Representing Trauma
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Biil Larsen, Maria1, Forfatter
Einersen, Dorrit 2, Vejleder
1Det Humanistiske Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7035              
2Institut for Engelsk, Germansk og Romansk, Det Humanistiske Fakultet, Københavns Universitet, København, Danmark, diskurs:7037              
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 Abstract: Historical events like the Holocaust and the Vietnam War have made theorists interested in the processes surrounding trauma and occasioned a contemporary trauma theory, which emerged in the 1990s. The attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11 2001 gave rise to a resumption of this trauma theory and psychologists, psychiatrists and theorists have been exceedingly interested in the trauma that the event inflicted on people who survived the attacks, family members and those who witnessed it directly or through the media coverage. Writers and literary theorists have, additionally, been greatly interested in how these horrifying events can be convincingly reflected in literature and art because how can one begin to represent a reality that goes beyond imagination?
This thesis explores how literature and language represent an event like 9/11 and, more importantly, how it depicts trauma. The first chapter in the thesis, “The Impact of Trauma”, examines theoretical approaches to trauma, beginning with Freud and psychoanalysis subsequently moving on to trauma theory developed by theorists such as Cathy Caruth, Dori Laub and Dominick LaCapra. The following chapter, “Representing the Unrepresentable”, describes how events like the Holocaust, the Vietnam War and 9/11 are very difficult to represent, and how several artists have experienced an inability to represent a reality that goes beyond imagination. Chapter 3 contains an analysis of Jonathan Safran Foer’s novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close from 2005. I examine the novel’s representation of 9/11 and analyse how the three protagonists, Oskar, the grandfather and the grandmother, cope with their personal trauma inflicted by historical events. Chapter 4 contains an analysis of Don DeLillo’s novel Falling Man from 2007. As in the former chapter, I investigate the novel’s representation of 9/11 and analyse how the main 2 characters, Keith, Lianne and Justin, cope with their personal trauma. In both analyses I investigate whether the characters move from a state of melancholia to a state of mourning, and also whether they succeed in converting their traumatic memory into a narrative one. In the closing chapter I examine similarities and differences in how the two novels represent trauma and 9/11.
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 Type: Speciale
Alternativ titel: An Analysis of the Representation of 9/11 and of the Main Characters’ Traumatic Experiences in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and Don DeLillo’s Falling Man
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Sprog: English - eng
 Datoer: 2013
 Sider: 78
 Publiceringsinfo: København : Københavns Universitet
 Indholdsfortegnelse: -
 Note: -
 Type: Speciale
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