The Gun and the Pen: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and by Keith Gandal

By Keith Gandal

Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and William Faulkner stand because the American voice of the nice struggle. yet used to be it battle that drove them to jot down? now not in keeping with Keith Gandal, who argues that the authors' well-known postwar novels have been encouraged now not by means of their reports of the horrors of struggle yet particularly by means of their failure to have these studies. those 'quintessential' male American novelists of the Nineteen Twenties have been all, for various purposes, deemed wrong as applicants for complete army provider or command. for that reason, Gandal contends, they felt themselves emasculated--not, because the ordinary tale is going, as a result of their encounters with trench battle, yet simply because they received nowhere close to the true motion. Bringing to mild formerly unexamined military files, together with new information regarding the intelligence exams, The Gun and the Pen demonstrates that the authors' pissed off army objectives happened within the forgotten context of the exceptional U.S. mobilization for the good struggle, a thorough attempt to remodel the military right into a meritocratic establishment, detached to ethnic and sophistication distinction (though to not racial difference). For those misplaced iteration writers, the humiliating failure vis-?-vis the military intended a humiliation earlier than girls and an lack of ability to compete effectively in a emerging social order, opposed to a brand new set of individuals. The Gun and the Pen restores those seminal novels to their right historic context and provides an important revision of our realizing of America's postwar literature.

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Extra info for The Gun and the Pen: Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Faulkner, and the Fiction of Mobilization

Sample text

And the difference between British and American “war writing”102 has in turn everything to do with the different experiences of British and American mobilization. The British did not use the American methods of selecting officers; in fact, the American military authorities developed their careful methods of selection partly in response to what they saw as a catastrophic British haphazardness in sending men potentially qualified as officers or technical experts to the front lines. S. mobilization for the war, which was unmatched in its scope and unprecedented in its egalitarian techniques of selecting officers, its propaganda about male chastity, its programs of social hygiene and athletic training for men, and its crackdown on women thought to be involved in sexual vice.

I couldn’t look myself in the face” (224). ” And, in short, these authors were doubly humiliated: they felt emasculated as a result of not having had the (full) 36 Introduction encounter with modern trench warfare and the opportunity for heroism they desired; they also felt inadequate about not having achieved important positions in the military. ”118 He was hit by shrapnel, collapsed on the spot, could not move under his own power, and had to be carried by stretcher bearers. His wounding, then, was not exactly in a heroic mode as a combat soldier.

In the World War I era when manhood was Rethinking Post–World War I Classics 29 profoundly tied to military service, these Anglo male characters have been humiliated or emasculated in their less than glorious assignment by the army, as is Jake in his posting to “a joke front”(31)95 in Sun, or, in the case of the “idiot” Benjy in Sound, in his implicit rejection by the army. Or these Anglo male characters have been humiliated or emasculated in competition over women with formidable and accomplished returning soldiers who are ethnic Americans (Daisy’s husband Tom with Gatsby) or outsiders (Caddy’s brother Quentin with Dalton Ames in Faulkner’s novel) or in competition over women with ethnic Americans who have passed through the military training apparatus (Jake and Brett’s fiancé Mike with Robert Cohn in Hemingway’s book).

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