The impact of war on the world

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The impact of World war 2 in literature is multifaceted. It has given rise to diverse form of literary expressions ranging from memoir to non fiction to fictionalized true stories, from historical studies to journalistic works or dealing with aftermath and immediate aftermath of the events in terms of economic and social context.The writers and literary people in the vast universe of writings inspired by WW2 are again a very diverse group of ex-soldiers,historians,victims,perpetrators and others of different countries. To highlight some of the major contributions;


  1. Primo Levi(Holocaust survivor and a witness).His books like- If this is a man, The Drowned and saved,Truce ,The periodic table are now like literary Canon of that period to understand Holocaust.
  2. Chil Rajchman and Filip Muller chronicled their experience in TREBLINKA and AUSCHWITZ.
  3. Tadeusz Borowski wrote one of the Best book of 20th Century, “This way for the gas ladies and gentleman”.This book is heavily influenced and inspired from the time he spent as a political prisoner in AUSCHWITZ.
  4. Imre Kertesz won nobel prize. “Fatelessness” is his major contribution.
  5. Vassily Grossman (one of 20th Centuries greatest and most underrated journalist and author).He was the first Allied journalist to visit TREBLINKA. He lost his mother to Nazi death squads. His magnum opus LIFE AND FATE pushed literary horizons and explored the life and fate ordinary SOVIET soldiers. It was heresy in many aspects as humane and ordinary interpretations of soviet soldiers contradicted with Soviet propaganda . His another major contribution is THE BLACK BOOK OF EUROPEAN JEWRY.The book itself has a long complicated history but a definite read to understand fate of Jewish population in Nazi occupied territories.
  6. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a captain in Soviet army but he was arrested in 1945 and sent to GULAG.His long poem PRUSSIAN NIGHTS chronicled the atrocities and war crimes committed by Red soldiers. “One day in the life of Ivan Denisovitch” a fictionalized story of many true stories and the fate of countless Soviet Soldiers who were wrongly implicated for cowardice or treachery ,that they did not commit fetched him nobel prize.
  7. Nobel laurates Herta Muller and Patrick Modiano’s work are heavily influenced by and aftermath of WW2.
  8. John Hersey’s non fiction work “Hiroshima”is a very important journalistic work that gave a humane touch to an overwhelming tragedy.
  9. Books by Churchill or different memoirs of generals exist in forms of testimony of diraries. Manstein in his “lost victories”tried to make sense of the eastern front. Many memoirs some of them dubious of ordinary soldiers exist.
  10. Historians like Anthony Beevor,Martin Gilbert,David Glantz and journalist like William L Shirer have significantly enlightened us with their works.

The second world war brought about a change in the perception of people, thinkers and literary artists alike. It changed many old ways of thinking and gave us new offings. An increased attachment to religion characterised literature after the second world war.

Thoughtfulness about the form of the novel and relationships between past and present fiction showed itself in the works produced. It inspired authors, poets, writers involved in each and every genre whether it be poetry, prose, fiction, historical novels, novellas, short stories, fantasy, adventure and the like.

We got inspiring tales of bravery, self-belief and optimism in the face of adversities. The intermediate postwar period separated "Modernism" from "Postmodernism" in literature. Literature attained a new maturity and a rich diversity. After the second world war, a new generation arrived, with its different ethnic, regional, and social character. Among the younger writers were children of immigrants, many of them Jews; Africans, only a few generations away from slavery; and, eventually, women, who, with the rise of feminism, were to speak in a new voice. Though the social climate of the postwar years was conservative, even conformist, some of the most hotly discussed writers were homosexuals or bisexuals.

There was also a desire to renew national prestige and esteem and this was visible in the works. Poetry in the post-war period followed a number of interlinked paths, most notably deriving from surrealism, or from philosophical and phenomenological concerns stemming from existentialism, the relationship between poetry and the visual arts, and the notions of the limits of language.

It gave us amazing authors, poets, writers: Anne Frank, Orwell, Pynchon, Hemingway, Truman Capote, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Pym, Samuel Beckett, Salinger, Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges and the list is almost endless.

It was a world war. The world contains many writers, generally considered central to the production of literature. The war had several effects: some writers stopped writing because they were dead, some continued and some people discovered they were writers, by writing.

This happened in every continent of the world except Antartica.

There is no such thing as a stupid question, but yours could have been more considered: you could have thought of everything I have written here by yourself.