WLA ; War, Literature and the Arts

Articles from Vol. 25, 2013

"Always Something of It Remains": Sexual Trauma in Ernest Hemingway's for Whom the Bell Tolls
Following his completion of Tender is the Night in 1934, F. Scott Fitzgera ld sent a copy of the manuscript to his friend, Ernest Heming way. Hemingway replied with a long, thoughtful letter detailing the reasons he both " liked it and didn't like it"...
"And the Fire Still Burns": Vietnam War Poetry, Moral Witness, and Winning Hearts and Minds
Forty years after its publication, Winning Hearts and Minds: War Poems by Vietnam Veterans remains one of the most compelling, insightful, and moving accounts of the American war in Vietnam.1 A key work of witness of the twentieth century, this poetry...
A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War
A World on Fire: Britain's Crucial Role in the American Civil War. Amanda Foreman. New York: Random House, 2011, $20.00, paper, 807 pp.Amanda Foreman's A World on Fire has taken the literary marketplace by storm. Named one of the "Top 10 Books of 2011"...
Convoy Home
Sugar lay on his cot and sensed her, half way around the world, struggling over a blank paper, missing him, but not knowing how to express it. This was good, and, hopefully, the reason for her letters not coming. Helen would eventually apologize for...
Cracks in the System: Children in Contemporary Narratives about the 1960s in America
In late 1966, in one of many iconic moments of an era defined by colorful, unrestrained events, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara was confronted by members of the Students for a Democratic Society after his address to a select group of Harvard...
Crane's Episode among Episodes in American War Discourse
In the 1992 film, A Few Good Men,1 Colonel Nathan Jessep (Jack Nicholson) sits on the stand as the lawyer, Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), cross examines the witness in a court-martial. The scene marks the climax of movie, arguably an indictment...
Dan O'Brien Interviewed by M. K. Sukach
There is a murderer within each of us. Pushed far enough, or given the right training, even the best of us are capable of taking human life, and justif ying the wrong any way we must.-Paul Watson, Where War LivesPaul Watson is speaking to the idea that...
Daughter
When I was a child, my father kept watchover nothing. It was my motherwho rose from bed. Her face was a flickeringfixture. She was a house with a palm-thatched roof.She learned to never sleep. The ceiling smelledof cinder. My father kept himself.I am...
David Abrams Interviewed by David Lawrence
The meeting was chaired by a one-star general who kept his salt-and-pepper hair cropped close to the scalp. His ruddy face bore the hallmarks of being maintained by a seventies-era Remington electric; his chin looked as though it could take the burrs...
Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc
Dog Company: The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc. Patrick O'Donnell. New York: DeCapo Press, 2012, $26.00, cloth, 305 pp.In May 1944, Lieutenant Colonel James Earl Rudder, commander of the Second Ranger Battalion received orders to lead his unit in what was perhaps...
Eagles and Empire: The United States, Mexico, and the Struggle for a Continent
Eagles and Empire: The United States, Mexico, and the Struggle for a Continent. David A. Clary. New York: Bantam Books, 2009, $30.00, cloth, 624 pp.Traditional scholarly treatments of the Mexican-American War limit their coverage to the 1846-48 conflict...
Embodied Sympathy and Divine Detachment in Crimean War Medical Poetry
In October 1854, the London Times attempted to solicit donations, both monetary and material, for soldiers wounded in the Crimean War:Every man of common modesty must feel, not exactly ashamed of himself, but somehow rather smaller than usual, when he...
Far from Kansas
Levi squinted and pressed his face to the glass, peering through the oily impression of his nose and forehead into the Tastee Freez. Formica tables were littered with crunched up straws and speckled with dried ice cream. Behind the register, a paunchy...
Fire and Forget
Iwas on my honeymoon during 9/11. The owner of an Italian restaurant in Triberg, Germany's Black Forest, spoke no English, but hustled my husband and me back to his kitchen. There, on a postcard-sized television screen, we first saw the attacks on the...
Fire Fight: 1970 (Xuan Loc Province)
-for Capt. Mike DoyleThe only tree leftafter the tanks mowed them downafter the big fire to ma ke a lagerthe only place to hide with the manin your armsbleeding on your chestcalling out something about home...one treelong and dead and full of termitesbut...
