Public Memory and Supernatural Presence: The Mystery and Madness of Weird War Tales
Arts and Humanities | Communication | Critical and Cultural Studies | English Language and Literature | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Battlefields have traditionally been considered places where the spirits of the dead linger, and popular culture brings those thoughts to life. Supernatural tales of war told in print, on screen, and in other media depict angels, demons, and legions of the undead fighting against—or alongside—human soldiers. In Horrors of War: The Undead on the Battlefield, Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper have assembled essays that explore the meaning and significance of these tales. Among the questions that the volume seeks to answer are: How do supernatural stories engage with cultural attitudes toward war? In what ways do these stories reflect or challenge the popular memories of particular wars? How do they ask us to think again about battlefield heroism, military ethics, and the politics of sacrifice? Divided into four sections, chapters examine undead war stories in film (Carol for Another Christmas, The Devil’s Backbone), television (The Twilight Zone), literature (The Bloody Red Baron, Devils of D-Day), comics (Weird War Tales, The Haunted Tank), graphic novels (The War of the Trenches), and gaming (Call of Duty: World at War).
Check, Terence. "Public Memory and Supernatural Presence: The Mystery and Madness of Weird War Tales." in Horrors of War: The Undead on the Battlefield, edited by Cynthia J. Miller and A. Bowdoin Van Riper, Rowman & Littlefield, 2015.