By Elizabeth Vandiver
1929 was a watershed year for the war memoir and the war novel. Graves’ Good-bye to All That, Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, and Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front all appeared that year, as did Richard Aldington’s Death of a Hero. Although it is little read now, Aldington’s novel sold more than 10,000 copies in its first three months in print. It mirrors the better-known texts in its strongly autobiographical plot and its outspoken anger at the waste of war.
By David Scourfield
Ford Madox Ford’s Parade’s End, a quartet of novels first published between 1924 and 1928, is a work profoundly concerned with time and change, slippages and fractures, endings and beginnings.
By Leah Culligan Flack
At the end of the Great War, Ezra Pound lamented, “There died a myriad, / And, of the best, among them / … for two gross of broken statues, / for a few thousand battered books” (Hugh Selwyn Mauberley, V). Responding to the War’s senseless devastation and to a post-war culture in ruins became a central, defining task of Pound’s art and that of his modernist contemporaries.
By Stephanie Nelson
The last words of Joyce’s Ulysses are not, in fact, “yes I said yes I will Yes.” They are “Trieste-Zurich-Paris / 1914-1921.” Joyce’s insistence on ending his books with the dates and times of their composition vividly reminds the reader that Ulysses was composed during the Great War and in its midst; moreover, the bulk of Ulysses, and in particular the episodes that break out of what Joyce termed the “initial style,” were composed between March 1918 and October 1921 during a period when Joyce’s own life was deeply affected by the War.