They had fought in it by obligation and under constraint.They emerged from it disgusted.; henceforth they wanted nothing in common with civilization that had lost its justification, and their radical nihilism extended not only to art but to all it's manifestations.André Breton,poet and one of the founders of surrealism, commented sixteen years after the Armistice:
I say that what the surrealist attitude initially shared with Lautréamont and Rimbaud and what definitively linked our destiny to theirs was the DEFEATISM of war.(45)To illustrate by way of example episodes that lead to this cynicism,we must not forget the infamous 1916 Battle of the Somme that resulted in the death of nearly 60,000 British troops in one day.
I am posting two poems read on Youtube. The first is a reading from W.H. Auden's "SEPTEMBER 1, 1939" and the second is "Dulce et Decorum Est" by Wilfred Owen.
DULCE ET DECORUM EST - the first words of a Latin saying (taken from an ode by Horace). The words were widely understood and often quoted at the start of the First World War. They mean "It is sweet and right." The full saying ends the poem: Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori - it is sweet and right to die for your country. In other words, it is a wonderful and great honour to fight and die for your country.(See http://www.warpoetry.co.uk/owen1.html)