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Women's Fictional Responses to the First World War

A Comparative Study of Selected Texts by French and German Writers


Catherine O'Brien

Surveys of the First World War fiction of France and Germany have created a literary canon, which supports the theory that war is an intrinsically male ordeal. This study redresses that traditional androcentric bias by investigating the work of French and German women writers of 1914 through 1918. In comparing and contrasting issues of war and gender, this analysis leads to a greater understanding of women's ideological responses to the conflict, complements the visions of war found in the work of male authors, and extends the boundaries of received notions of the literary heritage of the First World War.