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Narrating Violence, Constructing Collective Identities: 'To Witness These Wrongs Unspeakable'

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  • ISBN13:9780230219625
  • ISBN10:0230219624
  • Publisher:Palgrave MacMillan
  • Language:English
  • Author:G. Chandra
  • Binding:Hardback
  • Pages:177
  • SUPC: SDL852868088

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About the Book

This significant new book is an interdisciplinary study of violence, its narrativisation and affects, of collective identity formation, national, ethnic and 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 Isabel 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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Narrating Violence, Constructing Collective Identities: 'To Witness These Wrongs Unspeakable'

Narrating Violence, Constructing Collective Identities: 'To Witness These Wrongs Unspeakable'

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