You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you. So said Leon Trotsky—and he had some reason to know what he was talking about. The twentieth—and, now, the twenty-first—centuries gave writers many occasions to consider war’s interest in and affects on people and their societies. Even if we think only of the first and second world wars 1914-1918 and 1939-1945, ignoring smaller regional conflicts or “cold” wars, material has not been lacking out of which some works of literature could emerge. This class will focus primarily on literature—apart from a few brief works on historical background—that represents World War II on the eastern front. American, British, Italian, Russian, German, and other writers—among them such writers as Gert Ledig, Uwe Timm, W.G. Sebald, Vasily Grossman, Helen Dunmore, Elizabeth Blackwell, Gillian Slovo, Debra Dean, and Curzio Malaparte will be included. So too may a very few works that represent war from other times and places. Thinking about how to represent and describe what is, in modern welfare, almost literally indescribable, will be one theme of this class.