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Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site and Interpretive Center

NY Council for the Humanities Reading & Discussion Series: Our World Remade, World War I

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 - Wednesday, April 20, 2016
2:00 - 4:00

This is a series of 6 Reading and Discussion meetings facilitated by the Walt Whitman Birthplace Writer in Residence George Wallace with the support of the New York Council for the Humanities.

Join us from 2-4 PM on

Introduction and Book Pickup March 9th

Classes March 16th, March 23rd, March 30th, April 6th, April 13th, and April 20th

As the centennial of World War I begins, this series invites participants to delve into the history, literature, and poetry of "the war to end all wars." Texts include historical accounts; novels; poetry; government documents; news accounts; and journals and letters from soldiers, nurses, politicians, pacifists, and other eye-witnesses to the tragic and transformative events of The Great War and Democracy.

This event is provided free of charge with thanks to the generous support of the New York Council for the Humanities. Registration required, space is limited. Email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 631-427-5240 x112 to reserve your spot now.

 

Texts (reading materials will be available for a small, fully returnable rental fee)

Our World Remade logo

"Our World Remade: World War I" by Wendy Galgan

This introductory essay by project scholar Wendy Galgan overviews the topics and themes of the series. The essay, available as a free downloadable PDF, is recommended for prospective host sites, scholar-facilitators, or participants in the series.

All Quiet cover

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Remarque's 1929 classic has been called the greatest book about war ever written. Follow German soldier Paul Baumer, who enlists with his classmates in the opening days of the war. Youthful, enthusiastic, they become soldiers. But despite what they have learned, they break into pieces under the first bombardment in the trenches. Whether any will survive—and in what condition, physical and emotional—holds readers until the end.

The First World War cover

The First World War: A Brief History with Documents edited by Susan R. Grayzel

Ferocious and all encompassing, the First World War touched countless lives in Europe and far beyond. Historian Susan R. Grayzel explores the unprecedented nature of modern “Total War,” and outlines the origins, experiences, and legacies of the war through — and beyond — Europe and the West. A wide array of documents, ranging from nationalist propaganda and diplomatic agreements to poetry and intimate letters and journals, reveal the far-reaching causes and consequences of this total war.

The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry edited by George Walter

Unrivaled in its range and intensity, the poetry of World War I continues to have a powerful effect on readers. This newly edited anthology reflects the diverse experiences of those who lived through the war, bringing together the words of poets, soldiers, and civilians affected by the conflict. Here are famous verses by Rupert Brooke, Siegfried Sassoon, and Wilfred Owen; poetry by women writing from the home front; and the anonymous lyrics of soldiers' songs. Arranged thematically, the selections take the reader through the war's stages, from conscription to its aftermath, and offer a blend of voices that is both unique and profoundly moving.

The Penguin Book of First World War Stories edited by Barbara Korte

This new collection of short stories about World War I features works by such famous British authors as Joseph Conrad, W. Somerset Maugham, Arthur Conan Doyle, John Buchan, Rudyard Kipling, D. H. Lawrence, John Galsworthy, Radclyffe Hall, Katherine Mansfield, Robert Graves, Muriel Spark, and Julian Barnes. Written during the war and after, these stories illustrate the impact of the Great War on British society and culture, as well as the many ways in which short fiction contributed to the literature of that time period.

 

SYLLABUS:

 

MARCH 16 - WEEK 1

SHORT STORIES:

The Penguin Book of First World War Stories

The Bowmen, Arthur Machen (3)

Private Meyrick – Company Idiot, Herman NcNeile (7)

Victory, Richard Aldington (41)

POEMS:

The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry

Channel Firing, Thomas Hardy (2)

August 1914, John Masefield (8)

1914: Peace, Rupert Brooke (11)

Rondeau of a Conscientious Objector, D. H. Lawrence  (28)

DOCUMENTS:

The First World War: A Brief History with Documents

Keep the home fires burning, Lena Ford (93)

“Dulce et Decorum Est,” Wilfred Owen (126)

 

MARCH 23 - WEEK 2

SHORT STORIES:

The Penguin Book of First World War Stories

Section 2, SPIES & INTELLIGENCE

His Last Bow, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (123)

Guilia Lazzari, W. Somerset Maugham  (140)

POEMS:

The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry

Section 2 & 3, SOMEWHERE IN FRANCE, ACTION

Poem, Ezra Pound (58)

The Redeemer, Siegfried Sassoon (62)

Greater Love, Wilfred Owen (93)

I have a Rendezvous with Death, Alan Seeger (a favorite of President Kennedy) (105)

1914: The Soldier, Rupert Brooke (108)

DOCUMENTS:

The First World War: A Brief History with Documents

July 1914, Anna Akhmatova (55)

Manifesto of Futurism, F. T. Marinetti (50)

 


MARCH 30 - WEEK 3

SHORT STORIES:

The Penguin Book of First World War Stories

Section 3, AT HOME

Postgate, Rudyard Kipling  (179)

Told by the Schoolmaster, John Galsworthy (214)

Tickets Please, D. H. Lawrence (224)

POEMS:

The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry

Section 4, BLIGHTY

Not To Keep, Robert Frost (178)

Picnic, Rose Macauley (197)

Repression of War Experience, Siegfried Sassoon (214)

A Child's Nightmare, Robert Graves (216)

DOCUMENTS:

The First World War: A Brief History with Documents

Storm of Steel, Ernst Junger (149)

Four Months in a German Munitions Factory, Editha Von Krell (98)

 


APRIL 6 - WEEK  4

SHORT STORIES:

The Penguin Book of First World War Stories

Section 4, IN RETROSPECT

The Fly, Katherine Mansfield (297)

Christmas Truce, Robert Graves (309)

POEMS:

The Penguin Book of First World War Poetry

Section 5, PEACE

When this Bloody War is Over, Soldiers Song (222)

Elegy in a County Churchyard, G. K. Chesterton (245)

Hugh Selwyn Mauberly: V, Ezra Pound (248)

The Next War, Osbert Sitwell  (272)

DOCUMENTS:

The First World War: A Brief History with Documents

A Russian Nurse at the Front, Lidiia Zakharova (78)

Memoirs of a Turkish Prisoner of War 1917-1918, Mehmen Arif Olcen(75)

 

APRIL 13 - WEEK 5

NOVEL:

All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque

Part 1 of 2

DOCUMENTS:

The First World War: A Brief History with Documents

The Hague Conventions 1917 (43)

Treaty of Versailles 1919 (133)

 

 

APRIL 20 - WEEK 6

NOVEL:

All Quiet on the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque

Part 2 of 2

DOCUMENTS:

The First World War: A Brief History with Documents

Shellshock and Its Lessons, Smith & Pear  (121)

The Psychology of the Great War, Gustave Le Bon (117)