Memories and Representations of War

The Case of World War I and World War II


The contributors to the present volume approach World War I and World War II as complex and intertwined crossroads leading to the definition of the new European (and world) reality, and deeply pervading the making of the twentieth century. These scholars belong to different yet complementary areas of research – history, literature, cinema, art history; they come from various national realities and discuss questions related to Italy, Britain, Germany, Poland, Spain, at times introducing a comparison between European and North American memories of the two World War experiences. These scholars are all guided by the same principle: to encourage the establishment of an interdisciplinary and trans-national dialogue in order to work out new approaches capable of integrating and acknowledging different or even opposing ways to perceive and interpret the same historical phenomenon. While assessing the way the memories of the two World Wars have been readjusted each time in relation to the evolving international historical setting and through various mediators of memory (cinema, literature, art and monuments), the various essays contribute to unveil a cultural panorama inhabited by contrasting memories and by divided memories not to emphasise divisions, but to acknowledge the ethical need for a truly shared act of reconciliation.


EUR €95.00USD $120.00

Table of contents

Elena Lamberti: Introduction
Part 1: Cross-readings of World War I and World War II
Astrid Erll: Wars We Have Seen: Literature as a Medium of Collective Memory in the “Age of Extremes”
Vita Fortunati: Writing as Testimony in the European Narrative after the First and Second World Wars
Antonio Gibelli: Memory and Repression: Psychiatric Sources and the History of Modern Wars
Alberto De Bernardi: The World Wars and the History of Italy: Public, Shared and Disputed Memories
Roberto Balzani: Urban Toponymy, Cultural Memory and the World Wars
Cesare Giacobazzi: Contaminated Memory in Günter Grass’ My Century: Literary and Journalistic Accounts on War
Elena Lamberti: The Experience of War and the Search for Identity in US Narratives of World War I and World War II
Daniela Fortezza: “Strange Growths”: The World Wars as Agents and Markers of Change in Women’s Writing
Annamaria Lamarra: War in Women’s Experience and Writing
Arancha Aránzazu Usandizaga: “I Hear Sounds of Spain”: Foreign Women Writers and the Spanish Civil War
Part II: World War I and World War II: Sacralization, Commemoration, Imagination, Silence
Max Saunders: War Literature, Bearing Witness, and the Problem of Sacralization: Trauma and Desire in the Writing of Mary Borden and Others
Jonathan Kear: Spectres of the Past, Inhabitations of the Present: Jochen Gerz and the Problem of Commemoration
Camila Loew: Representing the Extreme: Reminiscences of Nazi Germany in Tras El Cristal
Sara Pesce: Film and War Imaginary: the Hollywood Combat and Cultural Memory of World War II
Gabriella Elina Imposti: “God’s Playground”: Poland and the Second World War in Wajda’s Cinema
Raul Calzoni: Chasms of Silence: The Luftkrieg in German Literature from a Reunification Perspective
Oliver Janz: Death and Mourning in the Memory of World War I in Italy
Alberto Casadei: The Dead Hero, The Dead Body: Anti-Epic and Research of Meaning in the Fictional Representation of World War II
Roberto Bigazzi: Taricco’s Memory
Notes on Contributors


Collection Information