A War Imagined: The First World War and English Culture

Samual Hynes, Author Atheneum Books $29.95 (514p) ISBN 978-0-689-12128-9
According to Hynes ( The Auden Generation ), WW I engendered a sense of idealism betrayed, turned high-mindedness into cynicism and gave rise to resentment of politicians as the conviction emerged that the war was meaningless, fought for no good cause. Calling this cluster of attitudes the ``Myth of the War,'' Hynes shows how these received views, filtered through the '30s generation of Auden, Orwell, Waugh and Greene, became ``the truth about war.'' In this splendid study, the Princeton professor of literature draws on novels, poems, films, plays, paintings, music and diaries to show how WW I fostered radical discontinuity with the past, an upsurge in images of violence and cruelty, and the alienation of a ``lost generation''; and intensified pacificist and women's rights activism. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/03/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Paperback - 978-0-02-052210-2
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