Trauma: Explorations in Memory / Edition 1

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Overview

Because traumatic events are unbearable in their horror and intensity, they often exist as memories that are not immediately recognizable as truth. Such experiences are best understood not only through the straightforward acquisition of facts but through a process of discovering where and why conscious understanding and memory fail. Literature, according to Cathy Caruth and others, opens a window on traumatic experience because it teaches readers to listen to what can be told only in indirect and surprising ways. Sociology, film, and political activism can also provide new ways of thinking about and responding to the experience of trauma.

In Trauma and Memory, a distinguished group of analysts and critics offer a compelling look at what literature and the new approaches of a variety of clinical and theoretical disciplines bring to the understanding of traumatic experience. Combining two highly-acclaimed special issues of American Imago edited by Caruth, this interdisciplinary collection of essays and interviews will be of interest to analysts and critics concerned with the notion of trauma and the problem of interpretation and, more generally, to those interested in current discussions of subjects such as child abuse, AIDS, and the effects of historical atrocities such as the Holocaust.

Contributions by: Georges Bataille, Harold Bloom, Laura Brown, Cathy Caruth, Kai Erikson, Shoshana Felman, Henry Krystal, Claude Lanzmann, Dori Laub, Kevin Newmark, Onno van der Hart, and Bessel van der Kolk. Interviews with: Robert Jay Lifton, Gregg Bordowitz, Douglas Crimp, and Laura Pinsky

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
In essays that demonstrate the ways in which a variety of disciplines can contribute to understanding trauma, contributors discuss aspects in trauma research, touching on topics such as trauma and aging, feminist perspectives, traumatic poetry, and accounts by residents of Hiroshima. Versions of the essays in this volume were originally published in 1991 in two issues of American Imago, under the title "Psychoanalysis, Culture and Trauma." No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801850073
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/24/1995
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 277
  • Sales rank: 254,264
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 8.97 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Cathy Caruth is associate professor of English at Yale University. She is the author of Empirical Truths and Critical Fictions, also available from Johns Hopkins.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Preface
I Trauma and Experience
Introduction 3
Education and Crisis, or the Vicissitudes of Teaching 13
Truth and Testimony: The Process and the Struggle 61
Trauma and Aging: A Thirty-Year Follow-Up 76
Not Outside the Range: One Feminist Perspective on Psychic Trauma 100
Freud: Frontier Concepts, Jewishness, and Interpretation 113
An Interview with Robert Jay Lifton 128
Recapturing the Past
Introduction 151
The Intrusive Past: The Flexibility of Memory and the Engraving of Trauma 158
Notes on Trauma and Community 183
The Obscenity of Understanding: An Evening with Claude Lanzmann 200
Concerning the Accounts Given by the Residents of Hiroshima 221
Traumatic Poetry: Charles Baudelaire and the Shock of Laughter 236
"The AIDS Crisis Is Not Over": A Conversation with Gregg Bordowitz, Douglas Crimp, and Laura Pinsky 256
Contributors 273
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