Vol. 4 (2016): War of the Senses – The Senses in War Interactions and Tensions between Representations of War in Classical and Modern Culture
This special issue of thersites (edited by Annemarie Ambühl) addresses artistic representations of war in literature and other media, focusing especially on the role of sensory perceptions and emotions as well as on gender issues. In line with the transcultural and diachronic outlook of thersites, issues of reception are approached either by applying modern theories and methods to the interpretation of classical texts or by comparing and contrasting ancient and modern responses to war and violence and their impact on human beings and society in general. The issue features contributions that range from Homer to postmodern novels and movies, as well as reviews of thematically related recent publications. Within this wide horizon two thematic clusters emerge: One group of papers studies the narratological, aesthetic and psychological dimensions of (fictional) descriptions of battles and other forms of violence in Latin literature, especially in Caesar’s war commentaries and the epics of Lucan, Valerius Flaccus and Statius, while another group of papers looks at novels that directly or indirectly reflect on experiences from both World Wars and the recent wars in Iraq through a complex engagement with classical narratives and concepts derived from classical antiquity.