The Love-charm of Bombs (häftad)
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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
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The Love-charm of Bombs (häftad)

The Love-charm of Bombs

Restless Lives in the Second World War

Häftad Engelska, 2014-02-27
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When the first bombs fell on London in August 1940, the city was transformed overnight into a battlefront. For most Londoners, the sirens, guns, planes and bombs heralded gruelling nights of sleeplessness, fear and loss. But for Graham Greene and some of his contemporaries, this was a bizarrely euphoric time when London became the setting for intense love affairs and surreal beauty. At the height of the Blitz, Greene described the bomb-bursts as holding one 'like a love-charm'. As the sky whistled and the ground shook, nerves were tested, loyalties examined and infidelities begun. The Love-charm of Bombs is a powerful wartime chronicle told through the eyes of five prominent writers: Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene, Rose Macaulay, Hilde Spiel and Henry Yorke (writing as Henry Green). Volunteering as ambulance drivers, fire-fighters and ARP wardens, these were the successors to the soldier poets of the First World War and their story has never been told. Now, opening with a meticulous evocation of a single night in September 1940, Lara Feigel brilliantly and beautifully interweaves letters, diaries and fiction with official civil defence records to chart the history of a burning world in wartime London and post-war Vienna and Berlin. She reveals the haunting, ecstatic, often wrenching stories that triumphed amid the mess of a war-torn world.
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Intelligently written, seamlessly presented * <B>Nicholas Shakespeare, <I>Daily Telegraph</I></B> * [A] fascinating and brilliantly researched group biography ... an extraordinary tapestry of life in wartime, from September 1940 in London to the ruins of postwar Europe ... This is a glorious mixture of history, literature and riveting gossip about war as - yes - an aphrodisiac ... what remains with you at the end of this engaging book is the sense that Larkin was right, and that after the bomds, after the grieving, 'what will survive of us is love' * <B>Bel Mooney, <I>Daily Mail</I></B> * The Love-Charm of Bombs is full of good things, clearly expressed, and captures well the strange euphoria of war, and the equally unexpected sense of dreariness when it is over * <b>Craig Brown, <i>Sunday Mail</i></b> * One pleasure of this brave and original book is seeing these lives overlap, mirror each other, and diverge ... Feigel shows the English in a new light: not cold or repressed, but a sensuous people for whom love matters most of all. She also shows why the period from September 1940 to May 1941, when we stood alone against the powers of darkness, remains the defining moment in our recent history * <b>Peter J. Conradi, <i>Independent</i></b> * Feigel has written a wonderful book in a critical genre in which she is a pioneer. There will, for sure, be more works of "new biography". Let's hope they are as good as this one * <B>John Sutherland, <I>New Statesman</I></B> * A fine account of how five writers responded imaginatively to the blitz ... Lara Feigel, a young critic, has transformed this insight into an absorbing and well-researched group biography of five prominent writers ... She persuasively demonstrates that London in 1941 sponsored all the sensations usually found on the battlefield ... Feigel is particularly good on the erotic corollary to the blitz: wartime passion * <b>Robert McCrum, <i>Observer</i></b> * Vivid account ... Reads like an apocalyptic thriller ... Feigel describes the drama hour by hour, much of it through the eyes of her subjects, in a fashion that brings Sarah Waters's excellent Second World War novel The Night Watch to mind ... A fine book that brings the writers of the Second World War into the spotlight ... The breadth and depth of Feigel's research is admirable, but this is not a dry account of famous lives. Her love and curiosity about her subjects is palpable and her writing style is simple but affecting. It is a substantial study but the 465 pages fly by surprisingly quickly ... A thrilling insight to each writer's response to war, both published and private * <b><i>Independent on Sunday</b></i> * At a time when many dons sterilise themselves in theory, defend their flimsy doctrines inside dense thickets of jargon, and are oblivious of human character or motive, Feigel writes with modesty and grace, never patronises or sentimentalises her subjects, and makes the reader glad to be sharing her ideas. The Love-Charm of Bombs is a bounding success as an account of wartime London and as a study of highly strung but tough characters under stress, and of the way that novelists transmute adultery into great art ... I haven't for many a year read a book of literary scholarship with such impatience to know what happens next * <b>Richard Davenport-Hines, <i>Sunday Telegraph</i></b> * Scintillating account of the lives of London litterateurs during the Blitz * <B><I>Scotsman</I></B> * A skilfully composed group portrait ... The result is deeply interesting, because Feigel is a good storyteller and responsive to the nuances of expression in the period * <b>Tessa Hadley, <i>Guardian</i></b> * [An] excellent group biography * <B><I>Scotsman</I><

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Dr Lara Feigel is a Lecturer in English and the Medical Humanities at King's College London, where her research is centred on the 1930s and the Second World War. She is the author of Literature, Cinema and Politics, 1930-1945 and the editor (with Alexandra Harris) of Modernism on Sea: Art and Culture at the British Seaside and (with John Sutherland) of the New Selected Journals of Stephen Spender. She has also written journalistic pieces for various publications, including the Guardian, Prospect and History Today. Lara lives in West Hampstead, London.