Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History

Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in


10 thoughts on “Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History

  1. Malcolm Malcolm says:

    One of the things that I have noticed since moving to Europe is how different the First World War looks here from the one I grew up with in New Zealand All around are solemn memorials, but here we walk on the places the war happened, and its memorialisation is pervasive These memorials are not just things in squares, in fields, or mounted on walls, but are in films, novels, poems, and much of our daily experience Winter makes a strong case for understanding large parts of 20th century Europea One of the things that I have noticed since moving to Europe is how different the First World War looks here from the one I grew up with in New Zealand All around are solemn memorials, but here we walk on the places the war happened, and its memorialisation is pervasive These memorials are not just things in squares, in fields, or mounted on walls, but are in films, novels, poems, and much of our daily experience Winter makes a strong case for understanding large parts of 20th century European history as being about the Great War it is a compelling, well made, well presented, erudite argument


  2. Michael Michael says:

    It has become a running joke in my reviews that every time I review a book from graduate school that contains the word memory in the title, I begin by saying that I don t remember reading it Happily, this book breaks that tradition, because as I picked it up and looked at my extensive highlighting, it quickly came back to me in full, or at least as fully as I had time to read it in those busy years Finally, a book on memory that is actually memorable I m tempted to say that is because this It has become a running joke in my reviews that every time I review a book from graduate school that contains the word memory in the title, I begin by saying that I don t remember reading it Happily, this book breaks that tradition, because as I picked it up and looked at my extensive highlighting, it quickly came back to me in full, or at least as fully as I had time to read it in those busy years Finally, a book on memory that is actually memorable I m tempted to say that is because this book is less theoretical than the others, but that s not quite accurate it s better to say that Winter deploys his theoryeffectively He uses theory to create an effective methodology for answering questions that are hard to answer without it, rather than indulging in theory for the sake of creatingtheory This, in short, is how cultural history should be done.What Winter does is to examine the ways in which Europeans on both sides of the war grieved or expressed grief in public This includes war monuments, creation of military graveyards and the disposition of war dead, creation of literature and cinema dedicated to remembrance, and other forms of dealing with grief, such as s ances and spiritualism He challenges the classical narrative of the war constituting a final break between traditional and modern forms of expression, finding that both persisted side by side Modern memory was multifaceted, dislocated, paradoxical and ironic, and could express anger and despair, and did so in enduring ways it was melancholic, but it could not heal For healing, Winter shows again and again, Europeans had to turn to traditional forms of commemoration He opens the book with a brief discussion of Abel Gance s J accuse 1919 , a film which he discusses at greater length later in the book, and many other artistic representations of the war and its dead follow, grounding this firmly in cultural history, with the writings of Celine, the paintings of Ludwig Meidner, and the statues of K the Kollwitz representing very different ways of representing the dead This remains a fascinating study, though it will not please military history buffs and will seem limited to anyone not interested in cultural history It works primarily within the inter war years, and especially the earlier portion through 1930 or so , and does not address political questions such as fascism s, socialism s and communism s particular handling of war memory in detail Most of the sources are from France and the UK, although Germany is examined as well in some depth Most of the other participant nations get only minor discussion in relation to specific subjects, as for example in the case of the Australian Red Cross Information Bureau Doubtless many will take issue with his definitions of modern and traditional and with his claim that the traditional continued in full strength at a time when most artists had come to reject it, but these are questions best considered with a careful reading of the original, and by checking sources as carefully as Winter has To truly refute this book will take someone as skilled in cultural history as Winter himself, and that is a rare person indeed


