20th Century Korean Literature

Early 20th Century Korean literature The two most prominent Korean authors during the Japanese colonial rule of 1910-1945 were Choe Nam-seon and Yi Kwang-su.     "The modern age is the age of power in which the powerful survive while the weak perish. This...

read more

An Artist of the Floating World

An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro presents the viewpoint of an elderly artist Masuji Ono in postwar Japan. His wife and son have been killed in the war, and many young people blame their elders for leading the country into disaster. As Ono recalls his...

read more

Animal Farm 

George Orwell, the author of Animal Farm, published in 1945, described his book as an allegorical account of events leading up to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent Stalinist era of the Soviet Union. George Orwell was the nom de plum of Eric Blair, a...

read more

You and the Atomic Bomb

Just months after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, George Orwell published an essay entitled You and the Atomic Bomb in the London Tribune. The first one to use the term "cold war," Orwell outlines in the prophetic excerpt below a rationale that...

read more

Burmese Harp / Grave of the Fireflies

Adapted from the novel by Michio Takeyama, this 1956 film directed by Ichikawa Kon, involves a company of Japanese Imperial Army troops who finally surrender in the last desperate stages of the Burma campaign. When their company commander begins to lead them in songs...

read more

Ezra Pound Arrested

Ezra Weston Loomis Pond (1885 – 1972) was one of the most controversial, major literary figures in the 20th century. Early in his career, Pound promoted Imagism, a modernist movement, derived from classical Chinese and Japanese poetry, that emphasized...

read more

Elbe Day

On April 25, 1945, with great jubilation, American and Soviet armies met southwest of Berlin  at Torgau on the Elbe River. Torgau is on the banks of the Elbe in northwestern Saxony, Germany.  

read more

Ernie Pyle Killed

Before he became a WWII correspondent, Indianan Ernie Pyle wrote a popular syndicated column for the Scripps-Howard newspapers about the lives and hopes of typical American citizens in the 1930s. In 1942, Pyle went overseas as a war correspondent where he covered the...

read more

Anne Frank Dies

Anne Frank was a teenage writer who hid in Amsterdam with her family for two years during the Nazi occupation of Holland. She chronicled her feelings and experiences in a diary that became renowned after the war. She was 15 years old when the...

read more

The German War

Using German archival records and letters and diaries of both civilians and soldiers during WWII, The German War - A Nation Under Arms, 1939–1945  by Nicholas Stargardt is a fascinating book that illustrates the strong civilian support for Germany's armed forces right...

read more

Christmas at Leningrad

    Christmas 1943 Poem written by an un-named German soldier, subsequently lost in the battle of Leningrad. Irgendwo in Russland zünden wir zur Nacht die Kerzen an. Und so wird Euer Herz mich finden, da ich nicht bei Euch sein kann. Stumm und ungesprochen...

read more

Naming of the Parts

Henry Reed  (1914-1986) was a British poet, translator, radio dramatist and journalist.  Lessons of the War, published in 1942, was a collection of three poems parodying WWII British army basic training, which had a shortage of equipment at that time. The poem...

read more

High Flight

John Gillespie Magee, Jr. (June 1922-December 1941), born to missionaries in China, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force  in WWII. He died in a mid-air collision over Lincolnshire in 1941.   High Flight Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth And danced the...

read more

IMAGES – WWII

Images often evoke powerful emotions of times past.  As a writer of history-inspired fiction, I create visual story boards of locations and characters from which I write scenes. On my Pinterest site, I have collected a number of photographs, drawings and posters...

read more

Japanese Behavior

Composed of apparent movie clips with mildly condescending narration from a Western point of view, the film actually provides an excellent overview of many aspects of Japanese culture: discipline, order, ceremony and hierarchy. The film evokes a melancholic...

read more

Dietrich Bonhöffer

Dietrich Bonhöffer (1906 –1945) was a German Lutheran theologian and founding member of the Confessing Church that arose in opposition to government-sponsored efforts to permeate German Protestant churches with Nazi doctrine. An outstanding academic theologian,...

read more

All the Light We Cannot See

This superbly written, often lyrical, WWII novel about a blind French girl and a young German soldier is excellent reading. “I have been feeling very clearheaded lately and what I want to write about today is the sea. It contains so many colors. Silver at dawn, green...

read more

INFERNO

I am currently reading this excellent book by Max Hastings. Not only is it detailed, balanced and well-referenced; it is superb writing. Before dawn next morning, "a warm, damp, rather hazy day," American and Japanese pilots breakfasted. The Yorktown's men favoured...

read more

Japanese Demons and Spirits

Source: 10 Horrifying Demons and Spirits from Japanese Folklore | Mental Floss Oni(鬼) variously translated as demons, devils, ogres or trolls) are popular characters in Japanese art, literature and theater. Hairy, multi-colored humanoid creatures, dressed in tiger...

read more

Moral Superiority

We are standing for justice and life, while they are standing for profits. We are defending justice, while they are attacking for profits. They raise their heads in arrogance, while we are constructing the Great East Asia family. Japan's victories seem to prove her...

read more

Paperback Novels

In 1931, the German publisher Albatross Books was the first to produce a mass-market paperback book, but the approaching WWII prevented further marketing. In 1935, the British publisher Penguin Books began the paperback revolution in the English language...

read more

Ezra Pound – Poet / Fascist

The America poet Ezra Pound's contributions to the arts in the early 20th century have been widely acknowledged. A Girl The tree has entered my hands, The sap has ascended my arms, The tree has grown in my breast - Downward, The branches grow out of me, like arms....

read more

Nighthawks

Attracted to the Impressionists'  (e.g., Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, Edouard Manet) emphasis on light and thematic treatment of architecture and nature, Edward Hopper abandoned his previous work that emulated the dark interiors of the old European masters (e.g.,...

read more

Culture in the Third Reich

  Beginning in 1933, the Reich Culture Chamber (composed of chambers for film, music, theater, press, writing , fine arts and radio) regulated all aspects of German culture. Denouncing modern, innovative art as "degenerate" or 'Bolshevist," Nazi artists such as...

read more

Listen, Germany!

                                                  Wikimedia Commons In 1940, Thomas Mann, the exiled German winner of the 1929 Nobel Prize for Literature , began recording 5-8 minute monthly radio broadcasts via BBC long-wave radio under the title “Deutsche...

read more

Comments, contributions, corrections, and suggestions are always welcome:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *