The Missing of the Somme - Geoff Dyer

The memory of the First World War permeates the landscape of Europe, both cultural and physical. Dyer gives this topic close examination in his 1994 book, examining the ways in which the "story" of the war has been written and continues to be written into the fabric of British life and national memory. How did war memorials come to be built and what inspired their symbolism? How did Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon write the script of the war's memory? What do we mean when we call this war the "Great War?" How was the story of the war already being formed before it even ended? Has every writer who has written of the war been doomed to a preformed language of remembrance? Dyer's approach is difficult to characterize, he thrives in the space between nonfiction and criticism,  memoir and travelogue. The effect is similar to having a thrilling conversation with your smartest friend.