  3. Joseph Hirsch Joseph Hirsch says:

    This is an incredibly focused, well organized, and accessible piece of scholarship that sets itself a task that is straightforward, though far from simple Its goal is to trace the cultural artifacts that wars produce the statues, the books, the memorials, and the less tangible but still vital struggles over how the war s meaning should be interpreted Most of the book focuses on the struggle to interpret the war while it was being fought, and in the immediate wake of the war, with the battle o This is an incredibly focused, well organized, and accessible piece of scholarship that sets itself a task that is straightforward, though far from simple Its goal is to trace the cultural artifacts that wars produce the statues, the books, the memorials, and the less tangible but still vital struggles over how the war s meaning should be interpreted Most of the book focuses on the struggle to interpret the war while it was being fought, and in the immediate wake of the war, with the battle over meaning mostly between uber patriots and those whose time in the charnel house turned them either into revolutionaries or religious mystics Did the men in the trenches die for some ultimate meaning, or die for nothing It s a question Jay Winter gives an ample airing And here lies perhaps my only quibble, that some of the aspects of memorializing I found most interesting seemed a bit condensed, in comparison to this theme, or that of the dead returning from their graves to accuse the living of various crimes Though it is ultimately the researcher s prerogative to dwell where he finds the greatest wellspring, for me a longer section on poetry commensurate in length and depth to this section would have been preferable Lastly, another area in which Herr Winter deserves especial credit is in making his analysis of artifacts balanced between the three main principles of the Great War, France, Britain, and Germany Not to denigrate the contributions of other lands, including my own home of America, but these were the nations that were bled white in the combat and experienced the greatest sea change in consciousness as a result of the apocalypses at the Somme or Marne Too many studies on this subject inevitably favor the doomed Oxford Dons of the English perspective, or the expressionistic nihilism of the German perspective letting the French romantic, religious, and revolutionary currents get lost in the discourse The historian in question here not only pays attention to the contributions of all three unfortunate nations, but shows, through his own diligence and keenness, how these lands had muchin common than most other historians have heretofore shown Recommended, in any case


  4. Shane Gower Shane Gower says:

    This is a well researched and argued book about the way Europe, in particular, mourned and remembered the Great War in the years that followed Some parts were a bit dense, but I enjoyed it overall The sections on cinema were fascinating I was riveted by the analysis of Gance s J accuse Meanwhile I found the section on poetry hard to get through It s clear that Winter has done a tremendous amount of research


  5. Lauren Lauren says:

    Disappointingly boring A few interesting historical observations but mostly tepid prose and superficial analysis Maybe his other book is better.


  6. Nicholas Nicholas says:

    Interesting, shows that reactions to the war were not all that modernalthough, the two halves are a bit disjointed.


  7. Chris Fong Chris Fong says:

    A bit of a slog at times very dense, I skimmed a lot Still, an interesting argument, and clearly understood.


  8. Clara Clara says:

    Very insightful, brilliantly written, clear and surprisingly touching Used it for a contemporary history exam in my cultural heritage fine arts course.


  9. Cadie Sommer Cadie Sommer says:

    It was an interesting view on how people interpreted the Great war though art, poetry, film, and writing.


  10. John David John David says:

    My Peter, I intend to try to be faithful What does that mean To love my country in my own way as you loved it in your way And to make this love work To look at the young people and be faithful to them Besides that I shall do my work, the same work, my child, which you were denied I want to honor God in my work, too, which means I want to be honest, true and sincere When I try to be like that, dear Peter, I ask you then to be around me, help me, show yourself to me I know you are there My Peter, I intend to try to be faithful What does that mean To love my country in my own way as you loved it in your way And to make this love work To look at the young people and be faithful to them Besides that I shall do my work, the same work, my child, which you were denied I want to honor God in my work, too, which means I want to be honest, true and sincere When I try to be like that, dear Peter, I ask you then to be around me, help me, show yourself to me I know you are there, but I see you only vaguely, as if you were shrouded in mist Stay with me Kathe Kollwitz artist , in a letter to her son Peter, who was killed in WWIThis excerpt from a letter by Kathe Kollwitz, whose heartbreaking sculpture and prints encapsulated the loss of an entire generation, also addresses some of the concerns at the heart of Jay Winter s Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning, which explores intellectual territory already trodden by the likes of Paul Fussell in his The Great War and Modern Memory and George Mosse in his Fallen Soldiers Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars which I reviewed for this site in January Unlike Mosse s book, which looks at larger national and cultural factors, Winter hones in on how people coped with tragedy on a level unknown until the trench warfare of World War I In the second half of the book, he looks at different artistic media film, popular art, novels, and poetry in an attempt to distill how they dealt differently with the loss, guilt, and trauma that was visited upon them by the War.We often think that the soldiers who fell in the War as Americans or Europeans, but of course some were from as far away as Australia Winter argues that this affects the way even the most fundamental ways we relate to the War, especially the way that we mourn He tells the story of Australian Vera Deakin daughter of the pre War Prime Minister Alfred Deakin , who was one of the most active members of the Australian Red Cross and searched endlessly for missing and unidentified soldiers Families in Western Europe where Winter spends most of his time in the book read of their losses within days for the most part, but it sometimes took weeks or even months for those in Australia Worse yet, some simply heard nothingthan that their loved one was missing in action, and many never heard anything at all Culturally and aesthetically, we think of World War I as being the cynosure of modernism However, Winter argues that in order to grieve, Europeans looked backward instead of forward Spiritualism saw a huge resurgence during the War years It was just one of the powerfully conservative effects of the Great War on one aspect of European cultural history Instead of a burgeoning modernism, these years were muchdominated by Victorian sentimentalism and traditional religious and spiritual ideas The second half of the book turns toward the arts for clearer insight on how grieving occurred, on both personal and national levels One of the most interesting parts here is Winter s short history of Images d Epinal, a tradition of popular, often kitschy, French folk art that was very popular at the time, and often catered to aforementioned Victorian ideals and religious feelings Again, the focus is on realism and the representationalism of the past, not the avant garde Winter ends by jumping all the way to World War II and noting how the grammar of mourning had changed in the wake of the Shoah To quote Adorno, It is barbarism to write poetry after Auschwitz Not long afterward, we start seeing the rise of evenself consciously abstract and anti representational in all different kinds of cultural expression It would seem that much of the art world at the time agreed with Adorno s appraisal In the end, this book was not merely as good as the Mosse, which struck me as brilliant and well argued Nevertheless, Winter s revisionist cultural history of World War I being a time of aesthetic conservatism and tradition is one worth considering there is certainly enough evidence to both support and refute it I plan on reading his Remembering the War The Great War Between Memory and History in the Twentieth Century soon


