The Dialectic of Silence and Remembrance in Lily Brett's 'Things Could Be Worse'

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BOTEZ, Catalina, 2011. The Dialectic of Silence and Remembrance in Lily Brett's 'Things Could Be Worse'. In: Babilónia : Revista Lusófona de Línguas, Culturas e Tradução. 10/11, pp. 15-29. ISSN 1646-3730

@article{Botez2011Diale-20688, title={The Dialectic of Silence and Remembrance in Lily Brett's 'Things Could Be Worse'}, year={2011}, volume={10/11}, issn={1646-3730}, journal={Babilónia : Revista Lusófona de Línguas, Culturas e Tradução}, pages={15--29}, author={Botez, Catalina} }

2012-10-31T08:13:07Z The dynamics of silence and silencing in Australian writer Lily Brett’s autobiographic fiction Things Could Be Worse reflects the crisis of memory and understanding experienced by both first and second-generation Holocaust survivors within the diasporic space of contemporary Australia. It leads to issues of handling traumatic and transgenerational memory, the latter also known as postmemory (M. Hirsch), in the long aftermath of atrocities, and problematises the role of forgetting in shielding displaced identities against total dissolution of the self.<br /><br />This paper explores the mechanisms of remembrance and forgetting in L. Brett’s narrative by mainly focusing on two female characters, mother and daughter, whose coming to terms with (the necessary) silence, on the one hand, and articulated memories, on the other, reflects different modes of comprehending and eventually coping with individual trauma.<br /><br />By differentiating between several types of silence encountered in Brett’s prose (that of the voiceless victims, of survivors and their offspring, respectively) I argue that silence can equally voice and hush traumatic experience, that it is never empty, but invested with individual and collective meaning.<br /><br />Essentially, I contend that beside the (self)damaging effects of silence, there are also beneficial consequences of silence, in that it plays a crucial role in emplacing the displaced, rebuilding their shattered self, and contributing to their their reintegration, survival and even partial healing. eng 2011 Botez, Catalina deposit-license 2012-10-31T08:13:07Z The Dialectic of Silence and Remembrance in Lily Brett's 'Things Could Be Worse' Babilónia : Revista Lusófona de Línguas, Culturas e Tradução ; 10/11 (2011). - S. 15-29 Botez, Catalina

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