By Susan Kingsley Kent
This e-book examines the impression of collective trauma coming up out of the nice battle at the politics of the Twenties in Britain. Aftershocks experiences how meanings of shellshock and imagery offering the traumatized psyche as shattered contributed to Britons understandings in their political selves within the Twenties. It connects the strength of feelings to the political tradition of a decade which observed amazing violence opposed to these considered as un-English.
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Extra info for Aftershocks: Politics and Trauma in Britain, 1918-1931
They’ve seen all their friends blown up or shot to pieces . . They may seem to forget it and go along as peaceable as anybody to all outward appearance, but it’s all artiﬁcial, you get my meaning. Then, one day, something ‘appens to upset them . . and something goes pop inside their brains and makes raving monsters of them. It’s all in the books, he adds, offering an explanation for the widespread adoption of the mind in pieces as archetypal interwar subject. Lord Peter himself had been “blown up and buried in a shell-hole” in 1918, returning home with “a bad nervous breakdown, lasting, on and off, for two years.
His cousin, the narrator, imagines his choice of Margaret over her and Kitty in terms of two crystal balls, in one of which Margaret resided, the other of which contained her and Kitty. “He sighs a deep sigh of delight and puts out his hand to the ball where Margaret shines,” wrote West. “His sleeve catches the other one and sends it down to crash in a thousand pieces on the ﬂoor . . ” Dorothy Sayers, whose husband returned from the war shell shocked, gave Peter Wimsey and many of the suspects who peopled her crime stories the same history.
He sprang at her and caught her by the throat . . the accused said . . ’ ” Gibbs blamed “the seeds of insanity in the brains of men” on the “abnormal life of war” and on women who gave them venereal disease. In this version, the war and women become confused. “Sexually [the men] were starved,” he argued. For months they lived out of the sight and presence of women. But they came back into villages or towns where they were tempted by any poor slut who winked at them and infected them with illness.