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The War That Used Up WordsAmerican Writers and the First World War$
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Hazel Hutchison

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300195026

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300195026.001.0001

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(p.67) Two 1915—Volunteers
The War That Used Up Words

Hazel Hutchison

Yale University Press

This chapter recounts how American writers in Europe, not pressured into polarized positions—either for or against the war, dispersed across a remarkable range of opinions and activities in 1915. Disillusioned with American political leadership, attracted by the camaraderie of service, haunted by the scale of suffering, and inspired to help as they could, Henry James, Edith Wharton, and Mary Borden all faced difficult choices about where to place their allegiances and their energies. In 1915, Wharton and Borden both volunteered as nurses for the French Red Cross. Wharton wrote about her impressions of Paris, resulting in the publication of Fighting France, a set of articles for Scribner's that were printed as a single volume. Borden wrote The Forbidden Zone, a startling and experimental account of her impressions of the war considered as one of the great texts of the First World War. Meanwhile, James supported the Ambulance Corps through newspaper interviews.

Keywords:   Henry James, Edith Wharton, Mary Borden, French Red Cross, Fighting France, The Forbidden Zone, Ambulance Corps

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