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Osbert Sitwell: Totally out of place in a war-mad world


Anti-war essays, poems, short stories and literary excerpts

British writers on peace and war

Osbert Sitwell: Wilfred Owen, poetry and war


Osbert Sitwell
From Noble Essences
Ronald Firbank

He felt himself totally out of place in a khaki-clad, war-mad world, where neither music nor gaiety existed, and in which one could no longer travel except about the business of death. He failed to summon up any enthusiasm whatever over the current war, protesting that for his part he had always found the Germans “most polite.” In fact, in after years, “that awful persecution was the phrase which it was most often his wont to use in alluding to the First World War. It had driven him to become more than ever a recluse: it had deprived him of all outside interests, until finally ennui forced him to write the book about which he had talked for so many years. These volumes were, therefore, far more truly than any others in the English language the product of the conflict. He was in the best, the least boring, sense a “war writer.”


From Violet Gordon Woodhouse

[George Bernard Shaw remarked]

“I hate all this destruction. Every time a bomb falls on Berlin or London it kills a number of young Europeans: a fact which, as an old European, I deplore.”

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