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Military memoirs, their covers, and the reproduction of public narratives of war

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Rachel Woodward, Dr Neil Jenkings

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Abstract

This paper is about the book covers of contemporary British military memoirs. Taking as a starting point the idea of the book cover as paratext, a threshold to the text, the paper explores how book covers mobilize a number of ideas about the experience of armed conflict. The paper examines the ways in which the genre of the military memoir can be seen to be brought into being by the practices through which their covers are produced. The paper argues that military memoirs in the contemporary period frequently provide a set of ideas about participation in armed conflict as the preserve of a specific military masculinity. The paper looks at the ways in which the covers of military memoirs change over time, and at the design and style features of some examples to show both enduring and changing features. The paper concludes with some observations about the connections between the memoir as a literary form and other media forms which prioritise war as entertainment.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Woodward R, Jenkings KN

Publication type: Article

Journal: Journal of War and Culture Studies

Year: 2012

Volume: 5

Issue: 3

Pages: 349-369

Print publication date: 01/12/2012

ISSN (print): 1752-6272

ISSN (electronic): 1752-6280

Publisher: Maney Publishing

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jwcs.5.3.349_1

DOI: 10.1386/jwcs.5.3.349_1


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