Riveters pilots in dress uniforms The pilots doughboys with mules gas masks African American Soldiers 1 African American Officers Mule Rearing

The WWrite Blog

Censored WWI Works 2: Mary Borden's Forbidden Zone and Backwash of War by Ellen LaMotte

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Two WWI Nurses Writing From No-Man's-Land

"I have not invented anything in this book."
Mary Borden, The Forbidden Zone: An American Nurse at the Western Front (1917)

"War, superb as it is, is not necessarily a filtering process, by which men and nations may be purified. Well, there are many people to write you of the noble side, the heroic side, the exalted side. I must write you of what I have seen, the other side, the backwash.'"
Ellen Lamotte , The Backwash of War: The Human Wreckage of the Battlefield as Witnessed by An American Hospital Nurse:  (1916)

NursesGasMasksNurses in gas masks at the trenches, France, c. 1917 (U.S. postcard). From the archives of the National Library of Medicine, via Wikimedia Commons.

The first post in this series,, "Censored WWI Works" addressed Stanley Kubrick's film, Paths of Glory, and Gabriel Chevallier's novel, FearFrance censored both works decades after WWI because each seemingly portrayed the French military in a negative light. Today, they are considered among the best artistic representations of the war due to the realistic way they paint a gory, corrupt, and anti-triumphant picture of combat and trench warfare. 

Read more: Censored WWI Works 2: Mary Borden's Forbidden Zone and Backwash of War by Ellen LaMotte

WWrite Weekend Update for May 15th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

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Rich Bachus on Writing Fiction from a Family Archive, Praise for WWrite Bloggers' Forthcoming Book, It's My Country Too, the Mothers of WWI Soldiers, and Poetry in the Trenches

This Week's WWrite Featured Post:  This week's post features journalist, writer, and teacher, Rich Bachus. Bachus edits and curates the WWI bachus cvr final frontCentennial Commission blog, Trench Commander, which chronicles his family's military adventures and the ways in which they influenced his generation of Baby Boomers. For the WWrite Blog, Bachus discusses the complex process of writing his novel, Into No Man's Land, inspired by a family archival collection of letters and other artifacts dating from his grandfather's experience in WWI as a Trench Commander in France to the present. Check out Bachus' fascinating work in his interview with Chris Isleib, Director of Public Affairs, WWI Centennial Commission, Four Questions for Rich Bachus, "Bringing the War to Life Through the Details (both Great and Small) of One Soldier." (Bachus book cover, image right).

Read more: WWrite Weekend Update for May 15th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

Rich Bachus on the Making of a New World War I Novel – Part 1, "How I turned a family archive into an epic saga of the Great War."

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How I turned a family archive into an epic saga of the Great War

bachus cvr final frontFront cover, Into No Man's Land, by Rich BachusWhen I began rummaging around in the cardboard boxes and antique chests that constituted my Bachus family archive, I was not planning on writing a novel that would center on World War I.

I was already an established national and regional journalist, having worked for The Christian Science Monitor and freelanced for publications such as Newsweek, Ski, and dozens of other national and regional magazines and newspapers. So, I knew that I wanted to write about these ancestors of mine who stared back at me from black-and-white photographs and yellowing newspaper clippings with datelines of Manzanillo, Cuba … Tacna-Arica, South America … and Belfort, France. But it took some time and study to find the focus – the real heart of their story.

Read more: Rich Bachus on the Making of a New World War I Novel – Part 1, "How I turned a family archive into...

WWrite Weekend Update for May 7th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

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Censored Works by Stanley Kubrick and Gabriel Chevallier, Today's French Election, and Comments (again)

Film 538w PathsGlory originalThis Week's WWrite Featured Post:  To mark today's historical election in France, the post comes from blog curator, Jennifer Orth-Veillon, who begins a series about post-WWI French censorship of film and literature that portrayed overly-negative images of the war. The film, Paths of Glory, by Stanley Kubrick and Gabriel Chevallier's book, Fear,were considered threats to France's vision of patriotism and triumph after the Armistice of 1918. (Scene from Paths of Glory with Kirk Douglas, image left)

Next week's post features journalist, writer, and teacher, Rich Bachus. Bachus edits and curates the WWI bachus cvr final frontCentennial Commission blog, Trench Commander, which chronicles his family's military adventures and the ways in which they influenced his generation of Baby Boomers. For the WWrite Blog, Bachus will discuss the complex process of writing his novel, Into No Man's Land, inspired by a family archival collection of letters and other artifacts dating from his grandfather's experience in WWI as a Trench Commander in France to the present. Check out Bachus' fascinating work in his interview with Chris Isleib, Director of Public Affairs WWI Centennial Commission, Four Questions for Rich Bachus, "Bringing the War to Life Through the Details (both Great and Small) of One Soldier." (Bachus book cover, image right).

Read more: WWrite Weekend Update for May 7th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

Stanley Kubrick and Gabriel Chevallier - Censored WWI Film and Novel in France

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Film 538w PathsGlory originalKirk Douglas as Colonel Dax in Paths of Glory, a 1957 film by Stanley Kubrick based on the novel by Humphrey CobbPaths of Glory and Fear

Gabriel Chevallier FEARBook cover for English translation of French writer Gabriel Chevallier's La Peur (Fear)
This is the first in a series of short blog posts I will write concerning censorship of WWI art and literature.

Kirk Douglas (father of Michael). Stanley Kubrick. Two American names that have meant worldwide stardom and cinematic virtuosity across decades. But in France, the award-winning actor and director faced the opposite for almost twenty years. Made in 1957, Paths of Glory (adapted from the novel by Humphrey Cobb), the WWI film that chronicles the unjust deaths of three innocent soldiers accused of battlefield cowardice by corrupt leaders, was censored in France until 1975 due to its anti-war stance and criticism of France's military leadership. The film was also banned from American military bases in Europe. 

Read more: Stanley Kubrick and Gabriel Chevallier - Censored WWI Film and Novel in France

WWrite Weekend Update for April 30th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

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"One in the Same" by Ernest Lucas McClees, Blog Comments Now Available, WWI America Immigrant Poetry, and Artist Soldiers at the Smithsonian

BruteThis Week's WWrite Featured Post:  This week's blog post features Eastern Kentucky University Veterans Studies and Humanities professor, retired U.S. Marine, and writer, Ernest Lucas McClees. Drawing parallels between today's and WWI-era propaganda, his post, "One in the Same," discusses the ways that media demonizes and dehumanizes the foreign enemy by targeting immigrant groups at home. McClees also gives readers another chance to visit Darryl Dillard's February post in which he wrote about the representation of African-American actors during WWI. Dillard and McClees both address the infamous "Destroy this Mad Brute" military poster (image, left) that shows a large ape-like creature, supposedly a German, grasping a white woman against her will.

To mark next week's historical election in France, the post comes from blog curator, Jennifer Orth-Veillon, who will discuss post-WWI French censorship ofFilm 538w PathsGlory original film and literature that portrayed overly-negative images of the war. The film, Paths of Glory, by Stanley Kubrick and Gabriel Chevallier 's book, Fear, were considered threats to France's vision of patriotism and triumph after the Armistice of 1918. (Kirk Douglas in Paths of Glory).

Read more: WWrite Weekend Update for April 30th: This Week's Writerly News from the U.S. WWI Centennial Site

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