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Title: The Great War and the emergence of female modernism : an original contribution to knowledge
Author: Smith, Angela K.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3421 1605
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1997
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The aim of this thesis is to assess the impact of the Great War on the development of women's writing, giving particular attention to the connections between the experience of the conflict and the evolution of female modernist literary art. I show how the heterogeneous nature of women's discourse produced during and after the war provides a link between the realist traditions of the nineteenth century and the more experimental forms of the 1920s. I explore the multiple experiences of women in the Great War, beginning with the private diaries and letters of ordinary women who took on a series of new and different roles. I then consider the process by which some women chose to transpose their personal writings into public texts, identifying and analysing subsequent stylistic changes. I move on to examine a variety of published prose works, focusing on a number of different themes, hospital experience, women's responses to the war writing of men, art, pacifism and sexuality. Looking at texts by some more established women writers as well as those who are much less well known, I trace the way in which women tried to use their literary heritage to find ways to express the experience of the war. As they found traditional modes of expression to be inadequate, they often juxtaposed different literary styles, producing fragmented or impressionistic texts: the roots of a female modernism. The thesis locates the feminist political discourses of these texts within a broader historical framework, paying particular attention to contemporary female modernist theory, concluding that the Great War played a significant part in the evolution of twentieth-century experimental women's writing.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Modernist; Women's fiction