This dissertation explores the ways in which several fiction writers from France, the U.S., and Latin America experiment with the form of their works in writing about traumatic experience, as they navigate the tension between a propulsion toward expression and toward silence. Some of these traumas are vast, as in Edmond Jabès’ Le livre des questions (1963-1973), which addresses not only the Holocaust, but also questions of exile and identity. Others are on a smaller scale, such as Jacques Roubaud’s Quelque chose noir (1986), Julio Cortázar's Los autonautas de la cosmopista (1983), and Macedonio Fernández’s Museo de la Novela de la Eterna (1967, posthumous); in each of these works, the author grapples with the loss and subsequent mourning of a spouse. Finally, Gérard Gavarry’s Hop là! un deux trois (2001) and Toni Morrison’s Beloved (1987) both address the difficulties of responding to more ambiguous, insidious forms of trauma perpetrated by an entire society.
Comparative Literature Commons, French and Francophone Literature Commons, Latin American Literature Commons, Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority Commons