An Iliad

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They laughed. But the truth is that they were young, and the young have an old idea of war. Honor, beauty, heroism. Like the fight between Hector and Ajax: two princes who first try savagely to kill each other and then exchange gifts. I was too old to believe in those things still. We won that war by means of a huge wooden horse, filled with soldiers. We won by a trick, not by an open, fair, honorable fight. And this they, the young men, never liked. But I was old. Odysseus was old. We knew that the long war we were fighting was old, and that it would be won in a day by those who are able to fight in a new way.

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