“Whatever I say is a half-truth”: Arkady #Babchenko and the Hybrid Truth of War Writing #BabchenkoAlive

As I posted yesterday, I’ve been caught up in the crazy, crazy, crazy story surrounding Russian writer Arkady Babchenko’s alleged murder and subsequent “resurrection,” , with the dramatic revelation at a press conference that the whole thing had been a sting operation and that Babchenko was still very much alive. Although I had not guessed in […]

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“Brave Deeds” by David Abrams

Brave Deeds David Abrams “We double-time across Baghdad on our twelve feet, a mutant dozen-legged beetle dashing from rock to rock, confident in its shell but always careful of the soft belly underneath.” One of the bravest of the brave deeds in “Brave Deeds” may be the daring decision to narrate the book in the […]

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“Going Scapegoat: Post-9/11 Literature, Language and Culture” by David A. Buchanan

Going Scapegoat David A. Buchanan David Buchanan opens “Going Scapegoat” with a story about getting warned when setting off from a very secure American base on a very safe trip to downtown Riyadh “not to get scalped by no Injuns.” This story sets in motion his examination of scapegoating mechanisms in post-9/11 literary and cultural […]

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My Chat with Veteran and Author Brian Van Reet About Literary Creation and Military Service, Part II

Recently author Brian Van Reet and I had a long chat about art, war, life–pretty much everything.  In Part I of our conversation we discussed, among other things, the process of literary creation, the military-civilian divide, and feasibility of reinstating the draft.  The continuation of our conversation is below. EPC: I think it can be hard […]

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My Chat with Veteran and Author Brian Van Reet About Literary Creation and Military Service

As I work on my research about, and prepare for my class on, contemporary war writing, a number of authors and translators have graciously agreed to talk to me.  A couple of weeks ago I posted my chat with British veteran and author Andy Owen; this time it’s American Brian Van Reet, author of Spoils, […]

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My Chat with Veteran and Author Andy Owen about War, Literature, and PTSD, Part II

The New Literary War Hero of Chechnya, Iraq, and Afghanistan Image from “Ninth Company,” dir. Fyodor Bondarchuk When I began reading and writing about contemporary Russian war prose, especially connected to the Chechen wars, I thought that the Russian/Chechen experience, and the literature coming out of it, was unique.  And of course the Chechen wars […]

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