Among the Nightmare Fighters: American Poets of World War II (Hardback)
  • Among the Nightmare Fighters: American Poets of World War II (Hardback)

Among the Nightmare Fighters: American Poets of World War II (Hardback)

Hardback Published: 15/06/2011
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In the first comprehensive study of the American male poets of World War II, Diederik Oostdijk gives voice to the literary men still considered to be a part of the Silent Generation. Focusing not only on soldier poets, but also on conscientious objectors and those deemed unfit for military service, Among the Nightmare Fighters sheds light on the struggles faced by writers--including Randall Jarrell, Anthony Hecht, Robert Lowell, Howard Nemerov, William Stafford and others--from the onset of the U.S. involvement in the war in Europe to the painful physical and psychological aftereffects soldiers carried with them following their service years.

Enriched with extensive historical and personal background information drawn from the poets' archives, Oostdijk's study demonstrates the importance of appreciating these men not only as a collective literary group, but also as solitary writers experiencing the hardships and adversities of war on an individual level. He emphasizes each author's distinctive perceptions of the disasters they witnessed and the conflicts they witnessed--such as Karl Shapiro's struggle with his Jewish identification, James Dickey's fascination with the meaning and projection of manhood, Nemerov's perception of war's effect on American society, and Ciardi's preoccupation with traumatizing combat memories. A factor that connected these men in their responses to war was their overreaching efforts to identify as individuals and not merely as blurred faces among the myriad combatants, a goal that Oostdijk acknowledges in recognizing the unique experiences of his subjects as key to interpreting their poetry.

Publisher: University of South Carolina Press
ISBN: 9781570039959

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