By Jonathan Atkin
This booklet attracts jointly for the first actual time examples of the ''aesthetic pacifism'' practiced in the course of the nice battle through such celebrated participants as Virginia Woolf, Siegfried Sassoon, and Bertrand Russell. additionally, the ebook outlines the tales of these much less famous who shared the attitude of the Bloomsbury staff and people round them whilst it got here to dealing with the 1st ''total war.''
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Additional resources for A War of Individuals: Bloomsbury Attitudes to the Great War
After a visit to see her brother-inlaw Philip who had been wounded in action and was now in the Fishmonger’s Hall in London (transformed into a temporary hospital), Woolf was struck by ‘a feeling of the uselessness of it all, breaking these people and mending them again’, a typical example of her ability to always see ‘the skull beneath the skin’ regarding the human condition. 104 In the days following the Armistice, Virginia felt that she had experienced such a change of perspective due to the war that she saw no meaning to the ‘gossip of parties’ that now abounded and nothing to celebrate in the wet feathers, languishing flags and ‘sordid’ crowds of a rainy London.
100 During the next few months, the Woolfs busied themselves with looking for alternative accommodation, eventually finding Hogarth House in Richmond at Christmas 1914. They were also immersed in their respective writing, Woolf working on her second novel, Night and Day. She remained telescopic in her view of the war and the world outside her window, believing, as she wrote in her diary, that the human race seemed to have no character or any real goals and fought only from ‘a dreary sense of duty’, though she appeared to take the same line as Bertrand Russell when she wrote to Duncan Grant describing her distress at what she saw as an ‘evolution’ in attitudes to life, brought on by the war.
One must simply work and try to find out what is permanent’, she concluded. By the high-watermark of the death of Rupert Brooke in April 1915, Vanessa Bell had moved to Eleanor House on the Sussex coast. She found all the talk about Brooke largely pointless just as she found talk of the war liable to ‘put a stop’ to other, creative thoughts, and she thought it most vital that these creative thoughts ‘shouldn’t be killed’. Hence she deliberately resisted returning to London. ‘How idiotic to go home and listen to talk about the war and Rupert’, she wrote to her husband, with Brooke’s death symbolising the war itself and consequently her desire to be apart from it.
A War of Individuals: Bloomsbury Attitudes to the Great War by Jonathan Atkin