Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self
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Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self

by Susan J. Brison
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0691115702

ISBN-13: 9780691115702

Pub. Date: 10/06/2003

Publisher: Princeton University Press

On July 4, 1990, while on a morning walk in southern France, Susan Brison was attacked from behind, severely beaten, sexually assaulted, strangled to unconsciousness, and left for dead. She survived, but her world was destroyed. Her training as a philosopher could not help her make sense of things, and many of her fundamental assumptions about the nature of the

Overview

On July 4, 1990, while on a morning walk in southern France, Susan Brison was attacked from behind, severely beaten, sexually assaulted, strangled to unconsciousness, and left for dead. She survived, but her world was destroyed. Her training as a philosopher could not help her make sense of things, and many of her fundamental assumptions about the nature of the self and the world it inhabits were shattered.

At once a personal narrative of recovery and a philosophical exploration of trauma, this book examines the undoing and remaking of a self in the aftermath of violence. It explores, from an interdisciplinary perspective, memory and truth, identity and self, autonomy and community. It offers imaginative access to the experience of a rape survivor as well as a reflective critique of a society in which women routinely fear and suffer sexual violence.

As Brison observes, trauma disrupts memory, severs past from present, and incapacitates the ability to envision a future. Yet the act of bearing witness, she argues, facilitates recovery by integrating the experience into the survivor's life's story. She also argues for the importance, as well as the hazards, of using first-person narratives in understanding not only trauma, but also larger philosophical questions about what we can know and how we should live.

Bravely and beautifully written, Aftermath is that rare book that is an illustration of its own arguments.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691115702
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
10/06/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
184
Sales rank:
610,016
Product dimensions:
5.04(w) x 8.44(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix
CHAPTER ONE: Surviving Sexual Violence 1
CHAPTER TWO: On the Personal as Philosophical 23
CHAPTER THREE: Outliving Oneself 37
CHAPTER FOUR: Acts of Memory 67
CHAPTER FIVE: The Politics of Forgetting 85
CHAPTER SIX: Retellings 101
Afterword 119
Acknowledgments 125
Notes 129
Bibliography 147
Index 157

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