Sunday, 8 November 2015

The Lost Generation

How lives got changed forever

Gertrude Stein 
 It was American authoress Gertrude Stein who coined the term "The Lost Generation," about the age of writers like herself who went to war in 1914, and whose lives were never the same.

Artists all
The Lost Generation included famous names such as  F. Scott Fitzgerald,[1] T. S. EliotJames JoyceSherwood AndersonJohn Dos PassosJohn SteinbeckWilliam FaulknerWaldo PeirceIsadora DuncanAbraham WalkowitzAlan SeegerFranz KafkaHenry MillerAldous HuxleyLouis-Ferdinand CélineErich Maria Remarque and the composers Sergei ProkofievPaul HindemithGeorge Gershwin, andAaron Copland

 Life takes a new meaning when you witness death at close quarters - I know - I almost died in my sleep one Christmas, read my story Death of a newshound.

Going to war.
The premise at the start of The Great War was it would be over by Christmas. Britain would enter the war, and the Germans would capitulate. Victorian Britain was to be shaken to its core in four years of hell, as many didn't return, and of those who did their lives were never the same.

 Not only people but society changed radically too. Before the war, men became servants in the large estate houses and girls were maids. With so many families sending sons, brothers, and husbands to war the toll on family life was unendurable. 

The large houses could no longer be kept running, former ladies of the house were no forced to go to work, as their husbands had been killed and they were left penniless. Men and women returned to working on the farms. 

I am a good writer
 Often my stories give me an emotional bonding as I write the story, From Elgar to Vaughan Williams is no exception. This is the story of how young men went to war thinking they's win by Christmas, and returned four years later with their minds and bodies destroyed.

I won't lie - the story makes me cry when I think about the events in the story. In many ways, this is an incredibly emotional story for me. My grandfather was of this generation and to think of the horrors he endured for my freedom is very emotional for me. 

The changes made were catastrophic. In four short years, men who had gone to war thinking they would win and be heroes, came back thanking God they survived, but memories last a lifetime - I know my grandfather never forgot.

Grand Guignol
 This form of art thrived in the inter-war years in Europe. The focus of the art is on the grotesque disfigurement of a body. It's no surprise that after seeing bodies torn apart by metal, and men blinded by mustard gas that this thrived. The form died out after world war 2 but came back with a flourish in the decadence of the 1960s.

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