Norman Douglas: Alone

(525 words)
  • Grove Koger (Independent Scholar - Europe)

In the introduction to Alone, Norman Douglas offers a tongue-in-cheek account of his efforts to find suitably patriotic employment during World War I. Having visited many an office in vain and having once sat through an interview in which he had admitted knowing Russian, he found himself offered a job translating—Turkish! It was, he realized on reflection, a not unreasonable error, as the two countries lay so close together . . . By the time a factory job in Gretna Green turned up, he had packed his bags, and thus was able to say, when asked what he did during the Great War, that he “‘loafed.’”

While Alone takes the form of a travel book, Douglas uses the form largely as a vehicle for stories and …

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Koger, Grove. "Alone". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 September 2004
[, accessed 30 September 2016.]