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Heads Up on a Huge Centenary

 
JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 06/10/2013

I'm forever being told that it takes between six months and one year for an article to fully mature.  Therefore it might be worth bearing in mind what's coming in a year.

On June 28th 2014, it will be exactly one hundred years since a young Bosnian Serb student shot dead an Austro-Hungarian Archduke in Sarajevo.  On July 28th 2014, it will be exactly a century since the Austro-Hungarians started firing weaponry in Serbia in response. The following weeks will see a dizzying array of centenaries, as countries all over Europe entered the fray.

The First World War was huge. The centenary of the First World War is going to be massive.

I was hearing today on the radio just how many books are being held back by publishing houses, so they can be released into the sudden boost of interest.  The Imperial War Museum is devoted a whole floor to the conflict.  Plays, television shows, movies, documentaries, you name it and it's happening.  And that's just in Britain.

An editor from a publishing house said that they weren't looking just for the story to be retold. Everyone knows that story (and if they don't, then they certainly will by the end of next year).  They selected books based on their unusual angles, untold stories, quirky details, things which were new and interesting and had never been discussed before. That sounds to me like a blueprint for our articles too.

  • Literary writers!  To what extent did the Great War influence Tolkien's description of Mordor?
  • Feminists and Female Interest Writers! What were those ladies doing back at home, with all the men gone and the jobs still needing to be done?  How about the timber companies, who solved the desperate lack of bandages, who sent something which front line nurses nicked as sanitary towels, who invented the tampon. Great stories all there to be told.
  • Sports writers!  Tell me again how hostilities affected the Beautiful Game? 
  • Cookery writers!  What were they eating back then?  What were they eating in the trenches?
  • Science writers!  This was the great age of cooking up chemicals designed to hurt people, but that meant inadvertently stumbling across useful discoveries too.  What was happening in those laboratory crucibles, which still matters now?
  • Travel writers!  Where can we go?  What can we see?  What's out there which will make us pause and remember, just for one moment, what it was like to be there?  (So many exhibitions etc opening for this.)

What about your subject.  Anything to say there?

Lots of thinking outside the box to do, but you've time to do it.  Twelve months before a massive wave of WWI publicity sweeps the world.

Heads up over.

PS  What's the use of a history degree if I can't help out?  If you want to chat about what potential WW1 articles lurk in your favourite subject, please do privately message me.  I'd be happy to suggest a few things.


chefkeem
Admin
Posts: 3394
Message
on 06/10/2013

Brilliant suggestion, Jo! Brilliant!

Golden opportunity for some diamond content! (Or was it "dynamite" content?)


Achim "Chef Keem" Thiemermann is the co-founder of a pretty cool new platform called...um...er...oh, yeah - Wizzley.com.
JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 06/10/2013

World War One was the first major war to use dynamite.  It was utilized as mostly as a way to quickly 'dig' a trench.

And the Diamond War Memorial Project is the primary exhibition on the First World War in Londonderry.

Next!


Paul
Posts: 256
Message
on 06/10/2013

At first I thought it'd be a very difficult subject for me to write content on as, well, I'm not a historian, nor have I ever actually studied WW1 in that much detail before, but after some consideration it's really not as narrow as it might seem.

For me, it's very applicable to gaming. A large portion of them are based around WW1 and I've often wondered to myself how accurate they are in comparison to the real events. There's not that much content online about this, so it could be interesting. Plus it would only be focusing on a couple of the battles, so the research wouldn't be too heavy.

I think a lot of people are going to be worried that you need to be some super duper historian to write about this, but so long as you check your facts and research (I'm sure Jo would be okay with confirming a fact or two if you're unsure!), it's a topic accessible by all.

JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 06/10/2013

Yes! I would be very happy to help with the fact checking. :)

I hadn't even thought of the gaming aspect.  Sounds like an interesting article or ten right there.


KathleenDuffy
Posts: 162
Message
on 06/10/2013

Great idea - thanks for  that! As Paul said, you can come at it from so many angles!

 


Kathleen
kimbesa
Posts: 23
Message
on 06/10/2013

Wow...thanks!

My brain is spinning with ideas, especially how local history ties in to the Great War.

 


I write about dishes and glassware at Diary of a Dishie
JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 06/10/2013

I'm glad to hear that you're all thinking so.  The possibilities here are so endless. :D

Good categories for general articles about the Great War:

Culture and Society > Military > World Wars

Culture and Society > History > World History

Culture and Society > History > Edwardian Era

The latter is worth watching at the moment, as all of the current centenaries are happening in there.


