The importance of unimportant language
In a recent paper, the Australian historian, Martyn Lyons (2013), reviews his attempts to study â€˜history from belowâ€™, using what can be called grassroots writing by French and Italian soldiers of the Great War. Lyons remarks that the â€˜First World War produced a flood of letter-writing by peasants whose literary capacity has often been underestimatedâ€™ (Lyons 2013: 5). In France, no less than 10,000 million postal items were dispatched during the war, huge numbers of those being letters and cards written by soldiers from the frontlines to their loved ones.
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Copyright (c) 2017 Jan Blommaert, Piia Varis
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