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World War I from Local Perspectives: History, Literature and Visual Arts

Austria, Britain, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Poland and the United States

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Edited By Mirosława Buchholtz and Grzegorz Koneczniak

The volume explores the ways in which the Great War has been remembered and imaged in various local accounts. It provides careful readings of a wide range of sources: letters exchanged by Henry James and Burgess Noakes, spoken accounts of the Old Believers of the Russian Orthodox Church, historical documents concerning Eastern Europe and the United States, travel writings by Fritz Wertheimer, Hermann Struck, and Herbert Eulenberg, literary texts by Lord Dunsany, Miroslav Krleža, and Gustav Meyrink, theater performances in Italy and Ireland and visual arts: masks for facially disfigured soldiers made by Francis Derwent Wood and Anna Coleman Ladd.
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Introduction and Chronology. Dramatis Personae

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Introduction

As the centenary of the hitherto largely forgotten Great War was approaching in the second decade of the third millennium, shelves in bookstores in various countries of the Western hemisphere began to fill with new editions of old publications: historical accounts, memoirs, and novels. There arose, however, alongside a need not only for recollecting, but also for rethinking of that first methodical large-scale slaughter in the light (or rather haze) of later experiences of humanity on its way to dehumanization: World War Two, the Cold War, many local wars with global repercussions, and the impending (as we are told nowadays) Cyber War.

Among the many books on the Great War published yearly in Europe and North America, this one is in many ways exceptional. The authors who have contributed to our volume chose in their research the roads less traveled or never taken before. They are hence able to reveal in their essays aspects of war that have hitherto gone unnoticed. First of all, we are not – for the most part – taking our readers to the battlefields of the Great War. Instead we show the ways in which the Great War has been remembered and imaged in various local accounts, how it impacted individual lives and careers. Some of the settings mentioned in the following pages are nooks in terms of their geographical and historical significance. Some of the people who come to the foreground in our volume have not yet been counted...

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