Docu-Fictions of War

Docu-Fictions of War

U.S. Interventionism in Film and Literature

Tatiana Prorokova

354 pages
index

Hardcover

May 2019

978-1-4962-0774-6

$50.00 Pre-order
Paperback

May 2019

978-1-4962-1425-6

$30.00 Pre-order

About the Book

Historical writing and fiction are not the same thing, though historians often creatively manipulate material in imposing plot structures, selecting starting and ending points, and fashioning compelling literary characters from historical figures. In Docu-Fictions of War, Tatiana Prorokova argues that the opposite is also true—war fiction offers a kind of history that both documents its subjects and provides a snapshot of the cultural representation of the United States’ most recent military involvements. She covers a largely neglected body of cinematic and literary texts about the First Gulf War, the Balkan War, the Afghanistan War, and the Iraq War to open a fresh analysis of cultural texts on war. Prorokova contends that these texts are not pure fiction, but “docu-fictions”—works of imagination that can document their subjects while disclosing the social, political, and historical link between war and culture during the last three decades.

Docu-Fictions of War analyzes how these representational narratives have highlighted a humanitarian rationale behind American involvement in each war, whether the stated goals were to free the oppressed from tyranny, stop genocide, or rid the world of terrorism. The book explores the gap between history—what allegedly happened—and the cultural mythology that is both true and inexact, tangible and sensed, recognized and undocumented.
 

Author Bio

Tatiana Prorokova is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Vienna. She is a coeditor of Cultures of War in Graphic Novels: Violence, Trauma, and Memory.

Praise

“In our age, indeed in any age caught up in the challenges of discerning truths from fictions, and even from facts, Tatiana Prorokova’s chosen subject—the relationship between history and representational art—is of vital significance. In her disciplined study of contemporary warfare, Prorokova continues the tradition of critical appraisal and thoughtful response to enduring questions in war studies, film philosophy, and literary theory.”—David LaRocca, editor of The Philosophy of War Films

“Well written, comprehensive in scope, impeccably researched, and both wide ranging and detailed in the critical perspectives it provides. Prorokova does a great job of exploring some very complicated concepts in a fluid, informative yet often dynamic fashion.”—Terence McSweeney, author of The “War on Terror” and American Film: 9/11 Frames per Second

“Prorokova’s contribution to this age-old discussion, fraught with ontological and epistemological conundrums, is both fresh and welcome.”—Steven Trout, author of On the Battlefield of Memory: The First World War and American Remembrance, 1919–1941

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments    
Introduction: U.S. Interventions in Film and Literature    
1. Conceptualizing (War) Docu-Fictions    
2. The First Gulf War    
3. The Balkan War    
4. The War on Terror, Part I: The Afghanistan War    
5. The War on Terror, Part II: The Iraq War    
Conclusion: Afterthoughts on War Docu-Fictions and New Trends in U.S. War Narratives    
Notes    
Bibliography    
Index    

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