The Unspeakable: Representations of Trauma in Francophone Literature and Art
The Unspeakable: Representations of Trauma in Francophone Literature and Art is situated at the crossroads of language, culture and genre; it contends that suffering transcends time, space and cultural specificity. Even when extreme trauma is silenced, it often still emerges in surprising and painful ways. This volume draws together examples from throughout the Francophone world, including countries such as Algeria, Morocco, Lebanon, Rwanda, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti, New Caledonia, Quebec and France, and across genres such as autobiography, poetry, theater, film, fiction and visual art to provide a cohesive analysis of the representation of trauma. In addition to the survivors’ expression of trauma, the witnesses and receivers are also taken into account. By gathering studies that explore diverse bodily and psychological traumas through tropes such as repetition, silence and working-through, it tackles ethical responsibility and interrogates how expressive forms evoke a terrible reality through the use of imagination. The aim of this volume is not to question if suffering is representable, but rather to examine to what extent art surpasses its own limitations and goes straight to its essence. The Unspeakable hopes to provide models for the cultural translation of trauma, because, when represented and released from silence and isolation, trauma can give way to the arduous process of healing.
Névine El Nossery is Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is the author of Témoignages fictionnels au féminin. Une réécriture des blancs de la guerre civile algérienne (Rodopi, 2012) and Frictions et devenirs dans les écritures migrantes au féminin. Enracinement et renégociation (co-edited volume, Editions Universitaires Européennes, 2011).
Amy L. Hubbell is Lecturer in French at the University of Queensland. She is the author of À la recherche d’un emploi: Business French in a Communicative Context (Focus Publishing, 2011) and co-editor, with Natalie Edwards and Ann Miller, of Textual and Visual Selves: Photography, Film and Comic Art in French Autobiography (University of Nebraska Press, 2011). She also has a forthcoming book, Rewriting Home, Remembering French Algeria (University of Nebraska Press).
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