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Admirers of World War I literature invited to book reading session
Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Admirers of World War I literature invited to book reading session

If you have a favorite author who came of age in the aftermath of World War I, consider yourself invited to “World War I Centennial: Ending War, Talking Peace.”

The two-day public event at Fredonia commemorating the end of the “Great War” will feature readings by veterans and campus and community members of favorite literary works – essays, poems and excerpts from novels – from that era. Readings will be held in the Garden area of Reed Library on Wednesday, Feb. 21, beginning at noon.

“We have a list of books, but readers are welcome to pick their own texts as well,” said Department of English Associate Professor Iclal Vanwesenbeeck, who is organizing the centennial events that include a panel discussion on Thursday, Feb. 22.

Ernest Hemingway, e.e. Cummings, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gertrude Stein remain widely recognized writers today, but they’re not generally associated with the “Lost Generation,” a group of American writers who came of age during World War I and established their literary reputations in the 1920s.

“We welcome anyone who wants to read a passage from Hemingway, Dos Passos, Stein or any other writer’s work from that era,” Dr. Vanwesenbeeck said.

Local veterans’ organizations are being contacted to solicit participation by their members.

A panel discussion, with Christopher Capozzola and Brian Castner, authors of books that examine the U.S. military, and Ian Fishback, whose actions led to reforming U.S. standards for detainee treatment, will conclude the centennial observance on Thursday at noon in the Garden area of Reed Library.

Through letters, documents and literary texts, panelists will discuss U.S. history during World War I, the significance of peace treaties and American wars on foreign soil and the scarcity of peace treaties since World War II.

Both the readings and panel discussion are free and open to the public.

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