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Joe acquiesces, and secretly plans to use the time to take a pleasure trip to Boston. Cujo, the Cambers' large, good-natured St. Bernard , chases a wild rabbit in the fields around their house and inserts his head in the entrance to a small limestone cave, where a rabid bat bites him on the nose and infects him with the virus.
When Joe goes to talk to Gary about the trip, Cujo kills him as well. Donna, home alone with Tad, takes their failing Ford Pinto to the Cambers' for repairs. The car breaks down in Camber's dooryard, and as Donna attempts to find Joe, Cujo appears and attacks her.
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She climbs back in the car as Cujo starts to attack. Donna and Tad are trapped in their vehicle, the interior of which becomes increasingly hot in the sun. During one escape attempt, Donna is bitten in the stomach and leg but manages to survive and escape back into the car. She plans to run for the house, but abandons the idea due to her fears that the door will be locked, and that she will be subsequently killed by Cujo, leaving her son alone.
Vic returns to Castle Rock after several failed attempts to contact Donna and learns from the police that Steve Kemp, the man with whom Donna was having an affair, is suspected of ransacking his home and possibly kidnapping Donna and Tad. To explore all leads, the state police send Castle Rock Sheriff George Bannerman out to the Cambers' house, but Cujo attacks and kills him. Donna, after witnessing the attack and realizing Tad is in danger of dying of dehydration, battles Cujo and kills him. Vic arrives on the scene with the authorities soon after, but Tad has already died from dehydration and heat stroke.
Donna is rushed to the hospital, and Cujo's head is removed for a biopsy to check for rabies prior to cremation of his remains.
The novel ends several months later with both the Trenton and Camber families trying to go on with their lives: Donna has completed her treatment for rabies, her marriage with Vic has survived, and Charity gives Brett a new, vaccinated puppy named Willie. It originated in Russia and was simultaneously reprinted in America and Britain with this intriguing caption that was syndicated worldwide and read as follows:. A wave of nostalgia for pre-revolutionary glamour now sweeping Russia has reached the army.
Military cadets are taught to waltz and speak French like their dashing forefathers. Under communism this went to rot…. For another, we remain ambivalent about current versions of nostalgia despite our almost universal ignorance today of its origins and early development.
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For these reasons it is not excessive to be self-reflective about the convergence before plunging into war and peace as we construe them today and in relation to an imagined eighteenth century. This quite apart from the unassailable fact that war as a category of explanation for the eighteenth century possesses a vast historiography. Its medicalization, rather than another form, was predictable given the Newtonian proclivity of time, the s and 90s. The doctors then agreed that nostalgia was also a sign of other, more threatening illness.
It was thus semiologically encoded: not fatal in itself, but the symptom of an underlying mortal disease, no less than acute fever or consumption.
War and Peace: Some Representations of Nostalgia and Adventure in the Eighteenth Century
Today we recognize that malady —among the various thermometers, so to speak by which cultures measure themselves and are measured— is among the most accurate. Theocritus and Virgil and their imitators intimated this when their shepherds piped of lost loves in olden times. William Empson, the English critic, delineated the political ramifications of this version of yearning in Some Versions of Pastoral, and Laurence Lerner lucidly adumbrated its role in Renaissance literature of the Elizabethan period.
War persisted in this literary niche throughout the late Renaissance, especially among Shakespeare and his contemporaries, but later on —in the eighteenth century— commingled with nostalgia in a curious way. Current antipathy to nostalgia reflects ignorance of its origins and diffusion. The nostalgic pastoral suffused Virgilian and other classical literature.
Transformation from a medical into a mainly social complaint after the upheavals of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries made nostalgia pervasive in Western culture…. Even those most proud of Victorian material advances pressed nostalgic regrets for pre-industrial rustic calm. Such is the essence of nostalgia. After all, it arose specifically as the malady of Swiss soldiers.
Moreover, the matter of subjectivity: the self pondering these matters, such as myself, and the themes being isolated. For the moment one takes heart when noting the proximity of this cultural configuration military nostalgia to the emergence of sentiment as an energized ideology. Can it be accidental that nostalgia, the military malady par excellence, and the cults of sentimentalism, emerged at approximately the same moment?
