Posted by: annmucc | October 6, 2009

British Library, War and Teenage Readings

Yes…I am back to these three-phrase titles where each word slots into the blog I would be writing.

Last week I received the newsletter from the British Library in my inbox. In it there was the possibility of taking part in a competition and the first 10 people to write in would get a pair of free tickets for yesterday’s event: We Were Young and at War: Growing Up in World War Two. The event was based around the book by the same name by Sarah Wallis and Svetlana Palmer. I got the tickets (yippee :P), and told Michael about it. He was interested (even more than me it seemed!), so off we went.

We arrive…pick up the tickets…and in we go. The event involved the authors talking about their book interspersed by readings by four actors from the book…the book contains the letter correspondence or diary entries of 16 teenagers who lived through the war, following them for as long as possible for their lives in the war…the teenagers featured came from different spheres of the war theatre…with English, French and Jews, together with Russians and Germans and even Japanese.

We were Young and at War: Growing Up in World War Two Book Cover

We were Young and at War: Growing Up in World War Two Book Cover

My take on the event? The authors seemed very nervous. Their narrative sounded quite stilted, and it made me realise how awful I probably look when I am not totally prepared and relaxed for a presentation. However, they did keep it together (though one of them did lose the plot at one point). Nevertheless, they both seemed to know their stuff, so that’s all you can ask for after all right from a book?

And what about the actor’s part? At first I wasn’t too impressed. I compared it to the way I write this blog, jotting down my impressions of the life around me. I don’t find myself being very passionate or overly expressive when I am writing…the expression is going out in the words not in my behaviour and demeanour…I am normally quite unemotional looking (I think) when I blog as I am not thinking of making my thoughts show to the people around me at that moment. I would guess it would be pretty similar to people writing diaries and letters. However, of course, being shown by actors, they did what they do best – they acted. At first this jarred quite badly with my idea of people writing…I felt it was a bit too much and maybe not as evocative of what the people were expressing while writing. However, as time went by I did warm up to the event quite well. By the end I appreciated more what they were doing: expressing what the teenagers were feeling ad showing in their lives in general, rather than at the exact moment they were writing.

All in all? A good event…Not sure I would have paid £6 for it, but for free tickets? sure…why not? 😉



  1. As long as they’re fre you go ux 😛

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