By Lyn Macdonald
Via the tip of 1914, the battered British forces have been slowed down, but hopeful that promised reinforcements and spring climate may quickly bring about a effective step forward. A 12 months later, after appalling losses at Aubers Ridge, bathrooms, Neuve Chapelle, Ypres and remote Gallipoli, combating appeared set to head on for ever. Drawing on wide interviews, letters and diaries, this booklet brilliantly conjures up the soldiers' dogged heroism, sardonic humour and bad lack of innocence via 'a yr of cobbling jointly, of frustration, of indecision'. Over decades' examine places Lyn Macdonald one of the maximum renowned chroniclers of the 1st international conflict. right here, from the poignant thoughts of contributors, she has once more created an unforgettable slice of army heritage.
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Extra info for 1915: The Death of Innocence
We were a bundle of secret nerves sometimes and at others we had quite a good time especially my mother and me. We would sing duets in the car 42 in harmony. Sometimes she’d take the alto sometimes I would. It was oddly satisfying to come to a stop sign and stop. Lithuania wasn’t something I had heard of and Stalin was I thought a cartoon character because he had only one name and a mustache. No one in America had a mustache because Hitler had had one and he wasn’t funny he was shouting and shaking his face around a tight nervous fit.
39 Preface to Philosophy An ugly day it must have been, when the first man stood face to face with the idea of the worthlessness and absurdity of life. —w. macneile dixon But it wasn’t such an ugly day when I read Dixon’s remark, at the age of fifteen, because I had already been charmed by the idea of the worthlessness and absurdity of life, which seemed far more sophisticated than the idea that life is meaningful and wonderful. Now as I read it again for the first time in fifty-four years, what strikes me is not the truth of his statement, but the image of an early man’s finding himself “face to face” with an idea; that is, with a ghostly being three times his size, wavering before him and communicating without speaking.
To construct a solid set of ideals, do not begin too early, for all too often the ideals do not turn out to be ideals at all: they are ideas, and, like bubbles, they tend to float away and pop. In doing so they can be beautiful, but æsthetic beauty is not of great importance here, unless it happens to be the same as moral beauty, which happens very rarely in modern societies. So allow your ideals to evolve through the decades. If you cherish them and don’t think about them too much, they will change themselves by rotating on their axes while flashing on and off, to show you that all is well.
1915: The Death of Innocence by Lyn Macdonald