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War Experience and Trauma in American Literature

A Study of American Military Memoirs of «Operation Iraqi Freedom»

Lena-Simone Günther

Walt Whitman wrote: «The real war will never get into the books.» To this day, however, American soldier-authors write about their war and translate traumatic experiences into language accessible to the reader. Veterans of the recent Iraq war do not differ here. Joining the post-draft American military, the selected soldier-authors are thrust into a conflict which soon exceeded governmental, military and public expectations. Focusing on core elements which link the selected military memoirs of Nathaniel Fick, Colby Buzzell, Clint Van Winkle, John Crawford and Matt Gallagher together, this book follows the soldier-authors’ process of soldierization, their loss of innocence, moral responsibility and, finally, coping mechanisms for traumatic experiences sustained in combat.
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VII. Afterword


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VII.   Afterword

This book would not have been possible without the support and advice of many people. First of all, I would like to thank and remember Prof. Dr. Hermann-Josef Schnackertz, without whom I would not have started this project. His advice and support were sorely missed. Furthermore, I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Richard Nate for “adopting” me into the English Literature Colloquium after Prof. Dr. Schnackertz’s passing and for his continued support of my work. Finally, I would like to thank Prof. Dr. Ulf Schulenberg for taking on the role of advisor, for his pushing and prodding throughout these past years, and for his friendship. I would also like to thank the Maximilian-Bickhoff-Universitätsstiftung as well as the Peter Lang Publishing House for their interest and belief in this project.

During the years working on this project, I had my own “band of brothers.” Each of us coming from a different academic discipline, we encouraged, consoled, and supported each other during hard times, and, finally, celebrated our successes. For their friendship, I am eternally grateful: Dr. Manuela Sirrenberg, Dr. Bea Klüsener, Dr. Peter Keilhacker, Wolfgang Regler, Norma Berr, Julia Wiedemann, Dr. Susanna Gaidolffi, Mathias Bauer, Dr. Ulrike Brok, Dr. Verena Gutsche, Sonja Becker, Anke and Christian Breitung as well as Nicole Steinrücken.

Last but by any means not least, I would like to thank my family for their love and faith in me throughout my...

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