Guest
on 06/10/2013

Whoopee! What an opportunity for everyone to make money on the bodies of the dead. So it goes.

Sethisis
Posts: 18
Message
on 06/10/2013

100 years already? I didn't realise. Hopefully Wizzley will become a fascinating hotbed of WW1 facts and stories =]

JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 06/10/2013

 

Catana: 06/10/2013 - 03:51 PM

Whoopee! What an opportunity for everyone to make money on the bodies of the dead. So it goes.

Then let's ban every history book, every exhibition, every museum making available the oral history testimony of veterans and survivors.  Let's ensure that no future generation ever learns from the mistakes of history, so that they will always be doomed to repeat them.

Is this what you would advocate instead?

Edit:  Thank you, Sethisis, you used that very word while I was typing - 'fascinating'.  If the fascination is there, then people read and people learn. And maybe awareness trickles down into saving lives.


KathleenDuffy
Posts: 162
Message
on 06/10/2013

I'm really looking forward to writing about the great British artists who not only fought in the Great War, but painted it as well.   Coincidentally, there's an art exhibition opening tomorrow at the Dulwich Picture Gallery which features some of these artists - Paul Nash, Bomberg, Nevison, etc.  I shall definitely go.   Some great poetry came out too.

What a great opportunity to use our writing to celebrate these people - they mustn't be forgotten.

 


Kathleen
Paul
Posts: 256
Message
on 06/10/2013


C
: 06/10/2013 - 03:51 PM

Whoopee! What an opportunity for everyone to make money on the bodies of the dead. So it goes.

It's a shame that you post this and immediately run away to hide, deleting all information from your account. The intention is, as ever with such events, to raise awareness.

JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 06/10/2013

The poetry is the first thing which comes to my mind too.  Or rather the 'pity in the poetry'.  It wasn't my history classes which caused me to first 'feel' World War One.  It was my English classes and the terribly evocative words of Wilfred Owen.

I may well start with him for my articles.


WordChazer
Posts: 412
Message
on 06/10/2013

Tanks.

Aircraft.

Gas

Cannon.

Shellshock (PTSD).

Feminism (female munitions and factory workers, pilots)

Loss of life...

 

This war broke so many boundaries, it is unreal. New inventions were tried, tested, refined here. Old problems were magnified and human frailty exposed.

And on the gaming front, I agree. Many of the shoot'em ups are WWI based.


Described by one of my clients as 'a literary grammarian', writing, researching and reading are requirements for sanity, at least this side of the keyboard.
Sam
Posts: 723
Message
on 06/10/2013

 

C: 06/10/2013 - 03:51 PM

 

Whoopee! What an opportunity for everyone to make money on the bodies of the dead. So it goes.

 

Those that don't know and learn from history are condemmed to repeat it. 'Nuff said, SY

PS It was known as the "war that would end all wars" - didn't work out, didn't it? Why? Lots of things about to write here!


RupertTaylor
Posts: 108
Message
on 06/10/2013

In another place (it shall remain nameless but that imploded because it was badly managed and allowed all sorts of atrocious writing to be published) I managed a channel on The Great War. It was beginning to get into its stride when the plug was pulled.

I have a ton of material on the First World War and have posted a couple of pieces here.

The Life of Junior Officers

Treatment of Disfigurements

And, in answer to the food at the front suggestion, it was garbage and a scandal that the young lads dying were so poorly fed - often by war profiteers. Read all about it here. Shameless self-promotion.

Yes, we are going to be swamped until nausea sets in, and I'll probably be guilty of adding content.

 

JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 06/10/2013

Your articles were at the very forefront of my mind when I gave this heads up, Rupert.  They are fascinating and great examples of what we can discuss on this subject.

As Sam has pointed out, the First World War failed so badly that we had a second one a generation later.

We're still having wars, even with the examples of those two in our recent history.  Understanding the reality of wars is the first step to not having them anymore. 


RupertTaylor
Posts: 108
Message
on 06/10/2013

Didn't realize I'd made an impression Jo.

There's a considerable body of thought that the Second World War was The Great War (Part Two). I'm happy to buy into that thesis because Part One ended inconclusively despite the appalling slaughter and sacrifice.

JoHarrington
Posts: 1816
Message
on 06/10/2013

WWII was soooo the first one continuing after the interval.  The terms which ended WW1 made the second one inevitable.  So yes, I'm right alongside you with that body of thought.

You always make an impression, Rupert.


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