The Long Twentieth Century by Drew Gilpin Faust [The New Yorker]
The American Civil War anticipated transformations often attributed to the years between 1914 and 1918.This essay is adapted from the Rede Lecture, which was delivered, earlier this year, at Cambridge University.
World War I in Color is a documentary designed to make the Great War come alive for a 21st-century audience. The events of 1914-18 are authoritatively narrated by Kenneth Branagh, who presents the military and political overview, while interviews with historians add different perspectives in six 48 minute installments annotated within. [more inside]
Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (1874-1927) was born in Germany, moved to the U.S. (and was arrested for wearing men's clothes in 1910) and lived in New York City from 1913-1923. She may have been involved with the submission of Fountain to the 1917 exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists (Previously); she also made an assemblage Portrait of Marcel Duchamp, and the plumbing assemblage God is attributed to her, photographed by 1918 flu epidemic casualty Morton Schamberg. She was known to wear a coal scuttle as a hat, with postage stamps on her cheeks; historians have called her America's first performance artist. In the 1920s she was friends with Jamaican-American writer Claude McKay. Her writing was preserved by Djuna Barnes and was finally published in 2011 by MIT Press as Body Sweats: The Uncensored Writings of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven edited by her biographer Irene Gammel and Suzanne Zelazo
Question... What has killed more people than have died in the First World War... No, not another War, But a Pandemic, The Influenza Pandemic of 1918. [more inside]
The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 may have brought an end to the Great War, but the ending was merely the beginning of the aftermath.
The aftermath years were a time of paradox, where the men who returned from the horrors of the trenches wanted to forget, and where those who had stayed behind, and had lost husbands and brothers, and sons and fathers were equally determined never to forget. It was a time where remembrance of the dead became a way of life, and where it was somehow assumed that all the best, and the finest young men of a generation had died. The other side of that assumption was that those who had survived were somehow less than those who had died. . . The exploration of that time, that world, is the theme of these pages.