week, so it was time for a creative solution again. I decided it was a good idea to provide you all with a quiz to test your ability for literary exploring. Actually it is a cheap imitation from very popular quizzes like “where was this photo taken?” So here we go: from which famous (and copyright free) book is this excerpt taken?

Some of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances. For years we lived anyhow with one another in the naked desert, under the indifferent heaven. By day the hot sun fermented us; and we were dizzied by the beating wind. At night we were stained by dew, and shamed into pettiness by the innumerable silences of stars. We were a self-centred army without parade or gesture, devoted to freedom, the second of man’s creeds, a purpose so ravenous that it devoured all our strength, a hope so transcendent that our earlier ambitions faded in its glare.

As time went by our need to fight for the ideal increased to an unquestioning possession, riding with spur and rein over our doubts. Willy-nilly it became a faith. We had sold ourselves into its slavery, manacled ourselves together in its chain-gang, bowed ourselves to serve its holiness with all our good and ill content. The mentality of ordinary human slaves is terrible–they have lost the world–and we had surrendered, not body alone, but soul to the overmastering greed of victory. By our own act we were drained of morality, of volition, of responsibility, like dead leaves in the wind.

I will provide you with one hint: this year the beginning of one particular war is remembered. It should not be too difficult, so start your search and provide your answer in the comment section. Have fun!


Iemand, niemand en honderdduizend
Wij waren daar niet toen wij daar waren
Geachte heer M.
Mama Tandoori
Lars Sanders

Lars Sanders

Lars Sanders studied history at the University of Groningen and specialised in the history of post-war Germany. Is addicted to fine prose and has a keen interest in representations of the devil and what Ian Kershaw once punningly classified as the lunatic fringe of politics.
Lars Sanders
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