Anzac, Literary Genre and Memory
Because of their textual brevity, poems and short stories can be written (and sometimes published) closer in time to the events which prompted them than the novel; and they often achieve first publication in some form of journalism (newspaper, magazine--or more recently, radio or television) rather than as a book. The First World War was a more exclusively 'literary' war than those which have followed and the prose sketch or short prose narrative (often accompanied by line drawings) had a special role in the building of images or myths of this war in its various theatres of operation. It would be mistaken to consider all such publications ephemeral, though their histories are chequered. Literary texts about war seldom offer a direct transcription of experience, however much they may imply that they do. Often, consciously or unconsciously, authors shape material according to generic conventions, ranging from the solemn art of the elegiac poem to the boys' adventure story or the romance novel.
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