Flashes of War: A Conversation with Katey Schultz
I teach war literature though I've never been to war. Do I sound like I'm confessing at an A A meeting?-telling something dark, embarrassing...destructive. I first tried to justify my teaching authority by assembling concessions. After all, I have "deployed,"...
Fragments (near the Thailand-Cambodia Border)
I.Nothing is like the smell of singed skinmeshed with burning metal in the evening wind.The boy and his grandmother are crouchingin a ditch as the rocket whistles,randomly selecting its victims.The night sky is lit like fireworks,the earth smells of...
From the Truman Balcony
In the early morning of May 19th, 2012, four bodies slid out of the right bank of the Potomac River, meaning the Virginia side, into the river itself. Said occurrence transpired in the vicinity of Arlington National Cemetery. It was observed by Lt. Col....
Hitler in Japan
On the 12th of April, 1945,under a waning moon, the U. S. MagicDiplomatic Summary reported interceptinga message from the Japanese militaryattaché in Germany asking Tokyo-onedoes not mean the city of Tokyo, of course,cities can't listen, and Tokyo was,...
Imperium in Imperio: Sutton Griggs's Imagined War of 1898
Just once the convention lost complete control of itself. A tall slender youth had spoken some moments in a vein so modest that the chairman interrupted: "Gentlemen," said he, "the speaker hasn't much to say for himself, so I'm going to put in a word...
In Our Own Words
When I was first given the chance to become a war artist in Afghanistan it was a question of how to bring a new perspective to the conflict, one which is dominated by the relentless toll of deaths and the hyperreality of the head-cam video.I wanted to...
Inventory: Encounter with a Father's Memories of War
My mother saves nothing, hurls objects and memories overboard to keep the boat from sinking; her English wartime childhood a heap of broken images, she pulled anchor at 18 to marry a Yank, still lives, by choice or disposition, without past or future...
IOOI Ways to Die
August 1970Johnny Knox lay in the top bunk listening to "Mystery Theater" on his transistor radio-the episode where a disembodied hand spiders its way around the world seeking vengeance-when someone scratched the screen of the bedroom window. Johnny...
Larry Brown's Dirty Work: Telling the Truth about the Vietnam War through Fiction
For fictional literature to succeed one might argue that the essential elements of fiction must be clearly defined and established within the story at hand, i.e. those elements of plot, character, setting, style, dialogue, point of view, and theme. That...
Mediation #42: The Commotion of My Passing
I wait my turn on clumps of hay/the mounting pile of amputated limbs/surgeons in blood and pusstained coats working by candlelight/whiskey, quinine, slops/manure, offal, gangerine/the filthy lucre of life's theatre/anesthetised and raving like Broadway...
Mouthlessness and Ineffability in World War I Poetry and the Waste Land
In "Teaching World War I Poetry-Comparatively," Margot Norris connects Charles Sorley's poem "When you see millions of the mouthless dead" to an uncanny phenomenon in World War I poetry: "Sorley's poem is one of a number of poems that invoke the figure...
On Amputation
Dear Adam, When I lookat the photo takenafter the roadside bombexploded-how the singedwires and shredded metalspill like entrailsfrom the splayed shellof your M-ATV-I understand whyno one thoughtyou would survive.Should I therefore greetthe news that...
On Chickenshit
However much society, culture, and warfare change, there seems to be one constant for a military in combat: chickenshit, and soldiers of every generation can give you examples of it even if they have never heard the word. It is the superfluous tasks...
Pat Barker's Liminal Figures of War Trauma: Mr. Hyde, Antiprosopon and the Cryptophore
History is conventionally conceived as a discourse based on verifiable facts. Pat Barker's war historical novels explore it through the different and unconventional lens of psychical wounds that manifest through bodily pain. Her Regeneration trilogy...
Power and Gender Relations in When Heaven and Earth Changed Places
Le Ly Hayslip published When Heaven and Earth Changed Places in 1990, and three years later, she published her second memoir, Child of War, Woman of Peace, as a sequel to her first book.1 The appearance of these books marks an important milestone in...
Remembered and Reimagined: The Literature of War
The Literature of War is a three-volume reference set edited by Thomas Riggs (St. James Press, 2012) with contributions from hundreds of professors and specialists in various fields including writers, language experts, regional experts, and literary...
Shell Shocked
" I still get cold sweats whenever I hear cat calls. That's how the Japs used to communicate with each other during the war when not on the radio." 97 years old and the man still deals with memories of the War. I only see him three times a year, but...
