Babel Self-Inflicted


  • James Blair


This essay, composed for a first-year writing seminar on literature in WWI, explores Osbert Sitwell's poem "Therefore is the Name of it Called Babel." The author assesses 20th century mentalities in the poet’s terms of biblical era Babel, emphasizing that the shocking peak of humanity is found in the horrors of the Great War. The tragedy is that following a positivist upward trajectory, WWI reveals that progression is broken and Europeans in particular are confounded by the new era of destruction reminiscent of Genesis’ Babel.

For additional information, listen to the author's reflection on the piece below.

Author Biography

James Blair

James Blair is a member of Vanderbilt's Class of 2022.

Author's Reflection



How to Cite

Blair, J. (2019). Babel Self-Inflicted. SCAFFOLD: A SHOWCASE OF VANDERBILT FIRST-YEAR WRITING, 1. Retrieved from