Lost in Transculturation : Evicted Travellers in Lily Brett's 'Things Could Be Worse' and Anne Michaels' 'Fugitive Pieces'

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BOTEZ-Lit&Aesthetics-2010.pdf
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2010
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Literature & Aesthetics. 2010, 20(1), pp. 92-107. ISSN 2200-0437
Zusammenfassung

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.

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.

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.

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.

Zusammenfassung in einer weiteren Sprache
Fachgebiet (DDC)
800 Literatur, Rhetorik, Literaturwissenschaft
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Fugitive Pieces, post-Holocaust migration, transculturation, transnationalism, Thins Could Be Worse, Holocaust trauma, first and second Generation
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ISO 690BOTEZ, Catalina, 2010. Lost in Transculturation : Evicted Travellers in Lily Brett's 'Things Could Be Worse' and Anne Michaels' 'Fugitive Pieces'. In: Literature & Aesthetics. 2010, 20(1), pp. 92-107. ISSN 2200-0437
BibTex
@article{Botez2010Trans-20689,
  year={2010},
  title={Lost in Transculturation : Evicted Travellers in Lily Brett's 'Things Could Be Worse' and Anne Michaels' 'Fugitive Pieces'},
  number={1},
  volume={20},
  issn={2200-0437},
  journal={Literature & Aesthetics},
  pages={92--107},
  author={Botez, Catalina},
  note={http://ojs-prod.library.usyd.edu.au/index.php/LA/issue/view/334}
}
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http://ojs-prod.library.usyd.edu.au/index.php/LA/issue/view/334
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