This preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.
Unformatted text preview: such as Helmuth von Moltke, claim that “war is a part chapter only those works which are referred to by the name of the author and the publication year appear in the References. Chapter III 94 of the God-given order … without war the world would sink in the
swamp of materialism”.13
Janion identifies two sets of conceptual metaphors (though she
does not call them so), which may underlie these two competing representations of war, i.e. WAR IS HELL and WAR IS A CATASTROPHE on the one
hand, and WAR IS SPORT, WAR IS A GAME on the other.14
Janion’s analysis of war literature allows her to characterize several distinct perspectives on war. The prevailing style is based on the heroic myth, which praises the Glory of War as the ultimate test of human
virtues. It contributes to the rituals of national unity and stimulates support for the war. In contrast, expressionism views war as an incomprehensible machine or catastrophe triggering an unexplainable alienation,
terror and carnage. A civilian perspective leaves no room for either heroic deeds or painful pondering of war atrocities. It requires the mobilisation of all strength possible to secure survival. When faced with the
threat to their life and dehumanising conditions, civilians often escape
into the unreal or surreal world of dreams, where poetry and oneiric distance to reality make life and living possible.
Next, let’s move to Wiśniewski’s (1987) discussion of war and
peace in 20th century British literature. He divided his investigation into
three thematic-chronological periods: literature concerning the Great
War, the Spanish War and the Second World War. In all the three cases
he concentrated on what he assumed to be the key works in poetry and
the novel. As he admits in the conclusion, he did not consider the socalled adventure war literature, as he was not concerned with popular literature, but with those poems and novels whose artistic value withstood
the passage of time.
The Great War poetry can be divided into two periods, the first
one called the “Rupert Brooke period” and the second dominated by the
13 These words ring very similar to the motivation provided for religiously based terrorism, as an action against consumerism and lack of values in the Western world. Van
Moltke is quoted by Janion (1998: 45) from Toynbee (1963: 24), my translation.
At the 8th ICLC conference in Logrono, Spain, July 2003, I presented a paper in
which I analyzed metaphors used in the Polish press: using two issues of a daily Gazeta
Wyborcza from 2001, and seven issues of a weekly Polityka (three issues from 2001 and
4 issues from 2003). I have identified several metaphors, which correspond closely to
what Janion was describing. I found evidence for, among several others, metaphors
which I called WAR IS A NATURAL FORCE (Janion’s catastrophe) and WAR IS A GAME. The concept of ‘war’ in the humanities 95 Trench Poets. Brooke was a typical proponent of the Glory of War Myth;
his poems were calls to arms, in which war was viewed as a duty to God,
King and Country. His example was followed by many imitators auth...
View Full Document