War or combat fiction is a literary genre which describes actions which take places on a battlefield and where characters are worried about the preparation of the war or suffer from the battles' effects. Many of the stories which belong to this genre are also historical novels.
The War fiction’s origins relate to the epic poetry of the classical and medieval period, especially to works like The Iliad by Homer and The Aeneid by Virgil. These epics narrated the history and mythology of conflicts affecting different societies and had the purpose to reinforce the collective memory of people.
Despite its old origins, the war fiction became popular during the 19th century, with the works like The Charterhouse of Parma by Stendhal and War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.
As well as this, the First and Second World Wars influenced this genre. Indeed, the First World War produced a huge number of war novels written by different authors from countries on all side of the conflict. In addition, the Second World War gave rise to a boom in contemporary war books, mainly produced by American writers.
After the Second World War, the war that influenced most of the authors such as Graham Greene and Tim O’Brien was the Vietnam War.
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