News of War: Civilian Poetry 1936-1945

Hardcover | October 30, 2017

byRachel Galvin

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From the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War until the end of World War II, many poets around the world felt an obligation to write about the wars of their time. Famed poets like Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg, and Ivor Gurney had earned their literary authority because oftheir experience fighting in the trenches during World War I, but civilian poets who wished to write about warfare doubted their own authority to write about the battles from afar. In News of War, Professor Rachel Galvin argues that this standard is a strongly gendered norm that is problematic forwomen writers, who were much less likely to have firsthand experience with war. Galvin indicates that the predicament of writing war without witnessing war is exemplified by six of the most prominent poets of the time: a Spanish-language poet, Cesar Vallejo; a French-language poet, Raymond Queneau;and four English-language poets, W. H. Auden, Wallace Stevens, Marianne Moore, and Gertrude Stein.Although scholars have previously observed the anxieties of civilian poets writing about war, especially in the literature of World War I, Galvin gives the topic a new emphasis by developing the idea that the poets are in dialogue with journalism of the time and developing a framework within whichto see their formal patterns for grappling with war at a distance. Expanding on the work of previous scholars who have written on poetry's relation to the news, News of War develops the idea of a strong tendency toward aesthetic self-reflexivity and ethical self-scrutiny in the poetry of thewar.

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From the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War until the end of World War II, many poets around the world felt an obligation to write about the wars of their time. Famed poets like Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, Isaac Rosenberg, and Ivor Gurney had earned their literary authority because oftheir experience fighting in the trenches during...

Rachel Galvin is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago. She is a scholar, poet, and translator. Her essays appear in Boston Review, Comparative Literature Studies, ELH, Jacket 2, Los Angeles Review of Books, MLN, and Modernism/modernity.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:360 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:October 30, 2017Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190623926

ISBN - 13:9780190623920

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