New PDF release: Aftershocks: The Politics of Trauma in Britain, 1918-1931

By Susan Kingsley Kent

ISBN-10: 1403993335

ISBN-13: 9781403993335

This booklet examines the influence of collective trauma bobbing up out of the good conflict at the politics of the Nineteen Twenties in Britain. Aftershocks experiences 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 notable violence opposed to these considered as un-English.

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Extra info for Aftershocks: The Politics of Trauma in Britain, 1918-1931

Sample text

I had lost the . . [baby] in 1915 from shock and repercussions of war news broken to me in a rather brutal fashion,” she recounted. Katherine Mansfield “was haunted by the news of her brother’s death, and found she could not stop herself imagining the sights of war. ’ ” For some, refusal to confront the pain of their losses offered the only way of surviving. Vera Brittain found that her “only hope” after the deaths of her fiancé, her friends, and her brother “was to become the complete automaton .

37 We might, for example, understand the cruelty and violence of Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange as a product of his efforts to defend himself, his ego, against the ravages of childhood trauma and grief that threatened to tear him apart. Men and women returning from the theatre of war found themselves disoriented, confused, helpless, and useless. “You may say that everyone who had taken physical part in the war was then mad,” wrote Ford Maddox Ford. ” Depression, lassitude, and indifference to danger, horrors, and death plagued many.

The sexual disorders thrown up by the war and its immediate aftermath had to be managed, somehow, if normalcy and order were to be returned to postwar Britain and the men and women who served in the war reclaimed for the nation. 9 We see this process at work in the debates surrounding the passage of the Aliens’ Restriction Act of 1919; the race riots in the port towns in 1919; British reactions to the mobilization of black troops in the Ruhr on the part of pacifists, socialists, and feminists in 1920; and the appeal of extreme right-wing politics—shading from DieHard conservatism into proto-fascism—for an important portion of the population.

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Aftershocks: The Politics of Trauma in Britain, 1918-1931 by Susan Kingsley Kent

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