The War Decade: An Anthology of the 1940s

The War Decade: An Anthology of the 1940s

The War Decade: An Anthology of the 1940s

The War Decade: An Anthology of the 1940s

Excerpt

This anthology illustrates the experience of the war decade as seen by the writers and poets and artists of the nineteen-forties. The stimulus of war provoked a sea change in the arts in Britain. Many new voices were heard in the explosion of democratic culture that centred round the pubs and drinking clubs of the West End of London. Because of the short attention possible for those serving in the armed forces, the age was that of the small magazine, of light verse and the serious poem, of the sketch and the cartoon, of the newsreel and the short story. This anthology uses these disperate sources to create pictures of the period from its beginning until the dispersal of this brief culture at the end of the decade.

The selection of pieces is the personal choice of the editor, derived from his wide reading for his book about the arts in the 1940s, War Like a Wasp. There are many pieces, by unknown authors, while some famous poems have been excluded, usually for reasons of length. For instance, the finest of the war poems, the later of T. S. Eliot Four Quartets, have not been included, as they should be read as a whole. The editor has preferred pieces that describe the war and post-war experience rather than rural or religious poetry, which may be timeless in its commentary. He has also preferred the evidence of those who knew London, where the culture of the period was centred. Above all, he has tried to select pieces that capture the feel and the shock of the years of the war decade. He regrets only the omissions he has had to make among the tens of thousands of just and true and spare descriptions of that extraordinary time.

Andrew Sinclair . . .

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.