Arts > 1914-1918: The Cultural Front

27 March 2014 | by D.J. Taylor

1914-1918: The Cultural Front


Five months before the anniversary itself, Radio 4’s coverage of the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War has begun to explore some of its non-military byways. If the final instalment of Francine Stock’s ­excellent three-parter on artistic and cultural reactions to the conflict (Kandinsky, Khaki and Kisses, 22 March) had a drawback, it lay in some of the juxtapositions hinted at by the title. This was a very large subject, as central to the commissioning policy of the average war-era women’s magazine as to a Vorticist manifesto: how to give both of them their due?What followed, consequently, was a cultural enquiry built on tremendous shifts of emphasis. On the one hand, Stock was interested in the direct popular response, observable in the glut of music-h


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