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Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History [KINDLE] ❂ Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History ❅ Jay Murray Winter – Polishdarling.co.uk Jay Winter s powerful study of the collective remembrance of the Great War offers a major reassessment of one of the critical episodes in the cultural history of the twentieth century Dr Winter looks Jay Winter s powerful study of the collective Memory, Sites PDF/EPUB ✓ remembrance of the Great War offers a major reassessment of one of the critical episodes in the cultural history of Sites of ePUB Ù the twentieth century Dr Winter looks anew at the culture of commemoration and the ways in which communities endeavoured to find collective solace afterSites of Memory, Sites of Mourning of Memory, Sites MOBI · is a profound and moving book of seminal importance for the attempt to understand the course of European history during the first half of the twentieth century.

  • Paperback
  • 322 pages
  • Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History
  • Jay Murray Winter
  • English
  • 02 August 2019
  • 0521639883

About the Author: Jay Murray Winter

Is a well known author, some of his Memory, Sites PDF/EPUB ✓ books are a fascination for readers like in the Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Sites of ePUB Ù Cultural History book, this is one of the most wanted Jay Murray Winter author readers around the world.



10 thoughts on “Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History

  1. Malcolm Malcolm says:

    One of the things that I have noticed since moving to Europe is how different the First World War looks here from the one I grew up with in New Zealand All around are solemn memorials, but here we walk on the places the war happened, and its memorialisation is pervasive These memorials are not just things in squares, in fields, or mounted on walls, but are in films, novels, poems, and much of our daily experience Winter makes a strong case for understanding large parts of 20th century Europea One of the things that I have noticed since moving to Europe is how different the First World War looks here from the one I grew up with in New Zealand All around are solemn memorials, but here we walk on the places the war happened, and its memorialisation is pervasive These memorials are not just things in squares, in fields, or mounted on walls, but are in films, novels, poems, and much of our daily experience Winter makes a strong case for understanding large parts of 20th century European history as being about the Great War it is a compelling, well made, well presented, erudite argument


