Adam Thorpe and the impossibility of (not) writing about the First World War

Einhaus, Ann-Marie (2018) Adam Thorpe and the impossibility of (not) writing about the First World War. Critique: Studies in Contemporary Fiction, 59 (4). pp. 419-431. ISSN 0011-1619

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This article explores three novels by British contemporary novelist Adam Thorpe, which it situates in the context of a renaissance of rewriting and re-remembering the First World War in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The article discusses three novels: Thorpe’s debut novel Ulverton (1992), which includes a chapter about the experience of the First World War; Nineteen Twenty-One (2001), a full-length treatment of the immediate aftermath of the war; and Hodd (2009), in which the war enters by way of fictional footnotes to a fictional translation of a medieval Latin manuscript. It suggests that Thorpe’s writing about the First World War consciously acknowledges and interrogates the simultaneous impossibility and compulsion to write about war. Thorpe’s work offers a complex exploration of literature’s contribution to memory building processes, acknowledging both the limitations of fictional representations of war and the enduring power of fiction to reimagine the war for successive new generations of readers.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: First World War, World War 1, memory, narrative, historical fiction
Subjects: Q200 Comparative Literary studies
V300 History by topic
Department: Faculties > Arts, Design and Social Sciences > Humanities
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2018 08:46
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2021 11:23

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