"The West doesn’t understand radicalism. It’s anger, isolation, alienation, pain – that’s what drives young people to take up arms against the world. Not religion." Fatima Bhutto
Posts tagged "World War I"
William Ryan: Seeking answers to the darkness

William Ryan: Seeking answers to the darkness

William Ryan’s historical thriller A House of Ghosts has been receiving high praise in the press and from readers. I’m willing to bet the stunning cover design, featuring an embossed gold-leaf image of Blackwater Abbey, has played a part in the novel’s success. Stars flicker in the night sky and stylised rays of light fan...
Another Europe

Another Europe

In the course of his long and creatively buoyant period of exile through the 1930s, Stefan Zweig expressed, in a slew of speeches and articles presented in conferences across Europe, one thing more than any other: his ardent desire to see a unification of European states, a Europe pledged to friendship, united around pluralism, freedom...
Erwin Mortier: History is debate

Erwin Mortier: History is debate

Erwin Mortier’s meticulously crafted novels about memory, language and identity are acclaimed across the world and his latest, an attempt to plug a surprising gap in Belgian literature about the Great War, was immediately dubbed a modern classic. I catch up with him on the release of the English-language edition. MR: Your first three novels...
Swarms and sorrows

Swarms and sorrows

He frequently took me on trips with him when the war was over and he meticulously documented what I call the congealing, the great levelling, in all respects after the ravages and the euphoria of peace. The smoothing-over of the tormented earth. The cemeteries where the fallen were gradually put in straighter and straighter ranks,...
Enduring war

Enduring war

Christmas cards, letters, cartoons, posters and the manuscripts of celebrated war poets are among the collection on display for the first time in Enduring War: Grief, Grit and Humour in the Folio Society Gallery at the British Museum. The exhibition explores the many ways those both at home and on the front line tried to...
Brightness and shadows over Europe

Brightness and shadows over Europe

As everyone knows, it is a thousand times easier to reconstruct the facts of what happened at a certain time than its intellectual atmosphere. That atmosphere is reflected not in official events but, most conspicuously, in small, personal episodes of the kind that I am going to recount here. To be honest, I did not...