Bausch is a powerful and skilled writer. In “Peace” we follow the fortunes of four American soldiers climbing up an Italian mountain on a reconnaissance mission in 1944. The weather is miserable. Heavy never ending rain. They enlist the help (forced help really) of an Italian peasant who may or may not be a Fascist sympathizer. The men are cold, wet, homesick, cranky and expecting to be shot at, at any moment. Bausch makes us feel the cold, the wind, the sore feet and the bad dreams of each of these soldiers. He makes vivid the necessarily narrow focus of these men’s existence and delves into the ethical dilemmas they face as soldiers on foreign soil. Within this dark and unforgiving universe Bausch still manages to give his protagonist a chance to find “peace”, ephemeral though it may be.
This is very impressive writing. I look forward to reading more of Bausch’s work.