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Claire Bowen

Abstract At the time when hostility to British engagement in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq was growing, the repatriation of British soldiers killed in action became the object of public ceremonies and extensive coverage by the tabloids in a characteristic displacement of interest from information about the war to representation and celebration of “ordinary” heroes. This chapter focuses on the exceptionally popular case of Lance Corporal Liam Tasker and his working dog killed in Afghanistan in 2011. Using Foucault’s concept of “regimes of truth” and Christian Salmon’s Storytelling (2007), the study analyses the visual and textual techniques which transform a report of war casualties both into a story about an ordinary man and his dog, and a narrative of national identity confirming the fundamental nature of the British soldier. Repetition, expansion, embellishment and audience participation generate a narrative spiral strengthening shared beliefs and assumptions.

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Edited by Claire Bowen and Catherine Hoffmann

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Marie-France Courriol

Abstract This chapter provides a comparative study of two militant documentaries shot in Spain during the Civil War: Joris Ivens’s The Spanish Earth (u.s.a., 1937) and Romolo Marcellini’s Los novios de la muerte (Italy, 1938), the latter conceived as a Fascist response to Ivens’s pro-Republican film. The two documentaries pursued very different objectives, Ivens’s aiming to shift American opinion in favour of helping Spanish Republicans while Marcellini’s film meant to demonstrate the power of the Italian armed forces in Spain. Relating militant strategies to representational models, the study investigates the common pool of motifs and the use of different generic models underpinning the author-viewer pact established in each film, notably the newsreel model as opposed to the spectacular and fictional forms. Moreover, using the reception history of the two documentaries, the analysis reassesses the field of action of propaganda which, rather than radically changing the audiences’ attitudes, mostly reinforces existing beliefs.

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Teresa Gibert

Abstract Although Margaret Atwood is not generally regarded as a war writer, the shadow of war pervades her work. This chapter highlights the ways in which she meets, in her fiction, the challenge of representing the traumatic aspects of modern warfare from new perspectives encouraging reflection about its impact upon various areas of human experience. The analysis concentrates especially on the multifaceted relationship between war and women, whose connection with the battlefields is of an entirely different nature from the combatants’. Rather than depicting life on the front line or the horrors of warfare, Atwood’s fiction focuses on the process of recalling and commemorating the wars of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. The effects of armed conflicts are evoked in the realistic settings of novels such as The Robber Bride (1993) or The Blind Assassin (2000) and also inspire aspects of the future wars of her speculative fiction.

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Christopher Lloyd

Abstract The French war correspondent and best-selling novelist Jean Lartéguy is mainly remembered for his novels about the Algerian War. Les Chimères noires (1963), the object of study of this chapter, also merits rediscovery, since this engaging roman à clé focuses on a more neglected but equally violent and tragic conflict of decolonization: the short-lived secession of South Katanga from the newly independent former Belgian Congo in July 1960. Given the relatively limited attention accorded by the international media to the Democratic Republic of Congo’s seventeen civil wars since independence, works like Lartéguy’s have an important memorializing function. Analysing Lartéguy’s treatment of the conflict, its ideological and mythic dimensions, the chapter also explores wider generic, ethical and cultural issues, in particular the strengths and limitations of fictionalized accounts of the Congo like Les Chimères noires in comparison to ostensibly more factual works by diplomats and historians.

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Sandrine Lascaux and Claire Bowen (trans.)

Abstract Herrumbrosas lanzas (1983–1986), Juan Benet’s major novel of the Spanish Civil War, is an epic account of war set in the fictional area of Región which becomes briefly the focus of attention for two opposing military commands. The novel, intended by Benet as a picture of the war, is characterized by a descriptive hypertrophy which this chapter analyses as part of the visual and plastic dimension of the text. The different types of description and images, and the reflexive pictorialism of Herrumbrosas lanzas, are informed by Benet’s conception of the “theatre of war” as a place governed by a poetics of simulacrum where military actions unfold in artificial décors, and which cannot resist the corrosive effects of reality. The narrative thus progressively deconstructs the appearances and values of war until the theatre of war, in the literal and metaphorical sense, is destroyed and the whole representation dissolves into nothingness.

