“The Good Soldiers”. And the good reporters

“The Good Soldiers”, romanul non-fictional cu care David Finkel a castigat recent “Anthony Lukas” Book Prize, oferit de Nieman Foundation si Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, e un elogiu adus complexitatii si subtilitatii. Intr-un moment in care simplitatea si simplismul pareau sa fi acaparat definitiv sensibilitatea jurnalistica.

David, reporter special la “The Washington Post”, a stat mai bine de un an, intre 2007 si 2008, in Irak, urmarind operatiunile de lupta ale batalionului 2-16. Aproape 8 luni a fost “embedded journalist” printre soldatii supranumiti “Rangers”. Experienta terifianta a razboiului a prins viata, in 2009, in “The Good Soldiers”. Cartea a primit, pe 4 mai, prestigiosul trofeu “Anthony Lukas”, oferit de Nieman Foundation si Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, insotit de un premiu de 10.000 de dolari.

In discursul pe care l-a tinut cu prilejul ceremoniei de premiere, Ellen Goodman, castigatoare in trecut a unui Pulitzer, la fel ca si David Finkel, de altfel, a atras atentia celor prezenti – premianti si nominalizati – asupra tentatiilor super-simplificarii demersului jurnalistic. “Aceasta carte (“The Good Soldiers”, n.a.) aduce complexitate intr-un moment in care complexitatea este complet demodata. Iar autorul urmeaza povestea acolo unde duce ea, mergand tocmai impotriva trendului simplificarii”.

Mai jos, un fragment din “The Good Soldiers”. Edificator pentru ceea ce spunea Ellen si pentru ceea ce juriul a numit o relatare a experientei traite de cei din 2-16 “as close to these soldiers as their own skin”. Cam asta inseamna o bucata buna de reportaj.

Sau altfel, dupa expresia aceluiasi juriu, “in The Good Soldiers, Finkel does what all great writers do: he makes it impossible to look away”.


Four and a half months later, there was still so much about September 4 that Lee and Meaghun didn’t know. That Duncan’s platoon circled up and prayed before every mission. That his body armor was still on fire when he was loaded into a Humvee. That his hands were so black that Michael Anderson thought he was still wearing his gloves. That as Anderson cradled his head in the back of the Humvee, Duncan, hair and eyebrows and so much else of him gone, began to talk.
“Who is this?”
“It’s Anderson. Can you hear me?”
“How’s my face?”

“Don’t worry. It looks good.”

“Ow, it hurts. It hurts. It burns. And my legs hurt.”

“Don’t worry. Don’t worry. I got you. Just rest your head in my hands. It’s okay. It’s okay.”

“Give me some morphine.”

“It’s okay.”


“It’s okay.”

There was so much of Duncan Crookston missing that he didn’t seem real. He was half of a body propped up in a full-size bed, seemingly bolted into place. He couldn’t move because he had nothing left with which to push himself into motion except for a bit of arm that was immobilized in bandages, and he couldn’t speak because of the tracheotomy tube that had been inserted into his throat. “I want to go to sleep.”

“Stay awake. Don’t close your eyes.”

“I want to go to sleep.”

“Keep talking to me, buddy. You love your wife, right?”

“I love my wife.”

“Well, don’t worry, man. She’s gonna be waiting for you, man.”


“You’re safe. You’re here with us. We got you.”


“Nothing’s gonna happen to you. You’re safe. You’re fine.”


He shouted that again and again, all the way to the aid station. They didn’t know that, either, but from the moment he reached BAMC, they knew every thing from then on, because this was their life now. His infections. His fevers. His bedsores. His pneumonia. His bowel perforations. His kidney failure. His dialysis. His tracheotomy for a ventilator tube. His eyes, which for a time had to be sutured shut. His ears, which were crisped and useless when he arrived, and subsequently dropped away. His 30 trips so far to the operating room. His questions. His depression. His phantom pains, as if he still had two arms and two legs.


La randul sau, in discursul de primire a premiului, David Finkel isi aminteste cat de mult a ezitat gandidu-se daca sa pastreze sau nu in carte un detaliu foarte crud legat de moartea unui soldat. L-a pastrat pana la urma. “The obligation is to the story”, a explicat David.

Citeste aici un fragment extins din cartea “The Good Soldiers”, de David Finkel.
Citeste aici lista castigatorilor si a nominalizatilor la Premiile “Anthony Lukas” 2010.


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  1. […] “The Good Soldiers”. And the good reporters […]

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