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Oxford University Press Inc
15 March 2020
News of War: Civilian Poetry 1936-1945 is a powerful account of how civilian poets confront the urgent problem of writing about war. The six poets Rachel Galvin discusses-W. H. Auden, Marianne Moore, Raymond Queneau, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, and Cesar Vallejo-all wrote memorably about war, but still they felt they did not have authority to write about what they had not experienced firsthand. Consequently, these writers developed a wartime poetics engaging with both classical rhetoric and the daily news in texts that encourage readers to take critical distance from war culture.

News of War is the first book to address the complex relationship between poetry and journalism. In two chapters on civilian literatures of the Spanish Civil War, five chapters on World War II, and an epilogue on contemporary poetry about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Galvin combines analysis of poetic form with attention to socio-historical context, drawing on rare archival sources and furnishing new translations. In comparing how poets wrestled with the limits of bodily experience, and with the ethical, political, and aesthetic problems they faced, Galvin theorizes the concept of meta-rhetoric, a type of ethical self-interference. She argues that civilian writers employed strategies drawn from journalism precisely to question the objectivity and facticity of war reporting. Civilian poetics of the 1930s and 1940s was born from writers' desire to acknowledge their own socio-historical position and to write poems that responded ethically to the gravest events of their day.
By:   Rachel Galvin (Assistant Professor of English Assistant Professor of English University of Chicago)
Imprint:   Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication:   United States
Dimensions:   Height: 235mm,  Width: 157mm,  Spine: 25mm
Weight:   546g
ISBN:   9780190087630
ISBN 10:   0190087633
Pages:   384
Publication Date:   15 March 2020
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter One: Flesh Made Word: Cesar Vallejo and the Spanish Civil War Chapter Two: W.H. Auden: Rushing to the Pumps, or Not, in Spain and China Chapter Three: W.H. Auden during World War II Chapter Four: Wallace Stevens in a

Rachel Galvin is Assistant Professor of English at the University of Chicago. She is a scholar, poet, and translator. Her essays appear in Boston Review, Comparative Literature Studies, ELH, Jacket 2, Los Angeles Review of Books, MLN, and Modernism/modernity.

Reviews for News of War: Civilian Poetry 1936-1945

News of War contributes to a growing body of scholarship that seeks to include civilian writing in the canon of twentieth-century war literature...The persuasiveness of Galvin's book, however, is no mere rhetorical trick: it rests on impressive archival work and thorough knowledge of the critical landscape. Her experience as a poet and linguist informs an impressive ability to crack open familiar poems, reading them afresh with compellingly revisionist results. -- Rosie Langridge, University of Plymouth, Modern Language Review News of War is a remarkably original work and brings together two different forces in current literary criticism. -- Leo Mellor, Literature & History This book, however, goes beyond poetry or literature. It explains how press and daily news influenced these authors and their poetry, because they could not experience firsthand the events that were happening in the war fronts ... Poetry written back in the decades of 1930 and 1940 brings to the table both context and sociohistorical aspects and opens the door to contemporary poetry which observes more recent wars and events. -- Loarre Andreu Perez, Communication Booknotes Quarterly The international and multilingual scope of the book will present challenges for readers not already deeply conversant with modernist poetics, but the rewards for following Galvin's excursions are plentiful. ... Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. --D. C. Maus, CHOICE Just how noncombatant writings may probe war cultures and constitute ethical interventions is the subject of Rachel Galvin's impressive comparative study. Poetry from the 1930s and 1940s on the Spanish Civil War and World War II, from civilian writers as politically diverse as Cesar Vallejo, W.H. Auden, Wallace Stevens, Raymond Queneau, Marianne Moore and Gertrude Stein, provides the springboard for Galvin's brilliant, far-reaching discussion, founded on rich theoretical and sociohistorical frameworks. A 'must-read,' News of War is a veritable tour de force for its exposition, breadth and depth of scholarship, and sheer elegance. --Christine Arkinstall, University of Auckland In this compelling book about poets who wrote during the Spanish Civil War and World War II-Auden, Stevens, Moore, Vallejo, Queneau, and Stein-Rachel Galvin explores how these noncombatant writers earned, demonstrated, and anchored their authority for writing about war. With her astute analysis of wartime poetry's self-reflexivity, self-interruptions, and self-understanding, Galvin has written a richly insightful book that ranges across national and linguistic lines, and that illuminates both the historical contexts and the formal nuances of the poems. Everyone interested in poetry's relation to the violent realities of the twentieth century will benefit from this valuable book. --Jahan Ramazani, University of Virginia


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