Library of Social Science presents
Reimagining the War Memorial, Reinterpreting the Great War:
The Formats of British Commemorative Fiction
Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Reimagining the War Memorial, Reinterpreting the Great War: The Formats of British Commemorative Fiction
Enemy Images in War Propaganda Author: Marzena Sokołowska-Paryż
Pages: 225
ISBN: 978-1-4438-3764-4
Publication Date: 2012
Format: Hardcover
List Price in USD: $49.62
Cambridge Scholars Publishing is offering readers of the LSS Newsletter a 20% discount off the list price. For information on ordering, click here. Simply use the offer code "LSSREIMAGINING" at check-out to receive this special discount.

This exciting study is an in-depth analysis of the role of British war memorials in literature and film—in the context of the commemorative trend in contemporary culture. British memorials are the focus of this study, which aims to show how the meanings assigned to specific war memorials create ideologically diverse interpretations of the British experience of the Great War, ranging from the futility myth to the imperial sublime. The ambivalence of the war memorial lies at the heart of the analysis of selected novels, films and plays, for the condemnation of a military conflict as a historical evil does not exclude the possibility of honoring the men who fought in it.

Cambridge Scholars Publishing offers readers the extraordinary opportunity to read substantial portions of their books at no charge. To read the introduction and first chapter at no charge, please click here.
About the Author
Marzena Sokołowska-Paryż is Associate Professor, Department of British Literature, University of Warsaw, Poland.
Reimagining the War Memorial, Reinterpreting the Great War: The Formats of British Commemorative Fiction

Table of Contents


  • War Memorials and the Narratives of the Great War
  • Texts and Context: Fiction and Memorial Studies Memorials versus Monuments
  • The Literary, Dramatic and Cinematic Modes of Commemoration

Chapter One

  • Return to the Wood by James Lansdale Hodson
  • The Menin Gate Memorial
  • Diagnosing the Social and Literary Determinants of the Futility Myth
  • The Battlefield Pilgrimage: The Loss of the Past and the Construction of Memory
  • Autobiographical Memory and the Meaning of War
  • Conclusions

Chapter Two

  • Cultural Prefigurations (or Negation?) of a War Memorial
  • The Shot at Dawn Memorial and the Debate on How to Remember the Condemned Men of the Great War
  • A. P. Herbert’s The Secret Battle: A Veiled Tribute to the British Officer
  • James Lansdale Hodson’s Return to the Wood: The Dishonourable
  • Conduct of a Private Soldier
  • John Wilson and Joseph Losey: Reinventing the Deserter
  • King and Country: Film as Countermonument
  • Conclusions

Chapter Three

  • Covenant with Death by John Harri
  • Paying Tribute to the Sheffield City Pals Battalion
  • Constructing Truth in Fiction: Fact, Form and Ideology
  • The Industrial North and the Pals Battalions: Rewriting the Myth of the Lost Generation
  • The Great War and the Imperial Sublime
  • Conclusions

Chapter Four

  • Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks
  • The Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme
  • Constructing Historical Consciousness: Knowledge and Empathy
  • The Sublimation of the Abject and the Limitless-ness of Human Endurance
  • ibute to the Tunnellers: Birdsong and Beneath Hill 60
  • Conclusions

Chapter Five

  • Another World by Pat Barker
  • Trauma Theory and the Thiepval Memorial to the Missing of the Somme
  • The Contemporary Meaning of the Great War: Collective Memory and PTSD
  • A Victorian Murder, the Great War, and the Dangerous Fantasies of Violence
  • Conclusions


  • “Their Names Liveth for Evermore”


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