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

Giles, Alice Shelley Minda (2009). Myths of War: Constructing and Challenging Literary Myths of War in Germany, 1914-1930. University of Birmingham. M.Phil.


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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: Thesis (Masters by Research > M.Phil.)
Award Type: Masters by Research > M.Phil.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music, Department of Modern Languages
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature


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