История → Postcards from the trenches. Negotiating the space between modernism and the first world war
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Название: Postcards from the trenches. Negotiating the space between modernism and the first world war
Издательство: Oxford University Press
Размер: 13 Mb
Для сайта: eKnigi.org
Nearly all literary criticism of the First World War contends, either directly or indirectly, with Paul Fussell's classic account in The Great War and Modern Memory (London: Oxford University Press, 1975). Indeed, the status of Fussell's thesis in studies of the war can hardly be overstated: although in rare cases critics do dispute Fussell's argument that "there seems to be one dominating form of modern understanding; that it is essentially ironic; and that it originates largely in the application of mind and memory to the events of the Great War, " modernist scholars on the whole have accepted as a premise the Fussellian notion of a constitutive relation between the deep, conceptual trauma wrought by the war and the fragmentary, disorienting nature of high modernism. (Two recent critics, however, have provocatively challenged important aspects of Fussell's thesis. Adrian Caesar argues that the conventional reading of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, and Robert Graves as antiwar poets fails to account for the valorization of violence and suffering in their poetry; he thus places these canonical figures alongside Rupert Brooke (rather than in opposition to the patriotic poet) as proponents of a troubling and angry masculinity; Taking It Like a Man: Suffering, Sexuality, and the War Poets (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1993). Joanna Bourke contests Fussell's claim that a misogynistic and alienated sensibility reigned among soldiers and veterans. For Bourke, the vast majority of fighting men continued to hold essentially traditional notions of gender and social organization, and were eager to rebuild their domestic establishments along conventional lines; Dismembering the Male: Men's Bodies, Britain, and the Great War (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996). Such an approach to modernism stresses formal and thematic departures from literary tradition (what Samuel Hynes, in his encyclopedic study of the war and English culture, describes as a rupture with the past; A War Imagined: The First World War and English Culture (London: Bodley Head, 1990), generally valorizes the modernist attempt to embrace ideas of fracture and dissonance, and tends towards an integrative and synthetic model of modernism that minimizes differences among writers (of nation, gender, and class, for instance). Moreover, critics who place the war at the crux of a modernist sensibility typically deemphasize the social and literary upheavals of the turn of the century, effectively minimizing the importance for literary chronology of such figures as Wilde, Conrad, and James, and of the sexual and class politics of the period around 1900.