Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Goodbye to All That - WW1 centenary

Leading literary figures examine the impact of conflict on their writing to mark WW1 centenary 

·         Award winning poet Lavinia Greenlaw invites 10 international authors to respond to the title of Robert Graves famous book

·         Their written responses to Graves’ poignant line, Goodbye to All That to be published as an anthology by Pushkin Press

·         A selection read on BBC Radio 3 as part of the station’s Music in the Great War season

·         An event at the British Library will see six of the authors join Lavinia to discuss their work

Lavinia Greenlaw, one of Britain’s most eminent poets and respected literary figures, has invited 10 writers from countries involved in the First World War to respond to the title of Robert Graves’ famous book and consider the conflicts that have informed their own literary lives. Goodbye to All That is part of 14-18 NOW, a major cultural programme taking place across the UK to mark the centenary of the First World War.

The authors taking part are: NoViolet Bulawayo, Xiaolu Guo, Daniel Kehlmann, Erwin Mortier, Elif Shafak, Kamila Shamsie, Ali Smith, Aleš Šteger, Colm Tóibín and Jeanette Winterson. Each have taken the poignant phrase ‘Goodbye to All That’ as a starting point for a personal reflection on the aftermath of war, as well as on the continuing struggle for artistic freedom in the face of conflict in all its forms.

These stories, investigations and essays pay tribute to the spirit of Graves, an artist who remained true to himself in the face of personal trauma and public hostility. Their written responses to his famous line are to be published as an anthology by Pushkin Press, published on 31 July 2014.

Each night, from 7 - 11 July, one of the writers will be reading their essay on BBC Radio 3’s The Essay (10:45-11pm). The series of Essays extends the station’s Music in the Great War season - two weeks of programming exploring the music and culture of World War One (23 June - 6 July).

On 28 July, Lavinia Greenlaw will be joined by Erwin Mortier, Kamila Shamsie, Ali Smith, Daniel Kehlman, Xiaolu Guo and Aleš Šteger at an event at London’s British Library, considering the loss of literary innocence or ideals, the discovery of new ones, the question of artistic freedom, and the freedoms that have informed their own artistic lives.

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