Editor’s Notes:  WARNING!  Do not read this if you’re feeling a little down and questioning your self-worth.  This won’t do you any good at all.  I read Cold Mountain a few years ago and always liked this passage, even if it’s a bit of a bummer.


“Like the vast bulk of people, the captives would pass from the earth without hardly making any mark more lasting than plowing a furrow.  You could bury them and knife their names onto an oak plank and stand it up in the dirt, and not one thing — not their acts of meanness or kindness or cowardice or courage, not their fears or hopes, not the features of their faces — would be remembered even as long as it would take the gouged characters in the plank to fade away.  They walked therefore bent, as if bearing the burden of lives lived beyond recognition.”

Charles Frazier, from Cold Mountain