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How to revise a true war story : Tim O'Brien's process of textual production

Author: John K Young
Publisher: Iowa City : University of Iowa Press, [2017]
Series: New American canon.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
""You can tell a true war story if you just keep on telling it," Tim O'Brien writes in The Things They Carried. Widely regarded as the most important novelist to come out of the American war in Viet Nam, O'Brien has kept on telling true war stories not only in narratives that cycle through multiple fictional and non-fictional versions of the war's defining experiences, but also by rewriting those stories again and  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Tim O'Brien; Tim O'Brien
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: John K Young
ISBN: 9781609384678 1609384679
OCLC Number: 946463093
Description: x, 257 pages ; 23 cm.
Contents: How (not) to tell a true ghost story --
For sake of a dead woman in If I Die in a Combat Zone --
Tunneling through revision sites in Going after Cacciato --
Speakign of character --
The real The Things They Carried --
"Read a different book" : annotating hidden histories in In the Lake of the Woods --
"Along comes '69" : reading July, July between magazine and book --
Traumatic textualities in recent American war fiction.
Series Title: New American canon.
Responsibility: John K. Young.

Abstract:

""You can tell a true war story if you just keep on telling it," Tim O'Brien writes in The Things They Carried. Widely regarded as the most important novelist to come out of the American war in Viet Nam, O'Brien has kept on telling true war stories not only in narratives that cycle through multiple fictional and non-fictional versions of the war's defining experiences, but also by rewriting those stories again and again. Key moments of revision extend from early drafts, to the initial appearance of selected chapters in magazines, across typescripts and page proofs for first editions, and through continuing post-publication variants in reprints. How to Revise a True War Story is the first book-length study of O'Brien's archival papers at the University of Texas's Harry Ransom Center. Drawing on extensive study of drafts and other prepublication materials, as well as the multiple published versions of O'Brien's works, John K. Young tells the untold stories behind the production of such key texts as Going After Cacciato, The Things They Carried, and In the Lake of the Woods. By reading not just the texts that have been published, but also the versions they could have been, Young demonstrates the important choices O'Brien and his editors have made about how to represent the traumas of the war in Viet Nam. The result is a series of texts that refuse to settle into a finished or stable form, just as the stories they present insist on being told and retold in new and changing ways. In their lack of textual stability, these variants across different versions enact for O'Brien's readers the kinds of narrative volatility that is key to the American literature emerging from the war in Viet Nam. Perhaps in this case, you can tell a true war story if you just keep on revising it"--

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John Young s new study of the multiple versions of Tim O Brien s work(s) is an indispensable book-length study of the author and a path-breaking work of textual scholarship and narratology that Read more...

 
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