Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11/11

9 comments:

  1. Happy Armistice Day, everyone!
    A most terrible slaughter that gave us the tetanus vaccine, thanks to tetanus drenched shrapnel, gas masks and of course the humanity shined in WWI as well, for it produced much beloved Tolkien and LOTR, the Emma Gee's, muchine guns, not the flappers, for historical account of advemnturing (and the use of that word), check out Herbert Mc Bride's "A Rifleman Went To War", my personal favorites, Somerset Maugham (whom Ian Fleming tried to emulate)and Hemngway; the whole roaring 20's, the Jazz Age and the Sun Also Rises, anyway,

    Happy Veterans' Day 11/11 Everyone!

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  2. I'd also suggest "The Great Lover" by Dan Simmons, which can be found in his strong novella collection Lovedeath. It is a homage to the various poets who fought in WWI, such as Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen and Isaac Rosenberg.

    Verification Word: inapotte. That's where my 4-year old says the poop goes.

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  3. William Hope Hodgson, the subject of a recent entry here, was injured in 1916 and discharged from the service. He voluntarily re-enlisted after recovery and died at Ypres in 1918 at the age of 40.

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  4. I was in Toronto a few years ago on Armistice Day/Veterans' Day. As an American, I'm often disheartened by the fact that most Americans don't know the connection between today and World War I (and know little about WWI in general). Canadians clearly don't have that problem--I saw red poppies everywhere.

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  5. Canadians fought in both wars, joining them before the US. Letting the adventurous and the dedicated to freedom US Citizens fight among their ranks. Mc Bride, for instance. I read Owen. Tragic, that Hodgson (and many other artist in his forties on both sides of the conflict) he chased his spirit to the end in the trenches. As did Lord Byron earlier. But they were caught up in the spirit of the time and remained with it, though I prefer the roguish/rakish tone of Robert Graves' "Good Bye to all that" and the boozing style of Hemingway and his characters.

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  6. If there is one thing that I think is really, actually better in the UK compared with the US, it is the meaning of armistice day as opposed to veteran's day. The former reminds us of the stupidity and futility of war, while the latter has been co-opted by nationalism, which always pulls in the opposite direction.
    I'd like to add Saki (H. H. Munro) to the list of writers tragically cut off.
    Veriword: Parksi. Banksy's bucolic brother.

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  7. Richard,

    To be fair, the US already had Memorial Day (né Decoration Day) for some decades by the time WWI rolled around and that holiday's meaning has always been much more solemn than Veterans'/Armistice Day in American practice. There's also the factor that American involvement in the Great War was late and less traumatic than that of Britain and her dominions, making November 11 a lot less meaningful in the culture overall.

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  8. Agreed and noted, James, except that Memorial Day doesn't seem to carry the message either (being instead a herald of summer barbecues and white pants), and I think the lack of a moment for serious reflection on these things, in this tenor, is a factor in the US's greater willingness to get into wars.

    ...I guess I'll stop there, because I'm probably straying into flamebait territory.

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  9. Why did the call the Memorial Day, thr Decoration Day? Because the Northern wardead graves were being desecrated and Union graveyards desecrated in the South (and likewise but less organized with Rebel graves in the North). Decoration day was allocated by the US government to send out the tropps in the South to protect the people, who were repairing and decorating the damaged grave markers. Later the holiday was amended to maintain and mark ALL of the graves belonging to he US Civil War dead (until the 20th century not acknowledged as a war, but rather as a "battle of rebellion".

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