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    Textual nuclear war based on the memory of Hiroshima

    Halden, Grace (2013) Textual nuclear war based on the memory of Hiroshima. eSharp (20), ISSN 1742-4542.

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    Abstract

    The aim of this paper is to examine how the memories of the 1945 nuclear attack on Hiroshima has been reposed and performed in modern fiction. Although Jacques Derrida termed nuclear war a ‘non-event’, I argue that the memory of Hiroshima and the wealth of nuclear science fiction made the ‘non-event’ familiar. This article offers a fresh interpretation of nuclear history with reference to how nuclear concerns have significantly influenced literature and presented an understanding of the ‘non-event.’ Knowledge of the 1945 atomic bombing was the only exposure many members of the public had to the nuclear threat and the ramifications of nuclear technology; consequently authors relied on historical and emotive facts from Hiroshima to inform their war stories. Science fiction seeks to represent the ‘non-event’ and craft a reality out of it. The genre partly exists to offer preparatory texts to help ensure the ‘non-event’ remains ‘fabulously textual’ and the literary apocalypse does not become a reality (Derrida 1984, p.23). If part of the memory of Hiroshima acts as a warning ‘Never again’ and ‘No More Hiroshimas’ then fictional texts representing nuclear war, nuclear apocalypse and nuclear extinction expose the fear of ‘more Hiroshimas.’

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Derrida, future, nuclear, Hiroshima, fiction
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Arts > English and Humanities
    Research Centre: Contemporary Literature, Centre for
    Depositing User: Grace Halden
    Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2016 14:24
    Last Modified: 07 Dec 2016 15:37
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/14249

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