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Bookmarks When most of us think of the losses for literature, music, and art caused by the First World War, the names that typically spring to mind are Rupert Brooke, WUfred Owen, and perhaps George Butterworth. This is conventional Anglocentrism . The millions of young victims of that conflict included many of the most promising artistic and literary talents from across Europe and beyond. The magnitude of this loss is brought home by a new book edited by Tim Cross, TL· Lost Voices of World War I: An International Anthology of Writers, Poets, and Playwrights (University of Iowa Press, $17.95, paperbound). The idea is simple, the result moving. Cross has brought together fifty-nine biographical sketches of poets or writers who died in the war, with relevant illustrations and samples of their work. The two-column, 406-page book ranges from the American Alan Seeger and more famous British names, through the Breton poet Jean-Pierre Calloc'h, Germans such as Georg Trakl and Franz Janowitz, the Alsatian Ernst Stadler, the Hungarian Géza Gyóni, and the Armenians Grigor Zohrab, Daniel Varouzan, and Siamant'o. There are Czechs, Bulgarians, Serbs, and Slovenes. It would be difficult tooverestimate the richness of TL· Lost Voices of World War I. As a random taste, here's a tart little piece by the German Gustav Sack, killed in 1916 during the advance on Bucharest. As with the other poetry in the book, this translation (by Anthea Bell) of Piffle (Quark) appears side by side with the original. Year after year, you gnaw your way through life, the years elude your clutch, and in the end, your hair is gray and still you don't amount to much. You eat and drink and court a girl, get chUdren too, the Lord knows why, whUe Time, pursuing its mad whirl, faster and faster rushes by. You lay you down to end your days a penitent; you thus obtain fine tributes to your worthy ways, and so chalk up one last net gain. Philosophy and Literature, © 1990, 14: 446-454 Bookmarks447 An appendix lists, with their major works, eight hundred creative artists known to have died as a result of the war. If this book is a record of the genius and aesdietic sensibUity of the human race, it is also a monument to its brutal stupidity. It is a war memorial like none other in my experience. The Heidegger-Hitler cauldron continues to boil, and the appearance in English of Victor Farias's Heidegger and Nazism (Temple University Press, $29.95) wUl further stoke the fire. Editors Tom Rockmore andJoseph Margolis provide a perceptive foreword to this American edition of the book in which they identify four strategies for dealing with Heidegger's involvement with Nazism. We have (1) the plain position that there is "an intrinsic link between Heidegger's thought and Nazism"; (2) the beUef that the link is purely contingent ; (3) the "learned" form of (2), according to which "Heidegger's detractors are insufficiently aware of the entire body of his thought to criticize it"; and (4) the view which concedes (1) but—watch out!—holds that "the uninitiated, those whose philosophical being is not bound up with Heidegger in an essential way, cannot really measure the importance or full significance of Heidegger's work." Tedious to have to say it, but people whose being is so "bound up" with Heidegger are quite possibly the least qualified to comment on his fascism. The old official stance—Heidegger was naive, guilty only of a temporary "political error," worked from within to protect the university, actuaUy wanted to defend Jews, and, my favorite, must have felt real bad, etc.—is demolished by the documentation in Farias's book. Different readers will be impressed by different items in the mass of material Heidegger and Nazism collects, but the overall case is conclusive. OccasionaUy I have the sense that this book contains too many diversions about characters connected with Heidegger. WhUe people Heidegger was friendly with—for example, the Freiburg mayor, Franz Kerber —may have had unimpeachable Nazi credentials, it is not always clear what this teUs us about Heidegger himself. In general, there is a...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 446-454
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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