"30 September 1939
After that in the world today is the desolation of ideas. In times of war and revolution, the great comfort has always been that in place of home there is the idea. One goes out into the street and finds people friendly , everyone is a brother or sister of everyone else because England is threatened. Patriotism, revolutionary fervor, can knit people together into a spasmodic unity. But today, for hundreds of people, even that consolation is denied them. There is confusion of ideas. Many can no longer fight with any conviction for their country, because it represents the Past. And the idea of the future, Revolution, is so compromised that only the most ideological thinkers wish to fight for that either. Suddenly the world appears a desert. There is no woman, there are no children, there is no faith, there is no cause.

The moon shines above the London streets during the blackouts like an island in the sky. The streets become rivers of light. The houses become feathery, soft, undefined, aspiring, so that any part of this town might be the most beautiful city in the world, sleeping amongst silt and water. And the moon takes a farewell look at our civilization everywhere. I have seen it in Valencia, Barcelona, and Madrid, also. Only the houses are not plumed, feathery, soft there. The moon was brighter and they seemed made of white bone. [...]"
{Stephen Spender, Journals 1939-1983}

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