The chapter tries to define a few functional guidelines for a comparative reading of American narrative during and about WW1 and WW2, some more closely linked to America itself, others having a wider scope, centered on the new way of writing about war proposed by western literature since the end of WW1. In the celebrative war novel genre, the experience of war is, as a matter of fact, told to confirm the “mythical” quality of war experience. The anti-rhetorical novels of the first post war period reveal this very crisis, and, in this way, force on the reader to reflect on the fact that, after this very war, the world, and those who inhabit it, are going to be different. American authors, similarly to European ones, will feel the need to bear witness to war, will admit the difficulties in finding a voice to give it, because this new war annuls all preceding categories of identification, makes language lose its meaning; they will produce a formal reconsideration that on the one hand, will be in debt of the new avant-gardes, and on the other of the new forms of communication. This last is, in fact, a very important element, particularly if put in relation to the fact that many American authors who eventually wrote novels on war came to Europe as war correspondents. New Journalism, radio transmission, photography and, later, cinema start being tools that characterize the new way in which war is described and have an impact on the new narrative forms.

THE EXPERIENCE OF WAR AND THE SEARCH FOR IDENTITY IN US NARRATIVES OF WW1 AND WW2

LAMBERTI, ELENA
2009

Abstract

The chapter tries to define a few functional guidelines for a comparative reading of American narrative during and about WW1 and WW2, some more closely linked to America itself, others having a wider scope, centered on the new way of writing about war proposed by western literature since the end of WW1. In the celebrative war novel genre, the experience of war is, as a matter of fact, told to confirm the “mythical” quality of war experience. The anti-rhetorical novels of the first post war period reveal this very crisis, and, in this way, force on the reader to reflect on the fact that, after this very war, the world, and those who inhabit it, are going to be different. American authors, similarly to European ones, will feel the need to bear witness to war, will admit the difficulties in finding a voice to give it, because this new war annuls all preceding categories of identification, makes language lose its meaning; they will produce a formal reconsideration that on the one hand, will be in debt of the new avant-gardes, and on the other of the new forms of communication. This last is, in fact, a very important element, particularly if put in relation to the fact that many American authors who eventually wrote novels on war came to Europe as war correspondents. New Journalism, radio transmission, photography and, later, cinema start being tools that characterize the new way in which war is described and have an impact on the new narrative forms.
MEMORIES AND REPRESENTATIONS OF WAR IN EUROPE: THE CASE OF WW1 AND WW2
119
132
E. Lamberti
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/58629
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