One of the most significant aspects of recent historiography on war has been the attention paid to the cultural images of conflict: the visual representation and its memory, language and rhetoric. This approach has brought new attention to ways of representing war and the languages used to recount it. This collection of the essays contributes to this historiographical debate focusing on two paradigmatic periods.
The First World War is usually seen as marking a new era; the unusual nature of the violence of this conflict and the mechanization of death, signalling the end of war as a place for generating men’s honour. But so too other moments in the history of Western culture have seen the paradigm of war changing in the accounts and narratives of contemporaries. Among these, the crucial period of the Italian Wars of the sixteenth century, when the image of war transformed from a theatre of conflict between noble-chivalric heroes to the encounters of anonymous armies.
Leading North American and European scholars turn here their attention on discourses and narratives without neglecting the reality of war and its dramatic effects on civilian population in order to understand when and in what form the Western narrative of war as generative of individual and collective valour declined.
Marco Mondini and Massimo Rospocher - Preface
Marco Mondini - Narrated Wars. Literary and Iconographic Stereotypes in Historical Accounts of Armed Conflict
I. Narrating Early Modern War
Lauro Martines - Notes on War and Social History
Jean-Louis Fournel - Narrating the Italian Wars (1494-1540). Contamination, Models, and KnowledgeChristine Shaw - Wartime Propaganda during Charles VIII’s Expedition to Italy, 1494/95
Massimo Rospocher - Songs of War. Historical and Literary Narratives of the «Horrendous Italian Wars» (1494-1559)
Vincenzo Lavenia - In God’s Fields. Military Chaplains and Soldiers in Flanders during the Eighty Years’ War
Krystina Stermole - Chivalric Combat in a Modern Landscape. Depicting Battle in Venetian Prints during the War of the League of Cambrai (1509-1516)
II. Narrating Modern War
Jay Winter - Beyond Glory? Writing War
Carine Trevisan - «Small Soldiers»: When Children Kill
Christa Hämmerle - Gendered Narratives of the First World War. The Example of Former Austria
Victor Demiaux - Inter-Allied Community? Rituals and Transnational Narratives of the Great War
Roberto Bianchi - The Great War in Comics. Italy and France, 1914-2012
Nicola Labanca - Italian War Memorials after the Two World Wars. Notes from a Regional Research Project
Ruth Ben-Ghiat - Narrating War in Fascist Empire Cinema
Gustavo Corni - The Story of the War on the Eastern Front in Italy and Germany
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- "Il volume rappresenta una sintesi dei lavori e si propone, con efficacia, di aprire la strada a ulteriori dibattiti e approfondimenti. Il tema - come viene, nelle sue molteplici forme, raccontata l'esperienza della guerra - si inserisce nel filone di studio della storia culturale della guerra, che nell'ultimo quarto di secolo ha rappresentato una frontiera storiografica e conosciuto una importante fioritura." - Gianluca Fiocco, in "Ricerche di Storia Politica", 1/2015;
- "La diversité des sources et la rigueur avec laquelle elles sont interrogées offrent un excellent aperçu des pistes thématiques et méthodologiques suivies aujourd'hui par une historiographie de la guerre plus dynamique que jamais, ainsi que des apports de l'interdisciplinarité dans ce domaine" - Benjamin Deruelle, in "Annales. Histoire, Sciences Sociales", 71, 2016, 1;