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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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About the author


Lena-Simone Günther studied American Language and Literature at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt (Germany) and the University of Wyoming (United States). She received a scholarship from the Maximilian-Bickhoff-Universitätsstiftung and worked as a lecturer for American Language and Literature at the University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt. There she was a member of the European Studies research staff. Her major research interests focus on American war literature, autobiographies and the cultural exchange between the US and Europe.

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