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Textual representations
Editor: Angela K. Smith

The changes in warfare during the twentieth century could be addressed from a variety of perspectives, political, cultural, and national. This book addresses the issue of how gender is constructed by exploring a range of historical events. It also asserts that a focus on gender, rather than producing a depoliticised reading of our culture, offers an informed debate on a range of political issues. The book explores the impact of warfare on women whose civilian or quasi-military roles resulted in their exile or self-exile to the role of 'other'. The book first draws upon a number of genres to use Richard Aldington and H. D. (the poet Hilda Doolittle), to understand the social and cultural implications of warfare for both parties in a relationship. Then, it examines the intricate gender assumptions that surround the condition of 'shell shock' through a detailed exploration of the life and work of Ver a Brittain. Continuing this theme, considering the nature of warfare, the gendered experience of warfare, through the lens of the home front, the book discusses the gendered attitudes to the First World War located within Aldous Huxley's novella 'Farcical History of Richard Greenow'. Wars represented in Western cinema are almost universally gendered as male, which corresponds to the battlefield history of twentieth-century warfare. As this situation changes, and more women join the armed services, especially in the United States, a more inclusive cinematic coding evolves through struggle. The book considers three decades of film, from the Vietnam War to the present.

This is a unique study of working-class writing and community publishing. It evaluates the largely unexamined history of the emergence and development of working-class writing and publishing workshops since the 1970s. The nature of working-class writing is assessed in relation to the work of young people, older people, adult literacy students as well as writing workshops. Key themes and tensions in working-class writing are explored in relation to historical and literary frameworks. This is the first in-depth study of this body of writing. In addition, a number of crucial debates are examined, for example, over class and identity, critical pedagogy and learning, relationships with audiences and the role of mainstream cultural institutions in comparison with alternatives. The contradictions and tensions in all these areas are surveyed in coming to a historical understanding of this topic.

Towards the absurd

3 The twentieth century: towards the absurd ‘. . . Why do you sigh in this beastly way, somebody? Absurd? Well, absurd. Good Lord! mustn’t a man ever – . . .’ ‘Absurd!’ he cried. ‘This is the worst of trying to tell. . . . And you say, Absurd! Absurd be – exploded! Absurd! My dear boys, what can you expect from a man who out of sheer nervousness had just flung overboard a new pair of shoes!’ (Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, 1899/1902) Twenty years ago there were swarms of manifestos. Those authoritarian documents rehabilitated art, abolished punctuation

in The absurd in literature
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Heroism, masculinity and violence in Vietnam War narratives

doing, they feel themselves to be cowards, not quite ‘men’ enough to be soldiers. But in the air, where they have the unique power of skilled flight, they know that the adrenaline rush of battle will give them the courage they need to face the danger. It is a paradox that is repeated in countless war memoirs and other writings of the twentieth century and beyond. Soldiers continually try to find ways to articulate both the fear and the power of the combat experience. The need to be a ‘man’, to exhibit the Angela K. Smith 175 characteristics of a traditional heroism

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
The Spanish Civil War in Ken Loach’s Land and Freedom

better understood in Europe, so when Loach went to Madrid to promote Land and Freedom in April 199 c he was obliged to be more explicit than in his British interviews. El Pals described him as ‘a former Trotskyist activist’ (antiguo activista trotskista), and he is quoted as saying I think it is very difficult to understand the politics of the twentieth century without understanding what Trotsky’s contribution has been. Our Spanish comrades in the POUM wanted to detach themselves from Trotsky. I think it would have been impossible to complete this film without

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
Clemence Dane and Virginia Woolf

, looting, and an orgy of hatred.40 Clothes and uniform, the stock-in-trade of performance, are central to the theatre of fascism, and Dane’s insight into the dressing rooms of 1930s’ fascism is confirmed by subsequent historians. It was no accident that the birthplace of twentieth-century fascism was in the land of opera. Fascist black made its first appearance on the glamorous backs of the Arditi, a volunteer force of elite shock troops in the Italian Army during the Great War. This is the black of the courageous warrior boldly facing and even announcing his own death

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
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-reflexiveness which is a condition for … complex seeing’.5 They contrasted 58 Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century them with ‘two exemplary autobiographies’, Carolyn Steedman’s Landscape for a Good Woman and Ronald Fraser’s In Search of a Past. Steedman addressed her own autobiographical writing to the perceived limitations of this genre.6 In addition, while there had long been a recognition that successive generations could repeat nostalgic claims about the past, Joanna Bourke took this to new heights in rejecting the version of community

in Working-class writing and publishing in the late twentieth century
Gender adaptations in modern war films

Wars represented in Western cinema are almost universally gendered as male, which corresponds to the battlefield history of twentieth-century warfare. War films, from The Big Parade to Saving Private Ryan, have always privileged the male point of view, masculine initiation rituals, and male spectatorship. In the cinematic representation of women warriors the gender of the director, in theory, should be significant. War films of the mid- to late 1990s supply a muted coda to the jingoistic war films of the previous decade by revisioning male soldiers in a less sexist, homophobic and confrontational manner. A contributor to feminist debate about masculinity in war texts, including films, whose work is both cogently written and theoretically sophisticated, is Susan Jeffords. By exploring the strategies that achieve the revitalisation of patriarchy as evident in film and other narratives, Jeffords offers a valuable set of categories, methodological practices and theoretical frameworks for other scholars.

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century
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targets, the people in the front line, in any major war. At the beginning of the twentieth century this was not so. The average man and woman on the street did not feel threatened by the prospect of war. Indeed as the new century dawned Britain was at war, fighting for the Empire in South Africa, and it was a war that the general public appeared to support, even relish. But it was in South Africa. Few people outside the combat troops involved had any notion of the realities of the Boer War. The majority of public opinion supported it because public opinion endorsed the

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century

3 Gender, war and writing in Aldous Huxley’s ‘Farcical History of Richard Greenow’ Erik Svarny In the past decade there has been a tendency to interrogate the criteria by which ‘war writing’ is defined and to extend the parameters of the term beyond an exclusive concentration on the experience of (male) military combatants to include the experience of non-combatants, whether nurses, workers or ordinary civilians, caught up in the extremity of war experience. Particularly in the twentieth century, when the concept and practice of ‘total war’ became a reality

in Gender and warfare in the twentieth century