British and German Trench Poetry Research Proposal
Excerpt from Research Proposal :
These young men were not immersed in the high modernist traditions of Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot: rather, they were immersed in the experience of war and their own visceral response to the horrors they witnessed.
Thus a multifaceted, rather than strictly comparative approach might be the most illuminating way to study this period of history and literature. Cross-cultural, comparative literary analysis is always imperfect, particularly given the linguistic challenges presented by evaluating German poetry in relation to its British counterparts. Contextualizing the British war poets requires a certain level of understanding
how the war was seen by the other side, and by alien eyes. More is likely to be gained than lost by reading the German war poets in translation. Yet reading the German poets in translation allows the reader to appreciate the influence of symbolism and expressionism in their work that was not present even in the harsh visions of Wilfred Owen: attempting to explain why the homeland had more influence upon the German poets, versus the British archaic diction and pastoralist idealism can only be answered through cross-comparison of different cultural aesthetic…
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