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Larry Brooks is a severely acclaimed best-selling writer of six mental thrillers (including Darkness certain, strain issues, Serpents Dance and others), as well as his paintings as a contract author and writing teacher. he's the writer and editor of Storyfix. com, one of many prime tutorial writing websites on the net. His web site is www. storyfix. com.

Extra resources for The Writing of Anxiety: Imagining Wartime in Mid-Century British Culture

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43 For Harrisson and others, this condescension was compounded by the baleful f lack of official and governmental understanding of the kind of social and welfare support needed by a civilian population at war. In this respect Glover’s ‘No-Neurosis Myth’ not only had a wartime propaganda 32 Th T e Writing of Anxiety t value but was, perhaps, also an important component in that crucial ‘myth’ of the British people as a collectivity of steadfastly sane survivors who deserved much more in the way of social justice than they had had before the war and certainly more than they got during it.

3 MacGibbon’s ‘pain’ is indiscriminate – she suffered a breakdown only six years later. Neither can her pain be taken as representative: while we are all to a greater or lesser extent ‘weaned’, we are not all ‘bombed’; there are important differences in the ways it is possible to become lost and helpless in the world. But there is something more than merely unfortunate about MacGibbon’s awkward analogy here. Her experience of alienation, of having an affective identification with a history in which she can actually play no part, is rendered all the more moving precisely because it takes place in the nursery.

9 ‘If you think about it’, said Edward Glover, sending out his own (anxious) signals across the BBC airwaves at the beginning of the war: the whole atmosphere of modern war is likely to revive those unreasoning fears that the human race has inherited from its remotest ancestors: gas masks that make us look like strange animals; underground shelters; rumours and suspicions; enemies overhead and unseen; wailing sirens; screaming air bombs, and vast explosions in the night. 10 The surreality of war makes infants of us all: from our own strange animal faces, Mickey Mouse gas-masks and babies in what look like bell-jars; to the dark red-rimmed eyes and human smells all crammed into the subterranean spaces of the London Underground; to the unseen but overheard (in both senses) noises that threaten from a sky k dappled by the silver of barrage balloons that look as though they could have been snatched from the hands of the balloon-seller in Hyde Park – the iconography of wartime Britain is also the stuff of childhood nightmares.

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