Writing Lives and Combat in Contemporary American War Memoirs
In the preface to his war autobiography The Last True Story I'll Ever Tell, soldier-author John Crawford writes: "The world hears war stories told by reporters and retired generals who keep extensive notebooks and journals. They carry pens as they walk, whereas I carried a machine gun" (Crawford 2005, xiii). Indeed, Crawford and other soldiers who experienced the war in Iraq have many stories to tell. Apart from making the readership aware of the actualities of contemporary warfare, through their publications, the soldier-authors try to voice what warfare really feels like for someone who has actually been to the frontlines. Storyfying War investigates into the relation between the fighting subject actively participating in an armed conflict such as the war in Iraq and writing about it, between modern warfare and autobiographical writing in order to establish whether or not contemporary war narratives follow traditional patterns and aesthetics of earlier war literature. Since contemporary wars are fought by men and women alike, Storyfying War consequently also focuses on the thus newly established category of the female solider-author. Storyfying War attempts to offer both a thematic approach to contemporary war literature and also a close reading of the selected texts. With the war being almost over, more and more stories of returning soldiers will be published, and Storyfying War is a first endeavor to analyze and classify these works.
ISBN 978-3-86821-520-5, 232 S., kt., € 28,50 (2014)