The Palgrave handbook of artistic and cultural responses to war since 1914: the British Isles, the United States, and Australasia

Kerby, Martin and Baguley, Margaret and McDonald, Janet, eds. (2019) The Palgrave handbook of artistic and cultural responses to war since 1914: the British Isles, the United States, and Australasia. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., Cham, Switzerland. ISBN 978-3-319-96985-5

Abstract

As the First World War entered its second year Henry James lamented the failure of language to do justice to the extent of the destruction. The war had 'used up all words; they have weakened, they have deteriorated.'1 Silence appeared a more suitable response than the conventions of a language left hopelessly compromised by mass industrialised warfare. The First World War was not unique, however, in challenging the available rhetoric. As Edkins observed, in order to communicate the 'facts' of any trauma, they have to be translated into narrative form. This strips them of their immediacy.2 More importantly, any attempt at explanation hampers 'the force of its affront to understanding.'3 Yet artists and writers are well placed to explore war, for their output defies efforts to impose a singular or 'literal translation.'4 They can also transcend context; just witness the decision in 2003 to cover the tapestry of Picasso’s Guernica at the United Nations when Colin Powell made his case for war with Saddam. Different war, different age, but the raw immediacy was a quality to be respected, perhaps even feared. For, as Susanne Langer argues, art quality to be respected, perhaps even feared. For, as Susanne Langer argues, art and art objects are 'peculiarly adapted to the explication of ‘unspeakable’ things' such as loss, grief and memory.5


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Item Type: Book (Commonwealth Reporting Category A)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2019 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - No Department (1 July 2013 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - No Department (1 July 2013 -)
Date Deposited: 15 Apr 2019 05:06
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2019 01:18
Uncontrolled Keywords: memory, arts, culture, memorialisation, soldiers,
Fields of Research : 21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210399 Historical Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9599 Other Cultural Understanding > 959999 Cultural Understanding not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-96986-2
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/36288

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