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Herbert Read and the fluid memory of the First World War: poetry, prose and polemic

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journal contribution
posted on 20.07.2016, 09:54 by Matthew Adams
According to many critics, Herbert Read’s experience fighting in the trenches of the First World War was a formative one that shaped his intellectual life. His war poetry and autobiographical prose reflected on the horrors of fighting, and his anarchist-pacifism was a product, they argue, of experiencing the war first hand. Utilizing archival material and analysing Read’s poetry, prose and polemical writing, the present article contests this reading. It argues that Read’s perception of the war was deeply ambiguous, and shifted in response to the changing view of the conflict in British cultural history. He saw the war as at once disabling and liberating, and his continual return to the conflict as a subject in his writing was a process of attempting to fix its ultimate meaning to his life.

History

School

  • Social Sciences

Department

  • Politics and International Studies

Published in

Historical Research

Volume

88

Issue

240

Pages

333 - 354

Citation

ADAMS, M.S., 2015. Herbert Read and the fluid memory of the First World War: poetry, prose and polemic. Historical Research, 88 (240), pp. 333 - 354.

Publisher

Wiley © Institute of Historical Research

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publisher statement

This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Acceptance date

01/05/2015

Publication date

2015

Notes

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: ADAMS, M.S., 2015. Herbert Read and the fluid memory of the First World War: poetry, prose and polemic. Historical Research, 88 (240), pp. 333 - 354., which has been published in final form at http://dx/doi.org/10.1111/1468-2281.12075. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

ISSN

1468-2281

Language

en

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