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From fighting the war to writing the war: from glory to guilt?

By David Taylor


Perceptions of the Great War are still dominated by the accounts of a few canonical writers, such as Owen and Sassoon. Alternative soldier narratives have been marginalised. The wartime writings of the ex-navvy from Donegal, Patrick MacGill, published in 1915 and 1916, reveal an alternative perspective that throws a different light on the meaning attached to the war. Further, MacGill's post-war novel Fear!, published in 1921 is a strikingly early example of disillusionment with the war and shows how, even at an individual level, perceptions of the Great War changed dramatically as the writer moved from near-contemporaneous to reflective writing on the conflic

Topics: D1, DA
Publisher: Routledge
Year: 2009
DOI identifier: 10.1080/13619460903080085
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