  2. Michael Michael says:

    It has become a running joke in my reviews that every time I review a book from graduate school that contains the word memory in the title, I begin by saying that I don t remember reading it Happily, this book breaks that tradition, because as I picked it up and looked at my extensive highlighting, it quickly came back to me in full, or at least as fully as I had time to read it in those busy years Finally, a book on memory that is actually memorable I m tempted to say that is because this It has become a running joke in my reviews that every time I review a book from graduate school that contains the word memory in the title, I begin by saying that I don t remember reading it Happily, this book breaks that tradition, because as I picked it up and looked at my extensive highlighting, it quickly came back to me in full, or at least as fully as I had time to read it in those busy years Finally, a book on memory that is actually memorable I m tempted to say that is because this book is less theoretical than the others, but that s not quite accurate it s better to say that Winter deploys his theoryeffectively He uses theory to create an effective methodology for answering questions that are hard to answer without it, rather than indulging in theory for the sake of creatingtheory This, in short, is how cultural history should be done.What Winter does is to examine the ways in which Europeans on both sides of the war grieved or expressed grief in public This includes war monuments, creation of military graveyards and the disposition of war dead, creation of literature and cinema dedicated to remembrance, and other forms of dealing with grief, such as s ances and spiritualism He challenges the classical narrative of the war constituting a final break between traditional and modern forms of expression, finding that both persisted side by side Modern memory was multifaceted, dislocated, paradoxical and ironic, and could express anger and despair, and did so in enduring ways it was melancholic, but it could not heal For healing, Winter shows again and again, Europeans had to turn to traditional forms of commemoration He opens the book with a brief discussion of Abel Gance s J accuse 1919 , a film which he discusses at greater length later in the book, and many other artistic representations of the war and its dead follow, grounding this firmly in cultural history, with the writings of Celine, the paintings of Ludwig Meidner, and the statues of K the Kollwitz representing very different ways of representing the dead This remains a fascinating study, though it will not please military history buffs and will seem limited to anyone not interested in cultural history It works primarily within the inter war years, and especially the earlier portion through 1930 or so , and does not address political questions such as fascism s, socialism s and communism s particular handling of war memory in detail Most of the sources are from France and the UK, although Germany is examined as well in some depth Most of the other participant nations get only minor discussion in relation to specific subjects, as for example in the case of the Australian Red Cross Information Bureau Doubtless many will take issue with his definitions of modern and traditional and with his claim that the traditional continued in full strength at a time when most artists had come to reject it, but these are questions best considered with a careful reading of the original, and by checking sources as carefully as Winter has To truly refute this book will take someone as skilled in cultural history as Winter himself, and that is a rare person indeed


  3. Joseph Hirsch Joseph Hirsch says:

    This is an incredibly focused, well organized, and accessible piece of scholarship that sets itself a task that is straightforward, though far from simple Its goal is to trace the cultural artifacts that wars produce the statues, the books, the memorials, and the less tangible but still vital struggles over how the war s meaning should be interpreted Most of the book focuses on the struggle to interpret the war while it was being fought, and in the immediate wake of the war, with the battle o This is an incredibly focused, well organized, and accessible piece of scholarship that sets itself a task that is straightforward, though far from simple Its goal is to trace the cultural artifacts that wars produce the statues, the books, the memorials, and the less tangible but still vital struggles over how the war s meaning should be interpreted Most of the book focuses on the struggle to interpret the war while it was being fought, and in the immediate wake of the war, with the battle over meaning mostly between uber patriots and those whose time in the charnel house turned them either into revolutionaries or religious mystics Did the men in the trenches die for some ultimate meaning, or die for nothing It s a question Jay Winter gives an ample airing And here lies perhaps my only quibble, that some of the aspects of memorializing I found most interesting seemed a bit condensed, in comparison to this theme, or that of the dead returning from their graves to accuse the living of various crimes Though it is ultimately the researcher s prerogative to dwell where he finds the greatest wellspring, for me a longer section on poetry commensurate in length and depth to this section would have been preferable Lastly, another area in which Herr Winter deserves especial credit is in making his analysis of artifacts balanced between the three main principles of the Great War, France, Britain, and Germany Not to denigrate the contributions of other lands, including my own home of America, but these were the nations that were bled white in the combat and experienced the greatest sea change in consciousness as a result of the apocalypses at the Somme or Marne Too many studies on this subject inevitably favor the doomed Oxford Dons of the English perspective, or the expressionistic nihilism of the German perspective letting the French romantic, religious, and revolutionary currents get lost in the discourse The historian in question here not only pays attention to the contributions of all three unfortunate nations, but shows, through his own diligence and keenness, how these lands had muchin common than most other historians have heretofore shown Recommended, in any case


  4. Shane Gower Shane Gower says:

    This is a well researched and argued book about the way Europe, in particular, mourned and remembered the Great War in the years that followed Some parts were a bit dense, but I enjoyed it overall The sections on cinema were fascinating I was riveted by the analysis of Gance s J accuse Meanwhile I found the section on poetry hard to get through It s clear that Winter has done a tremendous amount of research


  5. Lauren Lauren says:

    Disappointingly boring A few interesting historical observations but mostly tepid prose and superficial analysis Maybe his other book is better.


