Having discussed upon ‘The Preface’ of Mary Borden’s The Forbidden Zone, I just wanted to add on something that I thought of whilst reading it, and how it relates somewhat to Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front.
Where Borden states that she has ‘blurred the bare horror of facts and softened the reality in spite of myself, not because I wished to do so, but because I was incapable of a nearer approach to the truth’, it reminded me of Paul’s return home on leave. Paul had an inability to tell his mother of the true horrors that he had witnessed at the Front, partly as it was too painful for even him to do so, but also because he did so to protect her. He is shielding her mind in the same way that Borden had to shield hers. Paul instead provided his family with ‘a softened reality’, much like Borden, as he simply could not bring himself to, unbearably so.
Also, the fact that the Preface ends with the statement that ‘all the rest can never be written’ also pertains to the idea that it would be simply too unmanageable to speak upon the debacles of the Front. There is almost a shared and unspoken belief among those that had seen what World War One was truly like. Nellie also could not speak on them, and such is the reason why her and Roy are able to connect so well: they understand what each of the other has gone through, and no words are necessary to speak of their experiences. It is something that those who did not take part in can truly understand, and those that did are only able to provide a fragment of the truth to us.