War in general and World War II in particular play a major role in the works of Nobel Prize-winning German author Heinrich Böll — a role so significant that some authorities view Böll's participation in World War II as the major formative experience which made him an author, and others regard war as his main theme. Although Böll contradicts these assessments, it is certainly true that he has either depicted or referred to war in most of his fiction — from the earliest short stories in the late 1940s to the novel Fürsorgliche Belagerung (1979) and the recent collection Die Verwundung (1983). His interest in war is also revealed by his frequent references to it as well as to his own wartime experiences in his nonfictional works and by his tendency to employ military analogies, metaphors, similes, terminology and tropes in all of his works.


The news of Heinrich Boll's death (July 16, 1985) came just as this special issue was going to press.



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