Download Contemporary American Trauma Narratives by Alan Gibbs PDF

By Alan Gibbs

This e-book seems on the method writers current the results of trauma of their paintings. It explores narrative units, reminiscent of 'metafiction', in addition to occasions in modern the US, together with 11th of September, the Iraq conflict, and reactions to the Bush management. modern American authors who're mentioned extensive comprise Carol Shields, Toni Morrison, Tim O'Brien, Mark Danielewski, paintings Spiegelman, Jonathan Safran Foer, Anthony Swofford, Evan Wright, Paul Auster, Philip Roth, and Michael Chabon. modern American Trauma Narratives deals a well timed and dissenting intervention into debates approximately American writers' depiction of trauma and its after-effects.

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Extra info for Contemporary American Trauma Narratives

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In short, innovative and experimental forms employed by these and other trauma writers of the twentieth century are a means to an end, developed precisely in order to represent the compulsive material. By contrast, this study suggests that in many texts of the late twentieth and into the twenty-first century, a fascination with the experimental forms employed in the representation of trauma becomes the primary motivation for literary production. There emerges at this time a preoccupation with formal devices that become established methods of depicting trauma, including fragmentation, dislocation, and repetition.

Daniel Mendelsohn, for example, applauded the appearance in Everything is Illuminated of ‘some of the most complex technical tricks you’re likely to encounter in recent fiction’, which, he argues, comprise ‘a remarkably effective way of dwelling on an issue of considerable urgency in Holocaust literature: the seemingly hopeless split between history and narrative, between what happened and what can be told’.  . ’ As we shall see in Chapter 1, however, the non-linear, fragmentary and repetitive structure of Everything is Illuminated, built around incremental revelations, actually becomes a staple of the trauma genre, having been formulated in the preceding decades.

Both these issues, as mentioned above, aimed to broaden trauma theory’s parameters, in particular to look beyond western examples or the application of western theoretical models to writing from elsewhere on the globe. While they share a partial failure in developing and applying entirely new critical idioms – indeed, some of the articles contained therein lapse into surprisingly conventional practice – their potential contribution to new forms of trauma criticism and theory should not be overlooked.

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