APostmodernism Perception on the Vietnam War: Annotated Bibliography

Americanforeign policy against the USSR led to the country committing itstroops to fighting a war in which it ultimately lost. There have beennumerous literary and video productions offering audiences insightsinto the cold realities of the Vietnam War. Tim O’Brien’s “TheThings They Carried” has by far been regarded to as the mostcelebrated account of the conflict. As such, this book is the basisof this particular annotated bibliography. However, it is essentialto analyze other works to understand the conflict well. Furthermore,the assessment of more works will help to draw a connection andsupport all the facts raised extensively. All the works analyzedprovide insights and concepts on O’Brien, as well as, provideadditional information on the war hence, they contain helpful andinformative facts significant to the research.

Inan effort to capture the magnitude of which O’Brien’s work isacknowledged among America’s literary circles, four more workslooking into the themes will be analyzed in detail. These themesencompass O’ Brien’s pre-war and wartime experiences, his chosenliterary style, the depiction of the Vietnam War, and the applicationof emotional language. The chosen works will help in assessing thesethemes in detail since these works have evaluated the themes indetailed elements. Ciocia’s “Vietnamand Beyond: Tim O`Brien and the Power of Storytelling” celebratesO’Brien’s unique abilities in storytelling by addressing thenumerous themes employed therein. Endheardt work will be usefultowards presenting a literary criticism of Tim O’Brien’s work bydescribing his work from a postmodern perspective. Given that O’Brienseeks to detail and offer a vivid expression of war experiences, heemploys metaphors that contextualize the consistent application ofemotional language. Through the work of Esmaeili,Behnoush, and Fazel, this annotated bibliography will highlight theimpact of O’Brien’s adopted metaphorical language. Through thework of Smith, “Conversationswith Tim O`Brien,”thisannotated bibliography will look into the prewar life experiencesthat compelled O’Brien to get the motivation to pen his literarymasterpiece. Thus, it is important to scrutinize the identifiedsources or literature to understand O’Brien thoughts and intuitionsthe Vietnam War and both pre and post war experiences.

Ciocia,Stefania. Vietnamand Beyond: Tim O`Brien and the Power of Storytelling.Oxford University Press, 2014. Print.

Ciociapresents a thematic approach towards contextualizing the literaryattributes of the iconic author, Tim O’Brien, best known for hisproductions founded on the Vietnam conflict. It is a comprehensivestudy which looks beyond considering O’Brien’s literary exploitsas chronological manuscripts and his development into a supposedtrauma artist. For instance, Ciocia points out that O’Brien is moreconcerned with addressing western and predominantly American notionsand concerns as opposed to delving into fictional war literature.‘Rather, he views storytelling as a means of inquiry whichoccasionally manages to capture an all too volatile truth, whileforcing us to come to terms with our moral quandaries and obligations(6). ’Ciocia addresses such themes like masculinity and heroism,imagination and reality or the associations between truth and power.Through this book, O’Brien comes out as a keen eyewitness ofdiverse human condition as well as a strong critic of western andAmerican cultures.

Endhardt,Urs. &quotPostmodernism and the Acoustic Environment of the VietnamWar in Tim OBriens “The Things They Carried”.&quot (2013).Print.

Endhardt’swork is, in essence, a seminar paper on literary criticism. As such,the author makes a successful attempt towards recognizing Tim O’Brienas a postmodern author and the Vietnam conflict as a postmodernconflict. In an effort to highlight the aspect of O’Brien’s workas postmodern literal production, the author of this seminal paperpresents a clear definition of the differences arising betweenpostmodernity and postmodernism. ‘Postmodernism differs frompost-modernity in that the latter denotes a certain condition ofsociety after modernity, whilst postmodernism is the application ofpostmodern philosophy and theory of arts, literature or architecture(3).’ To underscore the fact O’Brien indeed embraced a postmodernliterary approach he offers illustrations as to the manner with whichO’Brien gave words and phrases novel meaning. This was such that, apeculiarity in the imagined and the reality appear blurry such thatthe author’s narrative may to different audiences, soundsuspicious.

Esmaeili,Parivash, Behnoush Akhavan, and Fazel Asadi Amjad. &quotMetaphoricallySpeaking: Embodied Conceptualization and Emotion Language in TimO`Brien`s The Things They Carried.&quot InternationalJournal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature4.5 (2015): 137-146. Print.

O’Brienindeed employed unique metaphors in, TheThings They Carried,the work of Esmaeili, Behnoush, and Fazel presents a research studyaimed at utilizing autobiographical information in studying theemotional language. These three researchers contend that themetaphors used in TheThings They Carried,distinctively play the unique roles concerning O’Brien’srecollection of the disastrous Vietnam War. As such, they point outthat the use of the conceptual metaphors that underscore emotionalexperiences like fear anger and shame are O’Brien’s effortstowards escaping the trauma that affected many other veterans of thesame war. This particular work opens novel avenues towards looking atO’Brien’s productions from a psychological standpoint. ‘…thelanguage used by combatants was the increasing employment of thedisciplining languages of psychology (138).’ The work issignificant in conceptualizing, defining, developing, and supportingideas presented by O’Brien in the “The Things They Carried.”

O’Brien,Tim. Thethings they carried.Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 2009. Print.

Americanliterature has served to bring about positive transformations in thelives as well as minds of audiences from diverse social and culturalbackgrounds. As such, this particular work is still revered in thecontemporary literary landscape as an iconic author’s reflection onimagination, memory, war and the soul-redeeming attributes associatedwith storytelling. The title of this annotated bibliography issourced from this particular book hence its significance herein. Itis a narrative that describes the experiences of service men attachedto the Alpha Company. The narrator, Tim O’Brien survives the warcampaign and through this work relieves the personal, as well as,shared experiences concerning longing, peace and war, fiction andfact as well as the themes of fear and courage. In this regards, thebook provides insightful information on the experiences of the war,which helps show the implications of the war on the American people.

Smith,Patrick A., ed. Conversationswith Tim O`Brien.Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 2012. Print.

Thisauthor offers critical insights into reasons behind Tim O’Brieniconic status as the premier Vietnam writer. He, however, considersO’Brien’s works as a good basis for understanding thechronological timeline of events that existed during the conflict. Assuch, through the numerous interviews recorded in the book, oneindeed gets the perceptions that Tim O’Brien had an innate passionfor telling of the varied and distinctively unique intrigues of theVietnam War. The author takes great lengths to ensure audiences arewell acquainted with Tim O’Brien’s career exploits in an effortto better understand his works. Smith attributes the unique qualitiesof O’Brien’s work and chosen a literary style to his upbringingas well as his experiences during the conflict. ‘To confine O’Briento a single place or a particular style is to willfully ignore theintricacy of the work.’ Apart from offering the contribution ofO’Brien regarding the war, the author offers O’Brien’s insightsand thoughts on the war thus, it is a good supporting material forthe research.