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The Edinburgh Companion to Twentieth-Century British and American War Literature

Edited by Adam Piette, Mark Rawlinson


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The first reference book to twentieth-century war, literature and culture

In fifty-seven chapters leading academics in the field of twentieth-century war studies examine the major wars of the century as well as other conflicts imagined by English and US writers. These include the Boer War, Spanish Civil War, the troubles in Northern Ireland, the Korean War and the decolonising conflicts in Africa through to the war on terror. Topics covered include: pacifism; refugees; camouflage; the war plane; war and children's literature; war and art; spy thrillers, and many more. Taken together the essays make a deliberate and thought-provoking intervention in the field.

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Illustrations acknowledgements
Introduction: The Wars of the Twentieth Century
Part I: Wars and their Literatures
1. Occasioning Peace: Three Poems of the Anglo-Boer War, Helen Goethals, Université Lyon 2
2. 'The essentially modern attitude toward war': English Poetry of the Great War, Jane Potter,
3. Debatable Ground: Freedom and Constraint in British First World War Prose Fiction, Sharon Ouditt, Nottingham Trent
4. One of Ours in Context: The American World War I Novel, Jennifer Haytock, SUNY College at Brockport
5. The 'moaning of the world' and the 'words that bring me peace': Modernism and the First World War, Sara Haslam, Open University
6. The Great War and the Moving Image: Cinema and Memory, Michael Paris, University of Central Lancashire
7. Irish Writing of Insurrection and Civil War, 1916-39, Matthew Campbell, University of Sheffield
8. The Poetry of the Spanish Civil War, James Fountain
9. 'Lucid Song': The Poetry of the Second World War, Jonathan Bolton, Auburn University
10.American Poets of World War II, Margot Norris, University of California, Irvine
11. Writing after Nuremberg: The Judicial Imagination in the Age of the Trauma Trial, Lyndsey Stonebridge
12. The Second World War in American Fiction, John Limon
13. The Second World War in British Drama since 1968, Victoria Stewart, University of Leicester
14. Holocaust Testimony: Understanding and Criticism, Bob Eaglestone, Royal Holloway
15. Holocaust Film, Barry Langford
16. O, Do Not Dream of Peace: American Poetry of the Korean War
William D. Ehrhart, Columbia University
The Fictions of Nuclear War, from Hiroshima to Vietnam, Adam Piette
18. Cold War Films, Jonathan Auerbach, University of Maryland
19. Britain's Small Wars: Domesticating 'Emergency', Lee Erwin
20.The Disappeared and the Damned: Duplicity, Complicity and Reality in the Literature of the Pax Americana, Kris Anderson
21. Vietnam Fictions, Mark A. Heberle
22. 'Will there be peace again?': American and Vietnamese Poetry on the Vietnam/American War, Subarno Chattarji, University of Swansea
23. Poetry and the Northern Ireland 'Troubles', Fran Brearton
24. The Literature of the Falklands/Malvinas War, Jon Begley, Bishop Grosseteste University College, Lincoln
25. 'An Uneven Killing Field': British Literature and the Former Yugoslavia, Andrew Hammond, Swansea Institute, University of Wales
26. Sacrifice and the Sublime since 11 September 2001, Alex Houen, University of Cambridge
Part II: Bodies, Behaviour, Cultures
Introduction: Bodies, Behaviour, Cultures
27. War Memorials
David Goldie, University of Strathclyde
28. Unsettled Memory: A Meditation on Contested Ground, Jane Creighton, University of Houston-Downtown
29. War, Policing and Surveillance: Pat Barker and the Secret State, Jessica Meacham
30. American Psychiatry, World War II and the Korean War, Martin Halliwell
31. Pacifists and Conscientious Objectorsm, Ian Patterson, University of Cambridge
32.The Representation of Refugees in Arthur Koestler's Arrival and Departure and Caryl Phillips's A Distant Shore, Sissy Helff
33. 'These rooms / run into each other like tunnels / leading to the underworld': Race in War Literature, Mark W. Van Wienen, Northern Illinois
34. A Spy Under Every Bed: Espionage and Popular Literature from the First World War, Celia M. Kingsbury, University of Central Missouri
35. Reflections on the Enemy: From Evil Nazis to Good Germans, Petra Rau
Part III: Technology
Introduction: Technology
36. Camouflage and the Re-enchantment of Warfare, Mark Rawlinson
37. Warplane, David Pascoe, University of Utrecht
38. Monsarrat's Corvettes and the Battle of the Atlantic, Jonathan Rayner, University of Sheffield
39. Submarine Novels 'After History', Hamish Mathison, University of Sheffield
40. 'An ecstasy of fumbling': Gas Warfare, 1914-18 and the Uses of Affect, Santanu Das, Queen Mary College, London
41. Paul Virilio as Twentieth-Century Military Strategist: War, Cinema and the Logistics of Perception, John Armitage
Word Electric, So Finite: Radio, Poetry and the Séance in World War I, Jane Lewty
Part IV: Spaces
Introduction: Spaces
43. The Trenches, Allyson Booth
44. Literature of the Camps in the Second World War, Sue Vice, University of Sheffield
45. 'That fighting was a long way off': Desert and Jungle War Poems, Peter Robinson, University of Reading
46. Cityscape: The Bombed City in the Second World War, Leo Mellor, New Hall, University of Cambridge
47. The Eight-week College of the Age of Extremes: The Barracks and the Training Ground, Glyn Salton-Cox
Part V: Genres
Introduction: Genres
48. Contemporary War Drama: Caryl Churchill, Julia Boll
49. Nuclear War in Science Fiction, David Seed, University of Liverpool
50. The Children's War, Katie Trumpener
51. The Troubles with the Thriller: Northern Ireland, Political Violence and the Peace Process, Aaron Kelly
52. Fantasies of Complicity in the Second World War, R. W. Maslen
53. Visualising the Transformations of War: War and Art in the Twentieth Century, Roger Tolson, Imperial War Museum, London
54. Twentieth-Century Spy Fiction, James Purdon
55. 'Play Up and Play the Game!': The Narrative of War Games, Esther MacCallum-Stewart, SMARTlab, University of East London
56. War Correspondence
Kate McLoughlin, Birkbeck
57. Thinking War, Nick Mansfield, Macquarie University
Notes on contributors

