Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics by Chris Duffy Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

Above the Dreamless Dead: World War I in Poetry and Comics

As the Great War dragged on and its catastrophic death toll mounted, a new artistic movement found its feet in the United Kingdom. The Trench Poets, as they came to be called, were soldier-poets dispatching their verse from the front lines. Known for its rejection of war as a romantic or noble enterprise, and its plainspoken condemnation of the senseless bloodshed of war,
David Schaafsma

Sep 05, 2014

rated it
it was amazing

Shelves:
wwi

This year is the 100th anniversary of the Great War, the “war to end all wars,” ha. And who of us knows much about it? Jane Addams, once the most famous woman in America, was vilified for taking a position that the war could have been avoided, of course she was right, and she was later hollowly vindicated, in a way, by being award the Nobel Peace Prize. If you are a student of literature, maybe especially British literature, you are aware of the trench poets of that war, those who wrote poems li

But it was the art that time and again won me over, wedded thoughtfully and creatively with the words and horror. Some of my favorite artists shape this, editor Chris Duffy’s, collection: Luke Pearson, Kevin Huizenga, Eddie Campbell, Peter Kuper, Isabel Greenberg, George Pratt, Lilli Carre, Danica Novgorodoff, Anders Nilsen. And the artists, finally, do not disappoint. In case you doubt this, based on the evidence of the art/poem collaborations themselves, look to the notes where the artists briefly discuss the process they went through with their work, all of them reading and re-reading the poems, doing research on the poets and the war and the poems. I hesitate to mention my faves, because as the momentum of the book gained steam for me, I had a long list including but not limited to Campbell’s adaptation of excerpts from The Great Push (not a poem!) but Patrick MacGill, Nilsen’s rendering of Hardy’s “In Time of ‘The Breaking of Nations'”, Lloyd’s tribute to Sassoon’s “Repression of War Experience (which seems also a tribute to Will Eisner’s artistic vision), The End by Owen and Novgodoroff, Greenberg’s adaptation of Sassoon’s lovely “Everyone Sang” and Carre’s equally heartbreaking “The Dancers” which includes the line that titles the collection

And some of this art work is an homage to the time, capturing what might have been comics styles of the time, and some helps us bridge the gap to wars of today, and wars almost inevitably to come. I went from an unfair “meh” to “moving,” at last, profoundly touched and saddened by these visceral accounts in poetry and art. And fell in love with some of my have WWI poets again, and found some new ones I appreciated.

Eddie Campbell says, self-deprecatingly: “”it’s a bit preposterous us thinking we can illustrate the stuff that we know nothing of–sitting here in our air-conditioned rooms trying to imagine the horror of being knee deep in mud with your feet rotting off,” and I wasn’t there either, nor ever served in the military, but it’s important for them and for all of us to imagine the horrors of war before we so easily commit to yet another and another again and again. That’s the value of art, and imagination, and being human. I think they pull it off beautifully so we can use this in our own necessary anti-war efforts.
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Sarah

High school teachers, use this book! I would have loved to use this when I taught history and English. I went through a stage in my 20s when I read a lot of the World War I poets–Sassoon and Brooke mostly. But, whoa, this version rocks. So easy to incorporate into the classroom.

In the introduction, Duffy notes that many Americans don’t know much about World War I, and I agree. Trench warfare was horrible and deadly–shell shock was common, and soldiers thought their commanders were idiots for

In the introduction, Duffy notes that many Americans don’t know much about World War I, and I agree. Trench warfare was horrible and deadly–shell shock was common, and soldiers thought their commanders were idiots for fighting for months to gain 10 feet of ground.

More than ten authors are highlighted here, from all class levels. Soldier songs are used, too, and some are downright hilarious. I love how so many artists are used and it’s fascinating to study how the artist chose to represent the words. So many styles of drawing, but they are all appropriate.

Sad, heartbreaking, and a must-read. War sucks. My favorites were “The Coward” by Rudyard Kipling adapted by Stephen R. Bissette and “The Next War” by Osbert Sitwell adapted by Simon Gane.

I’m wondering if this will show up on the Alex Award list?
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