Thursday, 15 March 2007

A love like no other

I recently e-mailed Philip Knightley, an inspiration for this blog, telling him about it and asking if he could contribute his thoughts. He kindly offered to answer some of my questions but warned me that he has spent over 30 years immersed in the topic and he is yet to be free of it.

Mr Knightley recommended that I see a review in this weeks Mail on Sunday of a book by Anthony Loyd, Another Bloody Love Letter. Knightley described Loyd as "a war junkie, hooked on war reporting who loves the risk", and critique James Delingpole appeared to agree labelling Loyd "Britain's boldest, louchest war reporter".

Delingpole speaks of Loyd as the master of an art, "He'd had this odd feeling they were about to drive into a minefield... this is the sort of life-saving intuition it takes a war correspondent years to hone". Though it almost feels as if he is describing a game when he speaks of the "powers of Loyd's sixth sense" and explains that "within every battle there is a well-kept secret: 'The shared and terrible love of it all.'"

When reading the review I am struck by Delingpole's juxtaposition of the perceived glamour of war alongside the true grit and grime somehow unseen by mavericks like Loyd, "War offers to some men a seduction that no other experience can quite match".