  6. Nicholas Nicholas says:

    Interesting, shows that reactions to the war were not all that modernalthough, the two halves are a bit disjointed.


  7. Chris Fong Chris Fong says:

    A bit of a slog at times very dense, I skimmed a lot Still, an interesting argument, and clearly understood.


  8. Clara Clara says:

    Very insightful, brilliantly written, clear and surprisingly touching Used it for a contemporary history exam in my cultural heritage fine arts course.


  9. Cadie Sommer Cadie Sommer says:

    It was an interesting view on how people interpreted the Great war though art, poetry, film, and writing.


  10. John David John David says:

    My Peter, I intend to try to be faithful What does that mean To love my country in my own way as you loved it in your way And to make this love work To look at the young people and be faithful to them Besides that I shall do my work, the same work, my child, which you were denied I want to honor God in my work, too, which means I want to be honest, true and sincere When I try to be like that, dear Peter, I ask you then to be around me, help me, show yourself to me I know you are there My Peter, I intend to try to be faithful What does that mean To love my country in my own way as you loved it in your way And to make this love work To look at the young people and be faithful to them Besides that I shall do my work, the same work, my child, which you were denied I want to honor God in my work, too, which means I want to be honest, true and sincere When I try to be like that, dear Peter, I ask you then to be around me, help me, show yourself to me I know you are there, but I see you only vaguely, as if you were shrouded in mist Stay with me Kathe Kollwitz artist , in a letter to her son Peter, who was killed in WWIThis excerpt from a letter by Kathe Kollwitz, whose heartbreaking sculpture and prints encapsulated the loss of an entire generation, also addresses some of the concerns at the heart of Jay Winter s Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning, which explores intellectual territory already trodden by the likes of Paul Fussell in his The Great War and Modern Memory and George Mosse in his Fallen Soldiers Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars which I reviewed for this site in January Unlike Mosse s book, which looks at larger national and cultural factors, Winter hones in on how people coped with tragedy on a level unknown until the trench warfare of World War I In the second half of the book, he looks at different artistic media film, popular art, novels, and poetry in an attempt to distill how they dealt differently with the loss, guilt, and trauma that was visited upon them by the War.We often think that the soldiers who fell in the War as Americans or Europeans, but of course some were from as far away as Australia Winter argues that this affects the way even the most fundamental ways we relate to the War, especially the way that we mourn He tells the story of Australian Vera Deakin daughter of the pre War Prime Minister Alfred Deakin , who was one of the most active members of the Australian Red Cross and searched endlessly for missing and unidentified soldiers Families in Western Europe where Winter spends most of his time in the book read of their losses within days for the most part, but it sometimes took weeks or even months for those in Australia Worse yet, some simply heard nothingthan that their loved one was missing in action, and many never heard anything at all Culturally and aesthetically, we think of World War I as being the cynosure of modernism However, Winter argues that in order to grieve, Europeans looked backward instead of forward Spiritualism saw a huge resurgence during the War years It was just one of the powerfully conservative effects of the Great War on one aspect of European cultural history Instead of a burgeoning modernism, these years were muchdominated by Victorian sentimentalism and traditional religious and spiritual ideas The second half of the book turns toward the arts for clearer insight on how grieving occurred, on both personal and national levels One of the most interesting parts here is Winter s short history of Images d Epinal, a tradition of popular, often kitschy, French folk art that was very popular at the time, and often catered to aforementioned Victorian ideals and religious feelings Again, the focus is on realism and the representationalism of the past, not the avant garde Winter ends by jumping all the way to World War II and noting how the grammar of mourning had changed in the wake of the Shoah To quote Adorno, It is barbarism to write poetry after Auschwitz Not long afterward, we start seeing the rise of evenself consciously abstract and anti representational in all different kinds of cultural expression It would seem that much of the art world at the time agreed with Adorno s appraisal In the end, this book was not merely as good as the Mosse, which struck me as brilliant and well argued Nevertheless, Winter s revisionist cultural history of World War I being a time of aesthetic conservatism and tradition is one worth considering there is certainly enough evidence to both support and refute it I plan on reading his Remembering the War The Great War Between Memory and History in the Twentieth Century soon


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