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Appears in Collections:eTheses from Faculty of Arts and Humanities legacy departments
Title: A conflict of perception : medical aspects of German First World War literature. the presentation of the medical professions and of medical conditions in contemporary and Weimar prose relating to the First World War
Authors: Sieben, Ingolf
Issue Date: 1995
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: There is a divergence of views in German First World War literature concerning the presentation of medical aspects and nursing experiences. Although all accounts of the war claim implicitly to present the truth about a section of, or even the whole of, the war, be they diaries, letters or war fiction, variations arise due to the individual attitude, perspective and intention of each author. This thesis examines a range of different types of fictional and non-fictional war literature: diaries, letters, reports, narratives and novels written by or about participants during or after the war, taking due account of the precise relationship to the experience, the intent of the writers and the context of their accounts. Some of these are based on personal experience and provide an imnediate impression of the war. Some use personal experience, but not specific historical details, to look at the war in retrospect, conditioned by the (additional) medical knowledge of the late 1920s. Others blend fictional and historical characters and events. Although the standpoint of the individual ordinary soldier and sailor, or officer, predominates in writings of this kind, writings both by and about women and other non-combatants involved in the war have been included. German material is compared with American, British and French accounts wherever possible and practicable. A preliminary section (chapters 2+3) provides the reader with a detailed and necessary historical overview of the organization of the German lieeressanialtswesen. between 1914 and 1918, followed by an examination of the discrepancy between the historical experience and perception of the Lazarett in the German literary context. The second part of the work (chapters 4-6) examines descriptions and perceptions of specific medical aspects of the war from the point of view of those immediately involved in the Yermuncletenliirgarge: surgeons and medical practitioners, paramedical orderlies and stretcher-bearers as well as nurses. The largest part (chapters 7-12) examines the medical effects of the war as perceived in different literary and non-literary contexts, ranging from straightforward wounds, shell-shock and other psychological phenomena, to the effects of poison gas and chemical warfare, venereal diseases, self-inflicted wounds and the medical implications of trench warfare, followed by an analysis of the motif of 'war as disease'.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation
Affiliation: School of Arts and Humanities
Department of German

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