The Spectre of Defeat in Post-War British and US Literature: Experience, Memory and Post-Memory
It is a commonplace belief that history is written by the victorious. However, less recognised but equally common is the idea that the defeated also write history, even if their particular account is rather different.
This collection looks at these matters from a novel and distinct perspective. It essentially presents the idea that victors often perceive themselves as defeated, by examining the ways in which the idea of defeat comes to dominate the victors’ own sense of superiority and achievement, thereby undermining the certainties that victory is conventionally thought to create.
The contributions here discuss fiction (mostly UK and US) published since the First World War. Through the frameworks of experience, memory and post-memory, they examine this subliminal defeat, basically as seen in conflict itself, in the societies that it affects, and in the individual lives of those who it destroys. The result is an innovative literary account of the victorious-yet-somehow-defeated.
Dr David Owen is a Lecturer in English Literature at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. He has worked extensively in the ambit of literary juvenilia studies, within which he has co-edited Jane Austen’s Lady Susan (2010) and produced a critical edition of Anna Maria Porter’s Walsh Colville (2015). He is co-editor of a collection of recent literary juvenilia scholarship, Home and Away: The Place of the Child Writer (2016). He is also the co-editor of Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in The Great War: That Better Whiles May Follow Worse (2016).
Dr Cristina Pividori is a Lecturer in English Literature at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. Her main research interest is war representation, with a particular emphasis on the challenges inherent in the representation of the First World War. She has published articles and chapters in these areas, and is the co-editor of Writings of Persuasion and Dissonance in The Great War: That Better Whiles May Follow Worse (2016).
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Carlos Villar Flor
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