Anton Tammsaare: War, the greatest enterprise of the modern age

For peace, against war: literary selections

Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

Anton Tammsaare
From The Misadventures of the New Satan (1939)
Translated by Olga Shartze

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“One more thing: what do you think I’d be better on earth – a peasant, a merchant, an industrialist, a worker, a diplomat, a scientist, a writer, an artist, or a preacher? Who will achieve salvation easiest, in our days?”

“That’s hard, very hard to say,” Peter mumbled thoughtfully. “In my day I was a fisherman, and you know as well as I do what happened. Farming is a good occupation, because if war breaks out, laying waste the land, burning down all your buildings, destroying your livestock, and killing your wife and children, you’ll certainly go to heaven, seeing that you couldn’t expect any mercy or charity from anyone but our Lord. Now, if war doesn’t break out and you start growing rich quickly, thanks to all…

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