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Modern witnesses: foreign correspondents, geopolitical vision, and the First World War

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The First World War was the first modern, mediated conflict. In this paper I argue that British correspondents on the Western front attempting to accurately witness the war encountered a crisis of representation and visuality. They occupied a particularly unstable position between the many sites and points of view within a cubist landscape of shattered geographies and unstable boundaries. Their writings, though rich in masculinist and nationalistic accounts of heroism, also contain a newer perspective characterized by the failure to fit these older narratives into the inhuman, incomprehensible spaces of modern war.

Keywords: Western front; World War One; geopolitics vision; journalism; modernism

Document Type: Original Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, 1984 West Mall, Vancouver BC Canada

Publication date: 2001-09-01

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