Remembrance of war past
The Missing of the Somme presents a book-length essay/memoir in which Geoff Dyer reflects on the effect of the Great War on England. Throughout, Dyer discusses memory and World War I by analyzing poems (particularly those by war poet Wilfred Owen), statues erected, paintings, plays, cemeteries and photos, which is where the book begins. He writes that “we look at the pictures as if reading a poem about the experience of seeing them.” Dyer contemplates the ideas of past, future and present through these art forms without forming an argument or seeking a resolution as he travels from one monument to the next. Not a fast read, this book includes photos, a notes section and a bibliography. It may be enjoyed by people interested in history, remembrance, literature, travel or art. The rhythms of Dyer’s writing match the rhythms of memory and the weaving of past, present and future that come from his reflections.