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"Which Martial Conflict Spawned the Worst Literature?" Topic

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ScottWashburn Sponsoring Member of TMP13 Feb 2020 7:24 a.m. PST

Definitely the Trojan War. That Homer guy was such a hack!

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2020 8:00 a.m. PST

I had to vote "No Opinion" as I've read very little Vietnam War literature (still too raw for me) and not a lot of more recent WW2 literature. The ACW literature has a bunch of "justification" books by certain participants written shortly after the war, but most of what I have read has been relatively good and well written. But then maybe I'm just very picky in what I read. grin


Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2020 12:05 p.m. PST

Wot? No World War One? It's easily the worst! All that "endless poetry"…

YouTube link

Mithmee13 Feb 2020 1:09 p.m. PST

But that is what they did back then.

They like to write Poetry and yes most of it was not good.

rmaker13 Feb 2020 3:09 p.m. PST

Agree with Cerdic. Not just the poetry. Much of the prose fiction and a good amount of the "non-fiction" is abominable. Rank propaganda (on all sides), hack writing, and too much of it praised by "experts" as "Great Literature". Have you ever tried to read John Dos Passos, for example?

The Beast Rampant13 Feb 2020 6:15 p.m. PST

They like to write Poetry and yes most of it was not good.

had to pass the time some way until someone invented blogging.

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2020 9:28 a.m. PST

I had to go with the American Civil War. It has spawned some terrific literature and some of the worst ever set to paper.

Old Wolfman14 Feb 2020 10:20 a.m. PST

Can't think of any one specific.

Dn Jackson14 Feb 2020 3:15 p.m. PST

Cerdic beat me to it.

Personal logo Narratio Supporting Member of TMP15 Feb 2020 8:04 p.m. PST

+1 Cerdic – The endless poetry, and the art work!

(On which subject, Blackadder foes Forth did a bang up job on ridiculing that in the episode where they paint a picture of "A Hun bayoneting a Nun while a Tommy looks on in horror".)

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2020 11:05 a.m. PST

You know, I hate to join a consensus, but WWI was my first thought. Interesting at this range to watch the "mud, blood and stupid generals" school--Dalton Trumbo, for instance--deciding that no sacrifice was too great so long as the Soviet motherland was at risk.

Mind you, there is no reason why any given war can't inspire great literature, worthless propaganda and just plain bad writing. Most wars do.

Covert Walrus18 Feb 2020 2:11 p.m. PST

Well, poor literature about a recent conflict is nothing new, as this doggerel goes-
"On Waterloo's pocmarked plain
Lie many a gallant soldier slain.
But none of them, by she'll or shot,
Fell half as flat as Sir Walter Scott!"

But I'll agree with the consensus and say that The Great War had some contemporary and later dreadful literature, often for competing reasons. There is more merit in the average 80's potboiler set in Nam IME

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