| Quote #1
Nobody's aiming to please, here. More really to edify, to instruct. (2)
This is kind of the purpose of literature in this story – in essence, to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The narrator implies that it is more important to "edify," to enlighten, rather than to make up a nice story.
| Quote #2
I'd packed all my belongings into my barrack bag, including a canvas gas-mask container full of books I'd brought over from the Other Side. (The gas mask itself I'd slipped through a porthole of the Mauretania some weeks earlier, fully aware that if the enemy ever did use gas, I'd never get the damn thing on in time). (4)
This quote reveals a lot about the narrator – to him, books are more important than a theoretically life-saving device like a gas mask.
| Quote #3
"May I inquire how you were employed before entering the Army?" Esmé asked me.
Though the narrator goes on to admit (kind of) that he's unpublished as of yet, we see that writing is a kind of state of mind – in order to become a writer, one has to envision oneself a writer first.