A focus on war rather than malady may hold the due, for the eighteenth century was also one of unprecedented national identity; one proof of which was the sudden burgeoning of theories of national illnesses: the English disease, the French disease, the Dutch disease, and so forth. Nothing, of course, had been further from the historical facts.
The imaginative British literature of the century leading from the Glorious to the French Revolution was as much a war literature as it was anything else, its literary history replete with war novels and subgenres generated in response to war, as Uncle Toby knew so well. Not for nothing had he fought in the Siege of Namur. The social values were military values, and the exemplary act was, even up to the sixteenth century, one of chivalry. Military spirit permeated every aspect of civilian life, as the imaginative literature of the century reflects and as the best historians have demonstrated.
The matter, as Corvisier has argued, is the precise calibration of this military atmosphere, not the fact of its existence. The alert of , when the troops of the Stuart Pretender arrived within kilometers of London, woke England from her repose and raised again the question of reorganizing the militia. This led to lively controversy, since opposition to military service was strong. The idea of militia forces was defended by Townshend, and the Seven Years War hastened the solution.
The post period was also —at least in Britain— one of heavy taxation accompanied by a huge increase of soldiers.
After , peace ensued accompanied by a profusion of available currency owing to the harvests of war and profits in the colonies. But there was little hope of sustained peace — so much for war and peace.
The longterm cumulative effect was that nationhood now required war as a condition for sustained power, and in Britain the perception that war was nearly perpetual: cosmologically incapable, so to speak, of becoming extinct and existing apart from the ordinary course of human progress. Indeed, Corvisier and his colleagues claim it is the only way to discuss foreign policy and national might.
The generic social historian, however, looks at broader categories to trace the fate of these same military values, especially as regards class, rank, work and ideas in relation to power and might, in this case to noblemen and their military careers because they were then still synonymous.
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And he views conditions such as nostalgia and adventurers as social types in their cultural milieu rather than isolated from these developments. The nobles controlled armies and navies but did not actually fight in them in any numbers. National blends varied from country to country, as military historians have shown, with England having the fewest of its own nationals, as well as its own nobles, among the major powers.
All these arrangements touch on our war and peace and Corvisier provides an explanation that goes a long way toward explaining why British medicomilitary nostalgia took the morbid form it did:. After the two revolutions in England, that country could no longer maintain a military character. In the eighteenth century the army seemed to be little connected with the nation, and even rather foreign to it as it existed early in the Hanoverian dynasty, up to the Seven Years War.
Regiments were for the most part stationed in Ireland, on the continent, or in the colonies. The few troops in Great Britain itself were scattered throughout the towns, but the soldiers were looked on as strangers by the inhabitants. Not having enough men, mercenaries were bought: it was that or subservience in foreign policy and national sovereignty.
And yet so many British fictions of the period thrive on plots about runaways to the military that any conscionable cultural historian attempting to construct a map about the literary history of war and peace will inquire about enlistment. Recruitment was the best refuge for anyone having nowhere else to go within a wide repertoire of options. Economic historians have shown that there is always less money during wartime as a result of heavy taxes. Others have charted this fact decade by decade. Money encourages consumer culture, war impedes it. Yet neither can exist without the other.
The effect of these developments for our literature has been greater than we have thought. The weight of both perceptions is impressive. How then —without seeming polemically abrasive— can we develop a contextual literary history of the period apart from the actual facts of war and its consequences? Or as close as we can come to established facts, given that we are not military or economic historians ourselves, but literary historians attempting to enrich the contexts of our literature by documenting its versions of yearning?
On the one hand, as I have been suggesting, war was present everywhere in the popular imagination. It amounts to fallacy to think otherwise. On the other, the period is soaked in political power struggles rendered inexplicable without the backdrop of yearning. That is, the quest for power within a particular context of conjuring the past. The politics of nostalgia had been operative for at least a generation before the novels of mid-century: Fielding, Smollett, and company.