Literatures Of War( from 245 reviews )
PublisherCambridge Scholars Publishing
Publication date09 November 2020
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Literatures Of War
09 November 2020
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
“The most terrible disaster that one group of human beings can inflict on another is war. Wars cause misery on an indescribable scale. Yet we go on doing it to one another, generation after generation. Why? Warfare is a recurrent and universal characteristic of human existence. The mythologies of practically all peoples abound in wars and the superhuman deeds of warriors, and pre-literate communities apparently delighted in the recital of stories about battles. Since our species became literate a mere 5,000 years ago, written history has mostly been the history of wars. Thousands who knew war evidently sickened of it and dreamt of lasting peace, expressing their vision in literature and art, in philosophy and religion. They imagined Utopias freed of martial ambition and bloodshed which harked back to the Golden Age of classical antiquity, to the Christian vision of a paradise lost, and to the Arcadia of Greek and Latin poetry, so richly celebrated in the canvases of Claude and Poussin. All these things bear eloquent testimony to the human longing for peace, but they have not triumphed over our dreadfully powerful propensity to war.”
—from the Introduction by Anthony Stevens
In this multi-disciplinary collection of essays on the manifestations of war in poetry, fiction, drama, music and documentaries, scholars and practitioners from an international context describe the transformation of the war experience into chronicles of hope and despair, from Herodotus up to the present day.