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'Crawling in the Flanders mud': Samuel Beckett, war writing and scatological pacifism

Davies, W. (2019) 'Crawling in the Flanders mud': Samuel Beckett, war writing and scatological pacifism. Journal of War and Culture Studies. ISSN 17526272

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/17526272.2019.1644273

Abstract/Summary

This article explores the depiction of wounded soldiers in Samuel Beckett’s novel Mercier and Camier (written in French in 1946, published in 1970, and translated and published in English in 1974). This aspect of the novel is discussed from two perspectives: the Irish military history which Beckett repeatedly invokes in the novel, notably the Boer War and World War I; and the relation between the novel and the ‘war books’ which followed World War I, many of which express pacifist ideals by laying bare the suffering which combatant bodies experience. Drawing attention to the hitherto neglected context of war writing for the image of the wounded soldier in Beckett’s work, this article uses Mercier and Camier to consider the political implications of the author’s allusions to military history following World War II.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Beckett studies
Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > English Literature
ID Code:85944
Publisher:Routledge

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