War and Literature

July 2014
5 black and white illustrations
272 pages
21.6x13.8 cm
Essays and Studies
ISBN: 9781843843818
Format: Hardback
Library eBook
BISAC LIT011000, LIT000000

War and Literature

Edited by Laura Ashe, Ian Patterson

Considerations of writing about war, in war, because of war, and against war, in a wide range of texts from the middle ages onwards.
War was the first subject of literature; at times, war has been its only subject. In this volume, the contributors reflect on the uneasy yet symbiotic relations of war and writing, from medieval to modern literature. War writing emerges in multiple forms, celebratory and critical, awed and disgusted; the rhetoric of inexpressibility fights its own battle with the urgent necessity of representation, record and recognition. This is shown to be true even to the present day: whether mimetic or metaphorical, literature that concerns itself overtly or covertly with the real pressures of war continues to speak to issues of pressing significance, and to provide some clues to the intricate entwinement of war with contemporary life. Particular topics addressed include writings of and about the Crusades and battles during the Hundred Years War; Shakespeare's "Casus Belly"; Auden's "Journal of an Airman"; and War and Peace.

Ian Patterson is a poet, critic and translator. He teaches English at Queens' College, Cambridge. Laura Ashe is Associate Professor of English and a Tutorial Fellow of Worcester College, Oxford.

Contributors: Joanna Bellis, Catherine A.M. Clarke, Mary A. Favret, Rachel Galvin, James Purdon, Mark Rawlinson, Susanna A. Throop, Katie L. Walter, Carol Watts, Tom F. Wright, Andrew Zurcher.

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Table of Contents

Acts of Vengeance, Acts of Love: Crusading Violence in the Twelfth Century - Susanna A. Throop
Peril, Flight and the Sad Man: Medieval Theories of the Body in Battle - Katie Louise Walter
'Is This War?': British Fictions of Emergency in the Hot Cold War - James Purdon
Crossing the Rubicon: History, Authority and Civil War in Twelfth-Century England - Catherine A M Clarke
'The Reader myghte lamente': the sieges of Calais (1346) and Rouen (1418) in chronicle, poem and play - Joanna Bellis
Shakespeare's Casus Belly... - Andrew Zurcher
Unnavigable Kinship in a Time of Conflict: Loyalist Calligraphies, Sovereign Power and the 'Muckle Honor' of Elizabeth Murray Inman - Carol Watts
Proclaiming the War News: Richard Caton Woodville and Herman Melville - Tom F. Wright
A Feeling for Numbers: Representing the Scale of the War Dead - Mary A. Favret
The Guilt of the Noncombatant and W. H. Auden's 'Journal of an Airman' - Rachel Galvin
Does Tolstoy's War and Peace make modern war literature redundant? - Mark Rawlinson


[P]resents a wide-ranging collection of essays with a strong awareness of the complex moral responsibilities of war writing. YEAR'S WORK IN ENGLISH STUDIES

Present[s] a broad-ranging and eclectic examination of our cultural responses to conflict. TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

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