Alexandre Dumas’ Musketeers Picnic

Alexandre Dumas’ Musketeers Picnic

Among picnics on the battlefield the déjeuner sur l’herbe in The Three Musketeers sets the pattern for sardonic humor. It’s meant as yet another instance of the Musketeers’ bravado, but Alexandre Dumas and Auguste Maquet (his co-author) add comic relief to the serious...
Leonid Andreyev’s Nightmare Picnic

Leonid Andreyev’s Nightmare Picnic

Leonid Andreyev’s The Red Laugh is antiwar horror story about Russia’s war in Manchuria. The novel is constantly downbeat and each of its chapters is a fragment, the first of which begins “Horror and Madness.” The picnic happens after soldiers on the front lines drag...
Leonid Andreyev’s Nightmare Picnic with Samovar

Leonid Andreyev’s Nightmare Picnic with Samovar

The picnic in Leonid Andreyev’s The Red Laugh is a nightmarish description of soldiers on the front lines dragging a comrade who is already dead to safety. Their universe the narrator says says is “red” and making a sardonic joke that no one else understands he says...
Cold Comfort Picnic on the Battlefield, June 1919

Cold Comfort Picnic on the Battlefield, June 1919

When the war began in 1914, picnic baskets were shelved. But when the peace was being negotiated at Versailles in June 1919, they were dusted off and repacked. Signaling the change, editors of The Illustrated London News suggested that it was time for picnicking—in...