By Susan Kingsley Kent
This publication examines the effect of collective trauma coming up out of the good conflict at the politics of the Twenties in Britain. Aftershocks stories how meanings of shellshock and imagery proposing the traumatized psyche as shattered contributed to Britons understandings in their political selves within the Twenties. It connects the strength of feelings to the political tradition of a decade which observed remarkable violence opposed to these considered as un-English.
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Extra info for Aftershocks: The Politics of Trauma in Britain, 1918-1931
Their counterparts, the “bright young things,” men who had been too young to go to war in the years 1914–1918, offered themselves as effeminate contrasts, till it appeared, in the popular press at least, that young men and women had simply switched roles, characteristics, and styles with one another. com - licensed to University of South Florida - PalgraveConnect - 2011-04-30 Jews, “Blacks,” and the Promises of Radical Conservatism, 1919–1925 39 Aftershocks others they constituted proof that society was in a complete state of disorder—disorder represented in gendered and sexualized terms.
In a passage recalling the gaps in memory opened up by traumatic events, Burgess remembered an early period of his life “sitting on a shoulder in Manchester’s Piccadilly while a flagwaving crowd cheers the Armistice. ” The death of his mother and sister remained blank in his mind, but he sometime later “came to full consciousness in a terraced house . . ” In language significant for its imagery of the war, he added, “opposite the house was a great infirmary where, I learned, people were cut open.
Dorothy Sayers, whose husband returned from the war shell shocked, gave Peter Wimsey and many of the suspects who peopled her crime stories the same history. All of her early mysteries contain one or more shell-shocked character; as one figure puts it, Here we’ve been and had a war, what has left ‘undreds o’ men in what you might call a state of ekilibrium. They’ve seen all their friends blown up or shot to pieces . . They may seem to forget it and go along as peaceable as anybody to all outward appearance, but it’s all artificial, you get my meaning.
Aftershocks: The Politics of Trauma in Britain, 1918-1931 by Susan Kingsley Kent