Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Today's Female Poet of the First World War: Vicki Baum - Austria

It has been suggested to me that Vicki Baum did not write any poetry, however, I was under the impression that she did.

Vicky Baum (1888 - 1960) was a writer, musician, boxer and journalist who worked as a nurse during WW1.   She emigrated to the United States after the War and became an American citizen in 1938.

Searching for poems by Vicki Baum led me to the book - "Best Sellers by Design  Vicki Baum and the House of Ullstein" by Lynda J. King, written in 1988 by Wayne State University Press, Detroit, Michigan, USA.

In that book, in a chapter entitled "Popular Literature in Germany",  I discovered that:

the development of literature for a wide audience and for 'self-education' began in the mid eighteenth century (p. 20);

the first press serialisation of novels was in France - "La Presse, Paris" in 1836 (p. 25);

Germany had book vending machines in 1912;

during the First World War, the Reclam Company organised "Portable Field Libraries" - boxes of a hundred books of the Universal Library for troops during their rest periods (p. 35).

"There are shortcuts to happiness and dancing is one of them" - Vicki Baum.

Photo:  Austrian Stormtroopers in WW1 courtesy of "La Grande Guerra" Facebook Page.