Talk: Paul Nash and Landscapes of the First World War in Literature

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Part of the Paul Nash exhibition programme

An image of a WW1 painting named The Menin Road by the artist Paul Nash


Wednesday 18 October

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Nash’s WW1 landscape paintings, particularly ‘We Are Making A New World’ (1918) and ‘The Menin Road’ (1919) are some of the most powerful portrayals of the devastating effect of the First World War on landscapes. Nash’s paintings convey a sense of horror and haunting by the war torn Western Front, and his focus on the landscape automatically makes us think of those who had to live in such devastation. But as one might expect, Nash was not the only eyewitness to respond powerfully to what he saw. This talk takes Nash’s famous paintings as a starting point to explore engagement with the landscapes of war in the work of a range of First World War poets, novelists and memoirists.

Ann-Marie Einhaus is Senior Lecturer in Modern & Contemporary Literature at Northumbria University. Her particular area of specialism is literary responses to the First World War to the present, especially in the short story. She recently edited a new Edinburgh Companion to the First World War and the Arts (Edinburgh University Press, 2017).

Read our blog on Paul Nash’s First World War experiences and paintings.