The War Novel in the Post-War Years in France and Britain: Comparative Perspectives

Part of the Palgrave Studies in Languages at War book series (PASLW)


This chapter offers a comparative study of the dominant conceptions of the war novel in post-war France and Britain, 1945–51. It contrasts British hesitations about war as a subject for quality literature with the central role of war writing in the development of post-war French literature. Three factors defined the post-war reception of translated French war fiction in Britain: enthusiasm for France on the part of British opinion-formers such as Cyril Connolly and John Lehmann; their belief in the desirability of international cultural exchange; and publishers’ desire to give British readers access to a side of the war they had not experienced directly. Drawing on discussions of transnational, transcultural, and cosmopolitan memory, the chapter explores why war fiction from another country should be of interest to domestic readers and suggests that translated war fiction can function as a form of prosthetic memory.


Cosmopolitan Memory Prosthetic Memory Fair Stood Beauvoir Transcultural Memory 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Modern LanguagesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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