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    Literary aesthetics of trauma: Virginia Woolf and Jeanette Winterson

    Van der Wiel, Reina (2014) Literary aesthetics of trauma: Virginia Woolf and Jeanette Winterson. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 9781137311009.

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    Book synopsis: Literary Aesthetics of Trauma: Virginia Woolf and Jeanette Winterson investigates a fundamental shift, from the 1920s to the present day, in the way that trauma is culturally perceived and aesthetically expressed. Modernism's emphasis on impersonality and narrative abstraction has been replaced by the contemporary trauma memoir and an ethical imperative to bear witness. This book diverges from the deconstructive trend in academic trauma studies that prioritizes a model of narrative rupture, whereby literary form replicates traumatic symptoms. Instead, it presents an object relations theory model, which emphasizes the importance of narrative 'containment' and 'working-through' of traumatic emotion by achieving at least some critical distance. From this perspective, it analyses modernism's formalist aesthetics, particularly as displayed in two of Woolf's most formally abstract novels. It contrasts this approach with Winterson's 'new baroque' aesthetics and the increasingly 'authentic' reappearance of the traumatic adoption story in her work.


    Item Type: Book
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): literature, British literature, 20th Century and 21st Century literature, literary criticism and theory, modernism
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Mapping Maternal Subjectivities, Identities and Ethics (MAMSIE)
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2015 17:40
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:15


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