What does it mean to live during wartime away from the battle zone? What is it like for citizens to go about daily routines while their country sends soldiers to kill and be killed across the globe? Timely and thought-provoking, War at a Distance considers how those left on the home front register wars and wartime in their everyday lives, particularly when military conflict remains removed from immediate perception, available only through media forms. Looking back over two centuries, Mary Favret locates the origins of modern wartime in the Napoleonic era and describes how global military operations affected the British populace, as the nation's army and navy waged battles far from home for decades. She reveals that the literature and art produced in Britain during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries obsessively cultivated means for feeling as much as understanding such wars, and established forms still relevant today.
Favret examines wartime literature and art as varied as meditations on the Iliad, the history of meteorology, landscape painting in India, and popular poetry in newspapers and periodicals; she locates the embedded sense of war and dislocation in works ranging from Austen, Coleridge, and Wordsworth to Woolf, Stevens, and Sebald; and she contemplates how literature provides the public with methods for responding to violent calamities happening elsewhere. Bringing to light Romanticism's legacy in reflections on modern warfare, this book shows that war's absent presence affects home in deep and irrevocable ways.
|Publisher:||Princeton University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Mary A. Favret is associate professor of English at Indiana University. She is the author of Romantic Correspondence: Women, Politics and the Fiction of Letters.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations ix
PRELUDE: A Winter's Evening 1
PART I: Modern Wartime: Media and Affect
CHAPTER ONE: Introduction: A Sense of War 9
War Mediated 12
Worlds Without and Within 22
Wartime Without Limits 30
War as All Wars 40
World Wars 43
CHAPTER TWO: Telling Time in War 49
Modes of Temporality, Structures of Feeling 53
The Post-Boy and the News 59
The Meantime 68
INTERLUDE: Still Winter Falls 98
PART II: Invasions
CHAPTER THREE: War in the Air 119
Live Air 120
Beyond Control 123
Early Weather Science: Grounding the Weather 126
A Georgics of the Sky 131
Voices in the Air 138
CHAPTER FOUR: Everyday War 145
A History of Suffering 146
No Peace 151
Diverting Away the Time 161
A Broken Story 165
INTERLUDE: A Brief History of the Meaning of War 173
PART III: War in the World
CHAPTER FIVE: Viewing War at a Distance 187
War in Pictures 190
Worlding India 198
The Historical Sublime 212
The Rope-Bridge 220
CODA: Undone 230
What People are Saying About This
War at a Distance is an important, exquisite, and thoughtful consideration of the affective experiences of wartime. Favret helps us to reconsider the Romantic imagination as one haunted by the measurelessness of war's effects.
Celeste Langan, University of California, Berkeley
Favret's vividly realized and impeccably argued analysis demonstrates that state-sponsored violence was not merely a political or military matter, but had profound consequences for how Romantic thinkersmany living far from the ground zeroes dotting the globeimagined and conducted themselves, experienced time, and thought about the future. War at a Distance is not only a sobering reflection on what it means to live with oneself and with others amid military modernity, but also an irrepressible call for peace.
David Clark, McMaster University
This book is a masterpiece. Brilliant, brave, and beautifully written, it combines precision with lyricism. It will be required reading for scholars and students in Romantic studies, but its appeal will hardly be limited to them, since the topic is relevant to anyone interested in the nature and effects of war in our own time.
Kevis Goodman, University of California, Berkeley