Scraps of paper: First World War short fiction and the ephemeral

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Abstract

This article proposes a new way of reading short fiction about the First World War through the lens of ephemera as an archival category and explores the ways in which short fiction both preserves and embodies the humble, mundane aspects of war experience. It argues that the short story has a special relationship to the ephemeral traces of war due to sharing many of the same characteristic, from a confined scope and a reputation of lesser significance, to a built-in sense of fleetingness in both practical and conceptual terms. Through close readings of several inter-war and contemporary short stories about the First World War, the article demonstrates that short fiction and ephemera share a capacity both to spark the imagination and simultaneously often to frustrate it.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of the Short Story in English
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2 Oct 2020

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