Soldier-Artists: Preserving the World
American Literature Association Symposium Keynote Address(New Orleans, October 11, 2013)Well, about my experience, it illustrates how you can become something you never thought you would become, without being aware of the transformation. That there is...
Soldiers on the Fault Line: War, Rhetoric, and Reality
The Seventh Annual David L. Jannetta Distinguished Lecture in War, Literature & the ArtsSeptember 10, 2013 / U.S. Air Force AcademyThe reason I'm here is because I wrote a novel called Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk that was published last year....
Stories Matter a Conversation with Alex Kershaw
Stories matter. They matter, in part, because they enrich our lives and ennoble our spirits. They matter, in part, because they help us understand where we have been, where we are today, and where we're going. They matter, perhaps most importantly, because...
Street Life
The homeless do not share our temporal world. For those who set out from and return to home, the day acquires a cyclicality and rhythm that is lost to the homeless. Without such place-bound rituals of departure and return, the day loses its circadian...
The Comics Go to War
On April 19, 2004, Garry Trudeau infused the typically bland fare of the daily comics page with some gritty realism: in that day's installment of Doonesbury, a long-running character in the strip-B.D.-receives a serious wound to the leg while deployed...
The Counterfactualist
That's just not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other new realities, which...
The Great Party-Crasher: Mrs. Dalloway, the Great Gatsby, and the Cultures of World War I Remembrance
As might be expected in the wake of so immense a cataclysm, the decade of the post-World War I 1920s, in the cultures of both of the western victor nations and of those defeated in the massive conflict, proved an epoch rich in the literature of aftermath....
The Man I Killed
I woke up at 4:45 to take a shower and dress into my uniform, an old one from a couple of days ago that was hanging off the chair by my bookcase. All the starch was out of it and there were small grease stains visible on the pants. Sitting on my bed,...
The Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle That Changed the World
The Marne, 1914: The Opening of World War I and the Battle that Changed the World. Holger Herwig. New York: Random House, 2009, $28.00, cloth, 391 pp.Eloquently written, balanced in its judgments, and sound in its conclusions, this detailed examination...
The Rapture of Sorrowful Things
Some assert the suicide of Dadaist Jacques Rigaut on November 5, 1929 drew the curtain on that movement's French manifestation. André Breton wrote of him, "At around age twenty, Jacques Rigaut condemned himself to death and waited impatiently, from hour...
The Stick Soldiers
The Stick Soldiers. Hugh Martin. Rochester, New York: BOA Editions, 2013. $16.00, paper, 104 pp.Hugh Martin's The Stick Soldiers is an approachable, necessary volume of poems about what it was like to prepare for war, serve in Iraq, and return to Ohioa...
The Unnamed Ones
For the 277 discovered buried in a mass grave near Brcko, Bosnia, in 1992 and re-buried in another mass grave in 2007 with only 80 of them identified.leak into our tentsthrough the pores of the flapping roofsand zippered doors, underthe tightly stretchedarmy...
They Were Soldiers, Just like Us
They were soldiers, just like us," is a refrain commonly heard in the narratives of W WII combat veterans of the European Theater of Operation in talking about the German enemy they remember. The American GIs certainly didn't sentimentalize the German...
Tho' Hòa Bình
Trying to rule the world with forceI see this is not succeeding-Lao-tzuThe Cô who cleans our sick-call tent is missingtwo days and returns in great pain, her babytrapped inside her belly, the village mid-wifeunable to save it. Every breath is a siren....
Three Times a Charm
1. Pearl of the OrientApril 1995. In Vientiane the consul is courteous but never can get Hanoi's approval, he says, for our visas. Each time he quotes a different fee. He wants to know our travel agent's fax number, address, etc. His government's not...
Two Armies, One Family
When we stood guard, we stood with our backs together because the Japanese dug tunnels under the ground. They came up behind you and slit your throat. This way, they couldn't get behind you.Only one picture hung on a wall in the living room of Apartment...
War in the Filipino Imagination: Filipino Writers in the United States Wrestling with the Minotaur
Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where ever y man is enemy to ever y man,...continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.-Thomas HobbesWe must not belittle the saying in...
Who's Crazy?
What couldn't be saved would be tossed out into the street. Lenny packed each box tight with his belongings and placed them near the door of his apartment. He had less than a week before a sheriff would escort him away unless the VA could convince his...
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