Sunday, November 27, 2005

Coldplay and WW1

I am going to attempt to draw a somewhat loose connection between one of my favourite bands, Coldplay, and The General. I was listening to the radio the other day and I heard that the lead singer of Coldplay is the great-great grandson of William Willett, the man who invented daylight savings. In his 1909 pamphlet, Willett wrote, "Everyone appreciates the long, light evenings. Everyone laments their shortage as Autumn approaches; and everyone has given utterance to regret that the clear, bright light of an early morning during Spring and Summer months is so seldom seen or used". His origional plan was to advance the clocks by 20 minutes each Sunday in April, and put back the clocks by 20 minutes on each sunday in September. He thought that daylight savings would increase the health and happiness of British citizens, while saving the country about £2 1/2 million pounds a year. People thought that this was an absolutely ridicuous idea at first, because messing with time seemed absurd. However, in 1916 during World War One, it was declared that the clocks would be moved an hour ahead during the summers, so that precious fuel could be conserved. This idea was also taken up by several other European countries during the war and daylight savings as we know know it, was eventually used in most other countries as well. I really do not think that Curzon would have liked the idea of changing time. He is so rooted in his tradional ideals that he probably would not have cared whether this was an efficient idea or not.


Blogger Lisa Moxon said...

Thanks for bringing this up, Candice. Do you think there's any connection between the daylight savings "playing" with time, and the literary "playing" with time that we see in works we have read such as Parade's End or Jacob's Room? Maybe the fact that daylight savings time was introduced during the War is another indication of the cultural shell shock we discussed last week in class.

Sunday, December 04, 2005 9:44:00 AM  
Blogger Candice said...

Thank you for your comment! I was going to attempt to make that connection, but I thought maybe it would be going a little too far. Since you also had the same idea, maybe there is a connection. Just think how strange it must have seemed to people to actually change time itself for the first time ever, especially during a period that was already exploding with change. With regards to shell-shock, we now know that this was the WW1 version of post-traumatic stress disorder. Patients with this disorder can actually experience a shift in their perception of time because they re-experience past emotions and events through flashbacks and dreams. I would agree that there is a connection between the experience of time and shell-shock, which may be why certain writers "play" with time in their war novels and poetry.

Sunday, December 04, 2005 10:11:00 PM  

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