Studies in Twentieth and Twenty-First Century Literature
Special Issue: “Writing 1914-1918. National Responses to the Great War”
Edited by Toby Garfitt (University of Oxford)
& Nicolas Bianchi (Université Montpellier-III / Universiteit Gent)
With the outbreak of the First World War and the uncovering of modern, dehumanized violence, many direct witnesses faced a double crisis when they tried to share their personal experience. The discovery of physical violence led above all to a crisis of representation, due to the inability of the traditional depictions of war to convey the nature of modern warfare. But there was also a crisis of language, caused by the perverted use of the standardized language to justify the war through political and journalistic lies and heroic descriptions of the events. Despite all this, much material was produced, representing most of the countries that were involved, directly or not, in the war. Letters, diaries, novels, poems, war reportages were written and published in abundance, from the beginning of the war until the end of the 1930s, and some of them achieved immediate and considerable success.
While a substantial number of studies focus fairly narrowly on these works in order to explore how and why they managed to cope with both crises, there have been comparatively few attempts to take a more global approach. Some literary productions from that time are well known, but this is often due to the particular experience of an author rather than to the broader national climate of the country concerned. One of the main goals of this STTCL special issue will be to offer a global perspective in order to locate a number of works from the period within the specific framework of their national production. Because of the way the mother tongue of the authors naturally influenced their way of thinking and because of the rise of nationalisms at the beginning of the century, each author was faced with either embracing or rejecting a national climate. Our work will use this reflection on national responses to the Great War to shed light on some forgotten texts of the period which bring an original response to the challenges of the war, in relation to the canon. Widening the approach to include all the relevant languages will allow a comparison between some of the essential themes present in the texts.
Articles must be written in English and should not exceed 7,500 words in length. We will particularly appreciate articles including examples of French, German and Spanish texts, which are the main interest of the review. Authors must provide a 500-word abstract along with a brief CV, complete contact details, and academic affiliation. The deadline for the submission of your proposal is set on May 15, 2016.
Further information: Dernière version appel STTCL (mars)