Critical Context

Download PDF Print Page Citation Share Link

Last Updated on May 18, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 248

Among World War I memoirs per se, Blasting and Bombardiering cannot claim a particularly significant place. Lewis was exorcising martial demons, but he does so with facetiousness and wit rather than with a brutal portrayal of the horrors he faced. The power and importance of the book lie in the author’s ability to provide a sense of the war’s impact on the intelligentsia. The cynicism, the sense of absurdity produced by the previously unimagined “butcher’s bill” of the western front suffuse the entire volume. Although this element will be much more powerful for those who have some knowledge of the war’s influence, any sensitive reader will be aware of it.

Illustration of PDF document

Download Blasting and Bombardiering Study Guide

Subscribe Now

Historians not concerned with ideas and art will find less in Blasting and Bombardiering than will other scholars. Lewis does, however, make interesting comments about popular attitudes in 1914 and in the early 1920’s. His accounts of the western front, if less powerful or detailed than others, also have some value.

Blasting and Bombardiering, especially the American edition with its three added chapters of fiction, makes an excellent introduction to Lewis’ many works of fiction and nonfiction. Perhaps because of his admiration for Adolf Hitler, expressed in some articles and Hitler (1931), his works of philosophical and sociological comment as well as his novels have not been much studied. This is unfortunate. Lewis was no Nazi, and in The Hitler Cult (1939), he tempered his view of the Fuhrer significantly. His work is worthy of more attention.

Unlock This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-hour free trial
Previous

Analysis