Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation (Access Restricted)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Literary and Cultural Studies

Committee Chair

Verner Mitchell

Committee Member

Pilar Alcalde

Committee Member

Reginald Martin

Committee Member

Jeffrey Scraba


This dissertationconsists of two parts. The first, titled "Double Bind:An Inquiry into the Natureof Truth in War Fiction," includes a critical essay in which I explore the concept of truth in war narratives, in general, and in war fictional narratives, in particular. I contend that, in war narratives, truth suffers exceptional limitations issuing partly fromthe sensitiveness ofwar-related information, partly fromfear of inviting libel actions, and partly from uncertainty. War fictional narratives, however, are further denied claim to truth by their own classification as fiction. Understood to be the product of the imagination, a work of fiction is deemed irrelevant to truth. I argue that fiction and nonfiction are best viewed as two extremes on a continuum whereas the nearer we approach the one the farther we get from the other. However, the do flow into, and at times are indistinguishable from, each other. Therefore a proper evaluation of the truthful elements in war fiction and the fictional elements in war nonfiction, necessitates the transcendence of the rigid borderline between the two categories.Besides my war memoir, I will draw on three American war novels for illustration: Stephen Crane's The Red Badge of Courage, Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, and Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried. The second and larger part of the dissertation is occupied by my 1991-Gulf-War memoir, Fanning the Dying Embers.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.