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Book Title: Literature in the Ashes of History|
The author of the book: Cathy Caruth
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 721 KB
Edition: Johns Hopkins University Press
Date of issue: November 12th 2013
ISBN 13: 9781421411552
Read full description of the books Literature in the Ashes of History:Cathy Caruth juxtaposes the writings of psychoanalysts, literary and political theorists, and literary authors who write in a century faced by a new kind of history, one that is made up of events that seem to undo, rather than produce, their own remembrance. At the heart of each chapter is the enigma of a history that, in its very unfolding, seems to be slipping away before our grasp.
What does it mean for history to disappear? And what does it mean to speak of a history that disappears? These questions, Caruth suggests, lie at the center of the psychoanalytic texts that frame this book, as well as the haunting stories and theoretical arguments that resonate with each other in profound and surprising ways. In the writings of Honoré de Balzac, Hannah Arendt, Ariel Dorfman, Wilhelm Jensen, Sigmund Freud, and Jacques Derrida, we encounter, across different stakes and different languages, a variety of narratives that bear witness not simply to the past but also to the pasts we have not known and that repeatedly return us to a future that remains beyond imagination.
These stories of trauma cannot be limited to the catastrophes they name, and the theory of catastrophic history may ultimately be written in a language that already lingers in a time that comes to us from the other side of the disaster.
Read information about the authorCathy Caruth (born 1955) is Frank H. T. Rhodes Professor of Humane Letters at Cornell University and is appointed in the departments of English and Comparative Literature. She taught previously at Yale and at Emory University, where she helped build the Department of Comparative Literature. She received her Ph.D. from Yale University in 1988 and is the author of Empirical Truths and Critical Fictions: Locke, Wordsworth, Kant, Freud (Johns Hopkins UP, 1991) and Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative and History (Johns Hopkins UP, 1996); she is also editor of Trauma: Explorations in Memory (Johns Hopkins UP, 1995) and with Deborash Esch of Critical Encounters: Reference and Responsibility in Deconstructive Writing (Rutgers University Press, 1995). Robert Jay Lifton, M.D. describes her as “one of the most innovative scholars on what we call trauma, and on our ways of perceiving and conceptualizing that still mysterious phenomenon.” For a good discussion of both Caruth's work on trauma theory see Roger Luckhurst, The Trauma Question, and Shoshana Felman, The Juridical Unconscious: Trials and Traumas in the Twentieth Century (Harvard University Press, 2002), pp. 173–182, n.3.
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