Rewriting the American Soul: Trauma, Neuroscience and the Contemporary Literary Imagination, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Rewriting the American Soul

Trauma, Neuroscience and the Contemporary Literary Imagination, 1st Edition

By Anna Thiemann


210 pages

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Hardback: 9780415788243
pub: 2017-09-21
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pub: 2017-09-13
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Rewriting the American Soul focuses on the political implications of psychoanalytic and neurocognitive approaches to trauma in literature, their impact on cultural representations of collective trauma in the United States, and their subversive appropriation in pre- and post-9/11 fiction. Anna Thiemann connects cutting edge trauma theory with the historical context from which it emerged and shows that contemporary novels encourage us to reflect critically on the cultural meanings and political uses of trauma. In doing so, it contributes to a new generation of trauma scholarship that challenges the dominant paradigm in literary and cultural studies. Moreover, the book intervenes in current debates about the relationship between literature and neuroscience insisting that the so-called neuronovel scrutinizes scientific developments and their political ramifications rather than adopting and translating them into aesthetic practices.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Re-Visioning Trauma

2. Posttraumatic Culture and the Repressed Memory of Freud

3. Memory and the Myth of Innocence in Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections (2001)

4. Resuming the Cold War Game: Don DeLillo’s Falling Man (2007)

5. The Trauma of Self-Recognition: Richard Powers’s The Echo Maker (2006)

6. Life Writing and Black Counter-Memory: Siri Hustvedt’s The Sorrows of an American (2008)

7. From Science to Archeology: Ian McEwan’s Saturday (2005)

8. Cartographies of Diasporic Trauma: Teju Cole’s Open City (2011)

9. Conclusion: Forgetting Therapy and Trauma’s Ends

About the Author

Anna Thiemann is assistant professor of English at the University of Muenster, Germany.

About the Series

Routledge Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Literature

This series is our home for cutting-edge, upper-level scholarly studies and edited collections. Taking an interdisciplinary approach to literary studies, it engages with topics such as philosophy, science, race, gender, film, music, and ecology. Titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY CRITICISM / American / General
LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 21st Century
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Historical Events
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Politics
MEDICAL / Neuroscience
MEDICAL / Mental Health
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Ideologies / General