From the Traumatic to the Political: Cultural Trauma, 9/11 and Amy Waldman’s The Submission
AbstractSince the 9/11 terrorist attacks a long list of novels concerned directly or indirectly with these events have been published. Psychic trauma literature has been especially popular among them, a fiction accused of solipsism and depoliticized discourse by being mostly unconcerned with the attacks’ global context and political consequences. This essay does not ignore the importance of the trauma paradigm but focuses on cultural rather than psychic trauma and on Amy Waldman’s The Submission (2011) as an example of the possibilities raised by the cultural trauma novel. Although rooted in the domestic and the personal, Waldman’s novel transcends the shortcomings of psychic trauma fiction by exposing the cultural and political consequences of trauma, thus opening up a new path for future 9/11 fiction.Keywords: trauma studies; The Submission; Amy Waldman; trauma fiction; 9/11 fiction; contemporary American literature
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