In her article "The Soldier as 'I'-Witness in Novels by Barbusse and Ehni" Jane E. Evans discusses the representation of the French soldier in two first-person accounts based on life writing journals. The first, set during World War I, describes the simple ground soldier or troufion (Le Feu). The second, set during the Algerian War for Independence and later, sketches the life of the French army conscript. Three themes in Evans's analysis predominate: the narrators' reliance on life writing as sources of inspiration in both Henri Barbusse's 1916 Le Feu and René-Nicolas Ehni's 2002 Algérie roman, the narrator's perception of his role as storyteller and writer including Ehni's idea of the paramyth juxtaposing the individual and the collective whole, and the manner in which the narration is presented through the narrator's point-of-view, format for addressing his audience, imagery, and language style. Evans also considers differences in narrative perspective, attitude, tone, and register in relation to the subjects of war and the soldier, as well as to what they suggest about the narrator's reliability as a witness.
Evans, Jane E.
"The Soldier as "I"-Witness in Novels by Barbusse and Ehni."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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