Narrating Violence, Constructing Collective Identities: 'to Witness These Wrongs Unspeakable' [NOOK Book]

Overview

This significant new book is an interdisciplinary study of violence, its narrativisation and affects, of collective identity formation, national, ethnic or racial. It studies the ways in which these are gendered by women who are subjected to violence, who survive these conflicts and who narrate both the violence and the collective identity. The study is focused around widely-read novels written by women authors over the last 30 or so years. Each of these novels revisits sites of extreme or intense violence in the...
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Narrating Violence, Constructing Collective Identities: 'to Witness These Wrongs Unspeakable'

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Overview

This significant new book is an interdisciplinary study of violence, its narrativisation and affects, of collective identity formation, national, ethnic or racial. It studies the ways in which these are gendered by women who are subjected to violence, who survive these conflicts and who narrate both the violence and the collective identity. The study is focused around widely-read novels written by women authors over the last 30 or so years. Each of these novels revisits sites of extreme or intense violence in the lives both of its protagonists and of the collective to which they belong in the process of defining the identity of that collective. Each of these novels also deals with a different historical event of violence: Toni Morrison's Beloved (slavery) and sula (World War I), Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club (World War II), Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior (feudal China), and Isable Allende's The House of Spirits (State Terrorism) The book reads texts as disparate as Shakespeare's Titus Andronicus and the Bible to create a theoretical framework for the constructions of individual and collective identities that are deeply embedded in these narratives of violence. Each text interrogates the nature of the collective formed. In form and narrative strategies these texts deploy non-real tropes and elements, using these to index realities in registers other than the empirical, figure forth realities that strain at the limits of human comprehension and endurance and, finally, to gesture towards future realities too difficult to imagine.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230262232
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 12/17/2008
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 229 KB

Meet the Author

GITI CHANDRA teaches English Literature at St. Stephens College, Delhi University, India. Her Doctoral thesis is from Rutgers University, NJ, and she has been a Course Writer for the Indira Gandhi National Open University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Non-Realism: the Once and Future Reality or Twice Abused Bodies and the Question of Agency 1

1 The Mystery of Violence 8

2 To Witness These Wrongs Unspeakable': The Metaphorical, the Material and the Violenced Body 19

3 Remembering and Dismembering: Toni Morrison's Beloved and Sula 50

4 Immigration and Identity: Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior and Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club 73

5 'An Invisible Country, A True Chile': The Body of Evidence in Isabel Allende's House of Spirits 105

Notes 154

Bibliography 165

Index 169

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