thu 18/07/2024

World War One

Anna Reid: A Nasty Little War - The West's Fight to Reverse the Russian Revolution review - home truths

During the Cold War, US presidents often claimed that the West and the Soviet Union had never fought one another directly. This observation made sense geopolitically – the likelihood of mutually assured destruction made a nuclear conflict seem...

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Blu-ray: King and Country

British anti-war films inspired by “the war that” failed “to end all wars” include Oh! What a Lovely War, The Return of the Soldier, A Month in the Country, Regeneration, Mrs Dalloway, The Trench, Testament of Youth, the different versions of...

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Oh What A Lovely War, Southwark Playhouse review - 60 years on, the old warhorse can still bare its teeth

In Annus Mirabilis, Philip Larkin wrote,"So life was never better than In nineteen sixty-three (Though just too late for me) – Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban And the Beatles' first LP."That might be the only point...

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Anne Michaels: Held review - one story across time

Near the end of My Name is Lucy Barton, Elizabeth Strout’s prize-winning 2016 novel, a creative writing teacher tells Lucy, ‘you will only have one story […] you’ll write your one story many ways. Don’t ever worry about story.’ The advice might...

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Ishion Hutchinson: School of Instructions review - learning against estrangement

School of Instructions, a book-length poem composed of six sections, is a virtuosic dance between memory and forgetting, distant tragedy and personal grief. At times, Hutchinson’s language perhaps forgets itself in its own excess. His lines are...

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Benediction review - the world's worst wounds

Terence Davies’s Benediction is a haunting but uneven biopic of the World War I poet Siegfried Sassoon and a drama about the burden of incalculable loss. If sorrow and futility enshroud it, Davies leavens the bitterness with his tartest dialogue yet...

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Life After Life, BBC Two review - déjà vu all over again

If we could keep living our life over and over again, would we get better at it? This is the premise underpinning Life After Life, the BBC’s four-part adaptation of Kate Atkinson’s novel.The story centres around Ursula Todd, as she grows up with...

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Album: Sabaton - The War to End All Wars

Demonstrating how much the world really can change in a very short time when things spin out of control, Swedish power-metal five-piece Sabaton’s album now seems especially tasteless. It’s also a scalpel-sharp example of how important context is to...

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Fisher, BBC Philharmonic, Wigglesworth, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - war-tinged Vaughan Williams

There was no overt reference to the world outside in this concert, and yet the poignancy of its content could hardly have been clearer if it had been planned: two symphonies and a song cycle each touched by the tragedy of war.It was the launch event...

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Mothering Sunday review - Odessa Young shines in adaptation of Graham Swift's novella

30 March 1924. It’s Mothering Sunday – the precursor to the modern Mother’s Day - when domestic servants are given a day off to go home and visit their mothers, leaving their country-house employers with no one to make the veal and ham pie, do the...

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Thomas Hardy: Fate, Exclusion and Tragedy, Sky Arts review – too much and not enough

Born in 1840, Thomas Hardy lived a life of in-betweens. Modern yet traditional, the son of a builder who went on to become a famous novelist, he belonged both to Dorset and London. When he died, his ashes were interred at Westminster Abbey, but his...

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Sebastian Faulks: Snow Country review - insects under a stone

Historical fiction – perhaps all fiction – presents its authors with the problem of how to convey contextual information that is external to the plot but necessary to the reader’s understanding of it.Some authors supply an omniscient third-person...

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