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Conceptual proximity and the experience of war in Siegfried Sassoon’s ‘A working party'

Giovanelli, Marcello

Authors

Marcello Giovanelli Marcello.Giovanelli@nottingham.ac.uk



Contributors

Chloe Harrison
Editor

Louise Nuttall
Editor

Wenjuan Yuan
Editor

Abstract

Santanu Das (2007) has argued that the defining characteristics of first-world war poetry are the stark movement away from epic forms, and the refashioning of verse as a type of ‘missive from the trenches’, both of which shift the perspective of the reading experience from distance to proximity. In this chapter, I offer a way of explaining this interpretation both generally, and specifically through analysing Siegfried Sassoon’s (1917) ‘A Working Party’. My analysis focuses on the distribution of complex temporal and atemporal profiles, the texture afforded by reference point relationships and the subsequent authorial manipulation and control over dominions, and the point-of view effects associated with pronoun use. I suggest that paying close attention to these can explain a reading experience that illuminates at close-hand the horrific intimacy of the trench.

Citation

Giovanelli, M. (2014). Conceptual proximity and the experience of war in Siegfried Sassoon’s ‘A working party'. In L. Nuttall, C. Harrison, P. Stockwell, & W. Yuan (Eds.), Cognitive grammar in literatureJohn Benjamins. doi:10.1075/lal.17

Publication Date May 1, 2014
Deposit Date Jun 16, 2016
Publicly Available Date
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Issue 17
Series Title Linguistic approaches to literature
Book Title Cognitive grammar in literature
ISBN 9789027234049
DOI https://doi.org/10.1075/lal.17
Public URL http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/34032
Publisher URL https://benjamins.com/#catalog/books/lal.17/main
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf