Coming Out of War: Poetry, Grieving, and the Culture of the World Wars

Coming Out of War: Poetry, Grieving, and the Culture of the World Wars

By: Janis P. Stout (author)Hardback

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American and British poetry, music, and visual art born of World Wars I and II. World War I is widely considered ""the Great War"" and World War II, ""the Good War."" Janis Stout thinks of them as two parts of a whole that continues to engage historians and literary scholars searching for an understanding of both the actual war experiences and the modern culture of grief they embody. Poetry, of all the arts, Stout argues, most fully captures and conveys those cultural responses. While probing the work of such well known war poets as Rupert Brooke, Wilfred Owen, and Randall Jarrell, Stout also highlights the impact of the wars on lesser studied, but equally compelling, sources such as the music of Charles Ives and Cole Porter, Aaron Copeland, and Irving Berlin. She challenges the commonplace belief that war poetry came only from the battlefield and was written only by men by examining the wartime writings of women poets such as Rose Macaulay, Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and Gwendolyn Brooks. She also challenges the assumption that World War II did not produce poetry of distinction by studying the work of John Ciardi, Karl Shapiro, Louis Simpson, Robert Frost, and Wallace Stevens. While emphasizing aesthetic continuity between the wars, Stout stresses that the poetry that emerged from each displays a greater variety than is usually recognized. A final chapter considers Benjamin Britten's ""War Requiem"" as a culmination and embodiment of the anti-war tradition in 20th-century poetry and music, and speculates on the reasons why, despite their abundance and eloquence, these expressions of grief and opposition to war have effected so little change.

About Author

Janis P. Stout is Professor Emerita of English and Dean of Faculties Emerita at Texas A&M University. She is the author or editor of several works, including Willa Cather and Material Culture, Katherine Anne Porter: A Sense of the Times, and Through the Window, Out the Door: Women's Narratives of Departure, from Austin and Cather to Tyler, Morrison, and Didion.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780817314729
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 296
  • ID: 9780817314729
  • ISBN10: 0817314725

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