Nil Santianez's book-length study of the literature of the Second World War, under his conceptual umbrella of “absolute war,” is an impressive academic feat. The breadth and scope of the book itself seem appropriate, given the immensity of the event itself as well as the wide array of literary responses to it and the overall lack of academic studies focused on the literature of the Second World War. The book's three main parts deal with the three main aspects of World War II–related literature; namely, the scope and tone that literature takes on, the immense impact of aerial warfare on the war experience and on the literature written in its wake, and the uncanny aftermath of the “absolute” nature of war. The literature surveyed and expertly read and analyzed comes from a background as wide as the war itself, including mostly novels written by British, German, Russian, and Japanese authors....
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Book Review| December 01 2022
The Literature of Absolute War: Transnationalism and World War II
The Literature of Absolute War: Transnationalism and World War II.
Cambridge University Press,
Ben Gurion University
Ron Ben-Tovim is a senior lecturer at Ben Gurion University's Department of Foreign Literatures and Linguistics, where he focuses on modern and contemporary war literature, with a special interest in trauma and disability studies. His book Poetic Prosthetics: Trauma and Language in Contemporary Veteran Writing is forthcoming via the Edinburgh University Press series Advances in Critical Military Studies.
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Poetics Today (2022) 43 (4): 777–778.
Ron Ben-Tovim; The Literature of Absolute War: Transnationalism and World War II. Poetics Today 1 December 2022; 43 (4): 777–778. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-10017765
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