The Purpose of Futility: Writing World War I, Australian style
The Great War wrecked Europe. Millions lost their lives, whole towns disappeared into the mud, and the golden age of civilisation collapsed.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the world, a new nation was born. Australia leapt from the debris, led by Anzacs silhouetted against the rising sun.
One of the most astonishing outcomes of this war is the proliferation of art and creativity, both inspired by and addressing the War. Viewed as the most literary war ever fought, World War I was the first to involve literate populations on a grand scale.
In The Purpose of Futility, Clare Rhoden surveys Australian Great War narratives, demonstrating their particularly Australian features which help to explain the unique and disputed position of the Great War in Australian history.