The American Novel of War

A Critical Analysis and Classification System

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About the Book

In song, verse, narrative, and dramatic form, war literature has existed for nearly all of recorded history. Accounts of war continue to occupy American bestseller lists and the stacks of American libraries. This innovative work establishes the American novel of war as its own sub-genre within American war literature, creating standards by which such works can be classified and critically and popularly analyzed. Each chapter identifies a defining characteristic, analyzes existing criticism, and explores the characteristic in American war novels of record. Topics include violence, war rhetoric, the death of noncombatants, and terrain as an enemy.

About the Author(s)

Wallis R. Sanborn, III, teaches at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. He has taught at Texas Tech University, the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, Oregon State University, and Angelo State University. His work has appeared in They Rode On: Blood Meridian and the Tragedy of the American West, Gale’s Contemporary Literary Criticism, Harold Bloom’s Modern Critical Views, The Cormac McCarthy Journal, Southwestern American Literature, Texas Books in Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Harbinger, Elysium, and The Caprock Sun. He lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Bibliographic Details

Wallis R. Sanborn, III
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 242
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3863-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9270-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      viii
Introduction      1

1. The Defining Characteristics of the American Novel of War as Found in American Poems, Short Stories, Dramas, and Memoirs of War      21
2. War as Central Action      50
3. The Violence of War      64
4. The Rhetoric of War      78
5. The Equipage of War      92
6. Death of Fighting Peers      105
7. Death of Noncombatants      117
8. Omnipresent Death and Destruction      129
9. Displacement of Locals to Refugees      141
10. The Oppositional Dyad Between Occupying/Invading Forces and Indigenous/Local Peoples      154
11. The Oppositional Dyad Between Officers and Enlisted Men      167
12. The Terrain/Weather as Enemy      178
13. The Burning/Fire Motif      190
14. Prostitution      201
15. Absurdity of War      210

Epilogue      219
Bibliography      223
Index      229