German Fencing: The Problem of Meaning
A Review by Nick Evangelista
German Fencing: The Problem of Meaning, by William H. Leckie, Jr., translated by Marc Mause, is a book that challenges the nature of modern thinking, and certainly the nature of modern fencing thought. In this, it is a volume of soaring possibilities that both weaves fencing into the social structure and history of civilization, and the social structure and history of civilization into the development of fencing. Encompassing 460 pages of text, no mean feat for Leckie. But not an isolated notion. The great 17th century Japanese swordsman, Miyamoto Musashi, in his classic, The Book of Five Rings, suggests that to understand the true Way of the Sword, one must study the workings of the world in all its varied aspects.
German Fencing, as one might expect, is a challenging read—it may even confound or anger some—but, then, all things of value, by their very existence, possess an intrinsic defiance of conventional sensibilities. At the same time, Leckie’s volume is in no way a dry text book, or a collection of elitist, intellectual lectures. The book’s tone is, in fact, surprisingly conversational, its words very accessible.
In the end, in approaching a review of this book, one can only hint at its content. It is certainly about the nature of thinking, but there are far too many dots to connect to explain its complexities in a mere book review. Truly, it is a book that must be read to be fully understood.
I recommend German Fencing: The Problem of Meaning.*
*German Fencing: The Problem of Meaning (2019), by William H. Leckie, Jr., may be purchased on Amazon.com.