A Good War Is Hard to Find: The Art of Violence in America

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Soft Skull Press, Aug 4, 2006 - Political Science - 192 pages
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In the wake of Abu Ghraib, Americans have struggled to understand what happened in the notorious prison and why. In this elegant series of essays, inflected with a radical Catholic philosophy, David Griffith contends that society's shift from language to image has changed the way people think about violence and cruelty, and that a disconnect exists between images and reality. Griffith meditates on images and literature, finding potent insight into what went wrong at the prison in the works of Susan Sontag, Anthony Burgess, and especially Flannery O’Connor, who often explored the gulf between proclamations of faith and the capacity for evil. Accompanying the essays are illustrated facts about torture, lists of torture methods and their long-term effects, and graphics such as the schematics of the “pain pathways” in the human body. Together, the images and essays endow the human being with the complexity images alone deny.
 

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From Time Out Chicago (5 out of 6 stars): Drawing from a variety of inspirations—including works by Susan Sontag, Andy Warhol, David Lynch, Chingy and the textile art of women in war-torn countries ... Read full review

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Contents

Symphony No 1 In Memoriam Dresden 1945
17
A Good War is Hard to Find Flannery OConnor Abu Ghraib and the Problem of American Innocence
27
Pictures of the Floating World On the Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the Bombing of Hiroshima in Three Parts
43
Some Proximity to Darkness
59
Regarding the Electric Chair My Wifes College Boyfriend Built in His House
89
Prime Directive
121
City of Lost Souls
143
Weavings of War Erie Pennsylvania June 24 2005
167
Copyright

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Page 13 - Mrs. Shortley recalled a newsreel she had seen once of a small room piled high with bodies of dead naked people all in a heap, their arms and legs tangled together, a head thrust in here, a head there, a foot, a knee, a part that should have been covered sticking out, a hand raised clutching nothing.

About the author (2006)

David Griffith has an MFA in creative writing from the University of Pittsburgh and a BA in English from the University of Notre Dame. He is the chair of creative writing at the Pennsylvania Governor’s School for the Arts, a frequent contributor to Godspy, a quarterly magazine about faith and culture, and is affiliated with the Catholic Worker houses in South Bend, Indiana, where he presently lives.

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