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From Representing Trauma to Traumatized Representation: Experiential and Reflective Modes of Narrating the Past
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Asian, Middle Eastern and Turkish Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8064-0483
2015 (English)In: Frontiers of Literary Studies in China, ISSN 1673-7318, Vol. 9, no 3, 345-368 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In contrast to history, which strives for a neutral and objective stance from which to narrate the past, literature can be thought of as multifunctional when it comes to traumatic history: as healing by restoring meaning where it has been destroyed, as subversive by telling counter-histories of the master-narrative, as complementary by integrating suppressed voices and painful experiences into the collective memory or as disturbing by narrating trauma as a persisting condition that continues into the present. This article looks into literary representations of trauma that make use of different narrative modes to deal with collective trauma in 20th-century China and to reconstruct the past. In order to understand the relationship of historical trauma and collective memory and to show the way in which memory relates to the past and how far memory shapes collective identity of the present, the concepts of communicative and cultural memory by Jan and Aleida Assman have proved to be useful.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 9, no 3, 345-368 p.
Keyword [en]
experiential and reflexive narratives, communicative and cultural memory, traumatic history, Zhang Yigong, Yu Hua
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Asian Languages and Cultures
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-120519DOI: 10.3868/s010-004-015-0017-5ISI: 000367536200001OAI: diva2:853020
Available from: 2015-09-10 Created: 2015-09-10 Last updated: 2016-02-01Bibliographically approved

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Schweiger, Irmy
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