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Title: 21st Century Trauma and the Uncanny
Authors: Horton, E
Keywords: uncanny;trauma;gothic;psychoanalysis;post-9/11 fiction;genre writing
Issue Date: 6-Mar-2019
Publisher: Open Library of Humanities
Citation: C21 Literature: Journal of 21st-Century Writings, 2019, 7 (1)
Abstract: In Pat Barker’s 2003 novel Double Vision, the intertwining of traumatic and uncanny aesthetics works to affirm the role of the unconscious in traumatic memory, drawing attention to the uneasy connection between trauma, violence, and libidinal fantasy, and offering through this a generic challenge to overly mimetic traumatic representations. The ambivalent significance of traumatic memory as a source both of hermeneutic excess and psychological insight is foremost here, offering brief glimpses into the hidden fantasies of impacted characters. As such, the novel can be read as a semi-Gothic exploration of traumatic pathology, highlighting trauma’s experiential ‘possession’ of an individual or culture in its happening, and questioning along with this the opposing ‘traumatological’, fantastic, and ideological bases for traumatic suffering. The findings of this examination in turn infer a larger pronouncement on the ambivalent ethics of traumatic representation and the critical need for narrative and artistic self-examination.
Appears in Collections:Dept of Arts and Humanities Research Papers

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