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Myths of War: Constructing and Challenging Literary Myths of War in Germany, 1914-1930

Giles, Alice Shelley Minda (2009)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the role of literature in interpreting the First World War in Germany from 1914 to 1930 and the myths of war that were manifested within and created by such narratives of war. Beginning with an exploration of 'myth' and its relationship to the Great War, it progresses to a consideration of the role of war in the Weimar Republic and the enduring myths that the war had spawned. A detailed analysis of Walter Flex's Der Wanderer zwischen beiden Welten (1917), Ernst Jünger's In Stahlgewittern (1920), Ludwig Renn's Krieg (1928) and Erich Maria Remarque's Im Westen nichts Neues (1929) considers the presentation of the war experience thematically, focusing on the 'spirit of 1914', the aestheticisation of war, combat, comradeship, fate and the fallen, identifying productive tensions in each text to a certain degree. Although such literature is still largely categorised as either 'nationalist' or 'anti-war', I argue that this is an oversimplification of their complexity and, as such, has limited validity from a literary perspective.

Type of Work:M.Phil. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Martin, Nicholas
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
Department:German Studies
Subjects:PT Germanic literature
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:351
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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