About the Author

Adam Piette is a Professor of Modern Literature at the University of Sheffield. He is the author of Remembering and the Sound of Words: Mallarmé, Proust, Joyce, Beckett and Imagination at War: British Fiction and Poetry, 1939-1945. His latest book, The Literary Cold War, 1945 to Vietnam was published by Edinburgh University Press in 2009.

Mark Rawlinson is Senior Lecturer in English at the University of Leicester. He is the author of British Writing of the Second World War (OUP, 2000); of the Norton Critical Edition of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange and of Pat Barker (forthcoming from Palgrave).


This superbly edited collection reminds us-and we still do need reminding-that wars are not so much punctual interruptions of recent history as its continuous lived reality. The essays collected here make for compulsive reading, affirming the rich resources of the literary intelligence when confronted by the systematic degradation of the human.
- Professor Peter Nicholls, New York University
A wonderfully wide-ranging set of inspected Anglophone encounters between twentieth-century military conflicts and modernity's aesthetic modes - writing, of course, but also radio, photos, movies. The stress on so many key historical and theoretical issues is always canny and convincing; especially on how aesthetic memorialisings of war get done, on the various topographies of war, on how race and pacifism play out, and perhaps most pertinently of all on the potent developments in death-dealing technologies.
- Professor Valentine Cunningham, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
'A volume that will certainly show the reader something new or something they have themselves neglected. As such, this volume is an essential aid in the field.'
- Richie McCaffery, University of Glasgow,

"Companion" is a misnomer fot this massive compilation.

Morally, the companion speaks of the outrage war should elicit in everyone, while simultaneously helping one see the high artistry that such barbarity has elicited.

- B. Adler, Georgia Southwestern State University, Choice: January 2013

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