Representations of war in Hemingway's work

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23,11 Lei   16,87 Lei

ISBN: 978-606-591-457-5

DOI: 10.5682/9786065914574

Anul publicării: 2012

Editia: I

Pagini: 226

Editura: Editura Universitară

Autor: Argentina Velea

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This study explores the representations of war in the work of Ernest Hemingway from the interdisciplinary perspective of Cultural Studies, specifically in terms of the complex relationships between history, memory, and representation. At the same time, the study advances a reconsideration of Hemingway’s oeuvre by repositioning it at the juncture between modernism and postmodernism, thus extending a critical stance that has been applied to other authors traditionally lodged in the modernist canon. One such example, which I capitalize on in my research, is the critical work of the recent decades on the writings of William Faulkner. This strand of Faulkner criticism identifies elements of postmodernist avant-garde within the author’s modernist experimentalism. I therefore insist in my own research on the two major coordinates of Hemingway’s writings – his existentialism and his minimalism. While they have been explored by Hemingway critics to some extent, they have been comparatively neglected in systematic analyses of the representations of war. Bridging this gap is, in my view, the main critical contribution of this research.

In tracing the change in attitude towards war throughout Hemingway’s oeuvre, I have structured the study as an attempt to answer a question which has been approached by literary critics only marginally, namely, whether it is possible to speak of a development through time in the representation of war in this author’s writings. And, if yes, what would the characteristics of this development be ?

In considering existing critical studies and biographies but also, in a New Historicism vein, the stories told by official histories, I propose an interpretation of Hemingway’s war fiction from the perspective of identity constructions – that is, by focusing on the ways in which identities are transformed and/or rediscovered depending on war’s effects on individual conscience, first and foremost through the experience of violence. I use psychoanalytical, postfeminist and gender criticism to analyze the severe imbalances or disruptions in the development of personality, the strategies through which the self struggles to cope with tensions generated by the war, survivor traumas, the distinctions between the roles played by combatants and non-combatants in the representations of war and the manner in which the meaning of trauma develops in their respective cases. I also discuss the manner in which the war experience in Hemingway’s fiction is associated to femininity (through the experience of independence, thus turning upside down the existing stereotypes) and to masculinity (through the experiences of intimacy and disability) in a successful bid to offer a positive definition to the individual human being. I trace this re-conceptualization in its chronological development.

Introduction  / 7 

Chapter I.  Visiting the Commonplaces of Hemingway Criticism: An Inquiry into the Re-evaluation of Hemingway’s Fiction / 24

1. The Historical Perspective and Beyond: Biographical and Thematic Approaches / 26

2. The Genealogy of Hemingway’s Hero in American Literature- The Rule of  “Grace Under Pressure”:  Psychological and Existentialist Approaches / 28

3. Re-evaluation of the Centrality of War and the Reconfiguration of Hemingway’s Characters: The Gender Studies Approach / 30

3.1. Hemingway’s Male Characters: From Code Heroes to Paragons of Affect / 32

3.2. Empowering  Women Characters / 35


Chapter II. Faces of War in Hemingway’s Life and Fiction / 39

1. Relevance of Personal Experience / 39

2. Hemingway as War Correspondent: Intercrossings of Journalism and Fiction / 53

3. War and the Lost Generation / 60

4. Hemingway’s War Fiction / 63


Chapter III. War and the Transfiguring Functions of Memory
  / 82

1. Warfare, Identity and the Emergence of Aesthetic Memory in Modern(ist) Literature / 84

2. The Stakes of Combat Aesthetics in the Modernist Novel. The Case of Hemingway’s Fiction / 87

3. Memory and Transcendence: “Soldier’s Home” / 88

4. Corporeality, Memory and Cultural Identity: The Sun Also Rises / 93


Chapter IV. War Narratives through the Lenses of Trauma  / 102

1. Theorizing Trauma / 102

2. Conceptualizing Trauma / 106

2.1. Emotional and Psychological Trauma / 111

2.2. Childhood and Adult Trauma  /115

3. The Role of Trauma in Hemingway’s Fiction /118

3.1. Trauma in the Artist’s Experience /119

3.2. Emotional and Psychological Trauma: For Whom the Bell Tolls / 127

3.3. Psychological Trauma: “Indian Camp,” “On the Quai at Smyrna,” “Big Two-Hearted River” and  “Out of Season” / 134
 


Chapter V. War, Absurdity and Alienation: The Existentialist 
Hero /  147


Chapter VI. Gendered Wars    / 158

1.  Jake Barnes and the Code of Masculinity in The Sun Also Rises / 159

2. The Crisis of Masculinity in Hemingway’s Short Stories / 163

3. Warfare Representations of Gender and Warfare / 175


Chapter VII. War Symbolism in Hemingway’s Works  / 179 

1. War Symbolism in Hemingway’s Short Stories / 182

2. War and Wound Symbols in Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms / 200


Conclusion  / 210


Works Cited  
 / 213

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