Monday, June 20, 2005

Reading Journal Entry: 11th Month, 11th Day, ...

Largely through the voices of soldiers in the trenches, the author describes how both sides of the conflict sent men to die senseless deaths on November 11, 1918 right up until the final minute before the Armistice--a staggering 11,000 casualties. In this audio version, Harry Chase read all of the soldiers words in their respective accents--German, British, French, and others, and was very convincing with all of them.

Once the arrangements were made for the truce to begin at the resonant 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the armies of both sides were ordered to fight on; the idea apparently being to secure as much ground as possible before peace broke out. As a result, more died on November 11, 1918 than on D-Day a quarter-century later! This book was very revealing in the senseless stupidity of WWI in the first place, and breath-taking in the utter lack of disregard in ordering men to their deaths while peace was already agreed to. But for me, it went on too long, and I found it very disconcerting how the author constantly skipped back and forth in time.

I used khaki colored paint for the background. The numbers that make up the title were stamped with a numeral from a really old set of rubber stamps that I found in an antique store in Nacogdoches a few years ago. They are housed in a wooden box that's about 10" x 21" x 1.5" deep and appear to have been used by a teacher. The wood mounts have grooves cut that allow you to line them up on strips to spell out words in a straight line. It tickles my fancy to think that perhaps these might be from the WWI era. I used Nick Bantock's "Sapmoss Green" ink. I like how it dried with a textured look.

I found the newspaper page in a book that contained significant front pages of the New York Times, and the photo was from another book about WWI. I used some photo corners on it to make it look as though it might have come from someone's album.

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