Trauma in Contemporary Literature : Narrative and Representation book cover
1st Edition

Trauma in Contemporary Literature
Narrative and Representation

ISBN 9781315880501
Published March 26, 2014 by Routledge
272 Pages 1 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Trauma in Contemporary Literature analyzes contemporary narrative texts in English in the light of trauma theory, including essays by scholars of different countries who approach trauma from a variety of perspectives. The book analyzes and applies the most relevant concepts and themes discussed in trauma theory, such as the relationship between individual and collective trauma, historical trauma, absence vs. loss, the roles of perpetrator and victim, dissociation, nachträglichkeit, transgenerational trauma, the process of acting out and working through, introjection and incorporation, mourning and melancholia, the phantom and the crypt, postmemory and multidirectional memory, shame and the affects, and the power of resilience to overcome trauma. Significantly, the essays not only focus on the phenomenon of trauma and its diverse manifestations but, above all, consider the elements that challenge the aporias of trauma, the traps of stasis and repetition, in order to reach beyond the confines of the traumatic condition and explore the possibilities of survival, healing and recovery.

Table of Contents

Trauma and Literary Representation: An Introduction Marita Nadal and Mónica Calvo  Part 1: Global Trauma and the End of History  1. After the End: Psychoanalysis in the Ashes of History Cathy Caruth  2. Apocalypses Now: Collective Trauma, Globalization and the New Gothic Sublime Avril Horner  3. Not Now, Not Yet: Polytemporality and Fictions of the Iraq War Roger Luckhurst  Part 2: Trauma and the Power of Narrative  4. The Turn to the Self and History in Eva Figes’ Autobiographical Works: The Healing of Old Wounds? Silvia Pellicer-Ortín  5. History, Dreams, and Shards: On Starting Over in Jenny Diski’s Then Again Gerd Bayer  6. Plight vs. Right: Trauma and the Process of Recovering and Moving beyond the Past in Zoë Wicomb’s Playing in the Light Dolores Herrero  7. Seeing It Twice: Trauma and Resilience in the Narrative of Janette Turner Hospital Isabel Fraile Murlanch  8. The Burden of the Old Country’s History on the Psyche of Dominican-American Migrants: Junot Díaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Aitor Ibarrola-Armendariz   Part 3: Trauma and the Problem of Representation  9. H.D.’s Twice (Un)Told Tale Marc Amfreville  10. ‘Time to Write them Off’? Impossible Voices and the Problem of Representing Trauma in The Virgin Suicides Bilyana Vanyova Kostova  11. Fugal Repetition and the Re-enactments of Trauma: Holocaust Representation in Paul Celan’s ‘Deathfugue’ and Cynthia Ozick’s The Shawl María Jesús Martínez-Alfaro  12. Of Ramps and Selections: The Persistence of Trauma in Julian Barnes’s A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters Jean-Michel Ganteau  13. The Trauma of Anthropocentrism and the Reconnection of Self and World in J. M. Coetzee’s Dusklands Susana Onega  14. ‘There’s that curtain come down’: The Burden of Shame in Sarah Waters’ The Night Watch Maite Escudero-Alías  15. ‘Welcome to contemporary trauma culture’: Foreshadowing, Sideshadowing and Trauma in Ian McEwan’s Saturday Bárbara Arizti

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Marita Nadal is Senior Lecturer in the Department of English and German Philology at the University of Zaragoza, Spain.

Mónica Calvo is Lecturer in the Department of English and German Philology at the University of Zaragoza, Spain.


"This collection of essays, beginning with Cathy Caruth’s poetic, lyrical, and beautifully crafted reading of the metaphorics of ashes, moves through literatures of the traumas of apartheid South Africa, colonial violence, the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, the Holocaust, and 9/11 to analyze the global nature of the worst experiences of our times." – Brett Ashley Kaplan, University of Illinois, USA