The General European War, 1914 - The "Great War," The "War to End War," 1918 - The First World War, World War 1, 1914-18 (after 1939). When asked by a visitor in September 1939 if he thought "this war" would be the last, the dying Freud replied that he only knew it would be his last. By such almost imperceptible changes of name, each less emotive than the previous, we later others accept and adjust to the otherwise unacceptable. As late as 1955 Ernest Jones, who lived through both World Wars, referred to the earlier one as "the Great War" (Jones, 1955, II: "The War Years"). The Great War was fought by Victorians & their Continental cousins. Even the youngest soldiers of 1918 were technically Victorian-born; their leaders were Mid-Victorians and Late-Victorians. Was it a cultural suicide of the older generation? (Freud thought it was a "death instinct", at work and inevitable). Was it a mistaken calculation, which should have been "Over by Christmas" in 1914? Did the Victorian World end in 1901? Or 1914? At which social levels did it variously "end" or somehow "continue"? The questions multiply. Where are our criteria best found?
Jones, Ernest.The Life and Work of Sigmund Freud. 3 vols. Basic Books. New York & London. 1953, 1955, 1957.
Created 19 February 2021