Trauma Theory As an Approach to Analyzing Literary Texts: An Updated and Expanded Edition, with Readings

Trauma Theory As an Approach to Analyzing Literary Texts: An Updated and Expanded Edition, with Readings - Robert L. Mclaughlin

Trauma Theory As an Approach to Analyzing Literary Texts: An Updated and Expanded Edition, with Readings


Trauma Theory As an Approach to Analyzing Literary Texts investigates the hypothesis that cultural trauma affects a society's literary production (really, its artistic production as a whole), resulting in a narrative voice we have come to call "postmodern" since midway through the twentieth century (set in motion, perhaps, by the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima). A theoretical framework is established based on the work of pioneers in the field of psychoanalysis, like Freud and Lacan, and refined by contemporary trauma theorists (Caruth, Di Prete, Whitehead, et al.). In order to bolster the claim that cultural trauma leads to a "postmodern" narrative style, the Anglo-Saxon Period of English history is examined, and especially the poem Beowulf. Meanwhile, several twentieth-century postmodernists are discussed (Pynchon, Gaddis, Vonnegut, etc.), but especially the work of William H. Gass. In addition to a thorough discussion of literary trauma theory, there is also a chapter on trauma writing, and its practice in the classroom and classroom-like settings. This edition is updated and expanded beyond its related 2016 publication, including a new introduction, notes, and four readings by the author. Special attention is paid to the fiction of William Gass, particularly his novels The Tunnel and Omensetter's Luck, and the novellas "The Pedersen Kid" and "In the Heart of the Heart of the Country." Like the book's 2016 counterpart, Trauma Theory As an Approach to Analyzing Literary Texts includes a Foreword by Robert L. McLaughlin, a leading scholar in the field of American postmodernism.
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Trauma Theory As an Approach to Analyzing Literary Texts investigates the hypothesis that cultural trauma affects a society's literary production (really, its artistic production as a whole), resulting in a narrative voice we have come to call "postmodern" since midway through the twentieth century (set in motion, perhaps, by the atomic bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima). A theoretical framework is established based on the work of pioneers in the field of psychoanalysis, like Freud and Lacan, and refined by contemporary trauma theorists (Caruth, Di Prete, Whitehead, et al.). In order to bolster the claim that cultural trauma leads to a "postmodern" narrative style, the Anglo-Saxon Period of English history is examined, and especially the poem Beowulf. Meanwhile, several twentieth-century postmodernists are discussed (Pynchon, Gaddis, Vonnegut, etc.), but especially the work of William H. Gass. In addition to a thorough discussion of literary trauma theory, there is also a chapter on trauma writing, and its practice in the classroom and classroom-like settings. This edition is updated and expanded beyond its related 2016 publication, including a new introduction, notes, and four readings by the author. Special attention is paid to the fiction of William Gass, particularly his novels The Tunnel and Omensetter's Luck, and the novellas "The Pedersen Kid" and "In the Heart of the Heart of the Country." Like the book's 2016 counterpart, Trauma Theory As an Approach to Analyzing Literary Texts includes a Foreword by Robert L. McLaughlin, a leading scholar in the field of American postmodernism.
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