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A novel, The Other Way, and critical commentary, ‘How do you Write a True War Story?’

A novel, The Other Way, and critical commentary, ‘How do you Write a True War Story?’
A novel, The Other Way, and critical commentary, ‘How do you Write a True War Story?’
How does the creative writer find the words to write war authentically when they have no experience of a war zone? Is there a moral obligation on those authoring war to write war right and, if so, what is right, and does this obligation supersede any obligation to be creative or imaginative? My PhD novel, The Other Way, is a two-part novel that spans three generations of the Edwards family and is concerned with the idea of intergenerational trauma. Part One of The Other Way depicts the traumatic events suffered by Alfie Edwards as a combatant and Prisoner-of-War in World War Two. Being anxious to write war and war-related traumata accurately, I obtained the written memoir of a relative who experienced both combat and imprisonment during World War Two. This critical commentary reflects upon the work of authors Pat Barker and Ian McEwan to consider the ethics of using the written record, memoir, or eyewitness account of others. It also asks if the writer of a war story can ever ‘claim validity’ for their fictional rendering of war in the absence of autopsy or the possession of testimony.
Dawson, Victoria
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Dawson, Victoria
49cb0ac0-2ecf-424a-9917-c7a7a25d62e5
Smith, Rebecca
855a318f-1376-4e0d-b554-530ad45a4956
May, William
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(2015) A novel, The Other Way, and critical commentary, ‘How do you Write a True War Story?’. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 312pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

How does the creative writer find the words to write war authentically when they have no experience of a war zone? Is there a moral obligation on those authoring war to write war right and, if so, what is right, and does this obligation supersede any obligation to be creative or imaginative? My PhD novel, The Other Way, is a two-part novel that spans three generations of the Edwards family and is concerned with the idea of intergenerational trauma. Part One of The Other Way depicts the traumatic events suffered by Alfie Edwards as a combatant and Prisoner-of-War in World War Two. Being anxious to write war and war-related traumata accurately, I obtained the written memoir of a relative who experienced both combat and imprisonment during World War Two. This critical commentary reflects upon the work of authors Pat Barker and Ian McEwan to consider the ethics of using the written record, memoir, or eyewitness account of others. It also asks if the writer of a war story can ever ‘claim validity’ for their fictional rendering of war in the absence of autopsy or the possession of testimony.

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More information

Published date: September 2015
Organisations: University of Southampton, English

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 388360
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/388360
PURE UUID: 299f27a3-5f06-4bed-943c-94648e185224

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Date deposited: 01 Mar 2016 12:03
Last modified: 30 Mar 2019 05:01

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