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A Curious PerilH.D.'s Late Modernist Prose$
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Lara Vetter

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780813054568

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813054568.001.0001

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Märchen and Historical Fiction

Märchen and Historical Fiction

(p.79) 3 Märchen and Historical Fiction
A Curious Peril

Lara Vetter

University Press of Florida

Chapter 3 examines the second half of The Sword Went Out to Sea. This chapter looks at how H.D. combines fairy tale and historical fiction to create the fragmentary vignettes that comprise Part II of the novel. In the second half of Sword, the narrative spins out centrifugally into vignettes that record the history of Britain by focusing on scenes of war and imperialism from the ancient world to the Renaissance. In these vignettes, history is a seemingly endless series of one nation conquering and colonizing another. The unresolvable fracture of narrative form recreates the experience of war, in effect traumatizing her readers. Moreover, by constructing a text of generic hybridity that deconstructs the myriad genres it deploys, she demonstrates the fictionality of nationhood and the impossibility of its representation.

Keywords:   The Sword Went Out to Sea, genre, fairy tale, historical fiction, narrative structure, nation

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