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 MENGEL Ewald, BORZAGA Michela (edited by) - Trauma, Memory, and Narrative in the Contemporary South African Novel. Essays.

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MENGEL Ewald, BORZAGA Michela (edited by)

Trauma, Memory, and Narrative in the Contemporary South African Novel. Essays.

Rodopi - Amsterdam / New York - 2012
ISBN: 9789042035706
(Cross/Cultures - Readings in the Post/Colonial Literatures un English ; 153)
XXXI - 403 pp. - 15 x 22 cm

Disponibilité éditeur: Disponible chez l'éditeur.

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 The contributions to this volume probe the complex relationship of trauma, memory, and narrative. By looking at the South African situation through the lens of trauma, they make clear how the psychic deformations and injuries left behind by racism and colonialism cannot be mended by material reparation or by simply reversing economic and political power-structures. Western trauma theories – as developed by scholars such as Caruth, van der Kolk, Herman and others – are insufficient for analysing the more complex situation in a postcolony such as South Africa. This is because Western trauma concepts focus on the individual traumatized by a single identifiable event that causes PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). What we need is an understanding of trauma that sees it not only as a result of an identifiable event but also as the consequence of an historical condition – in the case of South Africa, that of colonialism, and, more specifically, of apartheid. For most black and coloured South Africans, the structural violence of apartheid’s laws were the existential condition under which they had to exist. The living conditions in the townships, pass laws, relocation, and racial segregation affected great parts of the South African population and were responsible for the collective traumatization of several generations. This trauma, however, is not an unclaimed (and unclaimable) experience. Postcolonial thinkers who have been reflecting on the experience of violence and trauma in a colonial context, writing from within a Fanonian tradition, have, on the contrary, believed in the importance of reclaiming the past and of transcending mechanisms of victimization and resentment, so typical of traumatized consciousnesses. Narration and the novel have a decisive role to play here.

Sommaire:
Introduction
Trauma: Theories and Experiences
Ruth Leys: Trauma and the Turn to Affect
Elleke Boehmer: Permanent Risk: When Crisis Defines a Nation’s Writing
Vilashini Cooppan: Affecting Politics: Post-Apartheid Fiction and the Limits of Trauma
Michela Borzaga: Trauma in the Postcolony: Towards a New Theoretical Approach
Sindiwe Magona: It is in the Blood: Trauma and Memory in the South African Novel
Yazir Henry: The Ethics and Morality of Witnessing: On the Politics of Antjie Krog (Samuel’s) Country of My Skull
Trauma and Literary Representations
Ewald Mengel: Trauma and Genre in the Contemporary South African Novel
Derek Attridge: ‘To speak of this you would need the tongue of a god’: On Representing the Trauma of Township Violence
Chris N. van der Merwe: Rethinking Religion in a Time of Trauma
Annie Gagiano: Re-Examining Apartheid Brokenness: To Every Birth Its Blood as a Literary Testament
Tlhalo Sam Raditlhalo: Disgrace, Historical Trauma, and the Extreme Edge of Civility
Carmen Concilio: Forced Removals as Sites/Sights of Historical Trauma in South African Writing of the 1980s and 1990s
Trauma, Memory, and History
David Attwell: Trauma Refracted: J.M. Coetzee’s Summertime
Geoffrey V. Davis: ‘Is not the truth the truth?’: The Political and the Personal in the Writings of Gillian Slovo and Jann Turner
Jochen Petzold: ‘Nothing like this can be your fault at your age’: Trauma-Narrative and the Politics of Self-Accusation in The Innocence of Roast Chicken
Susan Mann: Out of the Mouths: Voices of Children in Contemporary South African Literature
Michael Meyer: Replaying Trauma with a Difference: Zoë Wicomb’s Dialogic Aesthetic
Sue Kossew: Trauma, Memory, and History in Marlene van Niekerk’s The Way of the Women
Notes on Contributors
Index
Ewald Mengel is Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Vienna. He has published books on Dickens, Pinter, the novel, translation, and twentieth-century drama. His current research includes the contemporary South African novel and IT in English studies. He is co-editor, with Michela Borzaga, of Trauma, Memory, & Narrative in South Africa: Interviews (2009). Michela Borzaga, University of Vienna, is currently researching trauma and the contemporary South African novel. She is the co-editor also of Imagination in a Troubled Space: A Poetry Reader (2004).