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Sangam MacDuff

“Aeolus” brings an intense, self-reflexive scrutiny to processes of textual production, reproduction, circulation, and recirculation. Thematically, this is foregrounded through the setting, printing, distribution and recycling of newspapers; metatextually, Joyce’s focus on the materiality of print, notably through orthography and onomatopoeia, emphasizes the processes of linguistic production and dissemination under investigation. From the outset of the episode, this cycle is linked to public transportation and the postal system, reflecting on the structures which put citizens and their missives into circulation. Added to the Little Review version of October 1918, these opening sections bring circulation to the fore, and Joyce’s other revisions also reflect upon the text through highly wrought rhetoric and the insertion of cross-headings. Both changes revel in revealing and concealing the intricate tapestry of the text, bringing language centre-stage. In retrospect, it has always, and necessarily, occupied this position, but it takes the strikingly self-reflexive text of “Aeolus” to make the self-evident evident. I argue that this self-reflexivity is the real focus of the episode, underscored by Joyce’s ironic return to the biblical origins of speech and writing.

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Tekla Mecsnóber

Joyce was not always directly involved in decisions regarding the material shape in which Ulysses reached potential readers, but his interest in visual aspects of the written word appears to have made its impact on the novel’s text as well. Examining the specific significance of type choice – as part of the bibliographic code – in designing and promoting Ulysses as a printed text, this study traces some of the salient changes that accompanied the novel’s development from its first serialisation in the little magazines of the 1910s to its appearance as book in various editions of the 1920s, 1930s and in 1940 (the last to be issued during Joyce’s lifetime). It also draws upon contemporary and later assessments of the “character” of relevant typefaces and highlights the role of some influential European and American typographers, anchoring these early editions among the revivalist and modernist design trends of the interwar years. These analyses suggest that whereas the typography of most of the earlier editions, as well as their publicity materials, tended to rely on historicising typefaces to convey connotations of classic dignity, artistic quality and craftsmanship, editions in the 1930s began to borrow from modernist typographic trends to promote the book as a modern work.

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Sabrina Alonso

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James Joyce’s use of advertising in Ulysses can be studied by looking at some of its most prominent advertisements and at the way in which they are perceived by Bloom. In addition, reading their occurrence against the background of the notes that Joyce took on the issue of advertising adds another intriguing aspect. Starting from the premise that it is a characteristic of Joyce’s prose that almost any passage would do to illustrate a principle and that any component can lend itself to highlight typical features of the whole book, the question that will be addressed is to what extent this is true of Joyce’s use of advertising and what its consequences are for our understanding of the book as a whole.

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Harald Beck

“Aeolus”, the newspaper-office episode in Ulysses, is one of the least understood when it comes to indoor topography. And yet, although the book says relatively little about Bloom’s passing through the offices, it is possible to see how the descriptions in Ulysses tally with what is known about them by drawing on contemporary resources. Various materials – such as a 1910 plan showing the Freeman’s Journal public office where Bloom talks with Murray about Keyes’s ad, an 1893 fire insurance map, reports about events in the building in 1916, extracts from Thom’s Directory of 1910 or a photograph of the interior of the Freeman’s printers’ room – are valuable documents to partly reconstruct the premises and to trace Bloom’s route through the Freeman’s building: from ground floor, to caseroom, through gallery, to upper floor, down the staircase to the editor’s office on the ground floor, and out of Freeman on to the streets toward Williams’s Row. “Aeolus”, the windy memorial palace of the press, turns out to be a near-documentary fictional resurrection of a reality James Joyce knew had been irreversibly destroyed in the Easter Rising of 1916.