Witness to Pain

Essays on the Translation of Pain into Art

by Nieves Pascual (Volume editor)
©2005 Edited Collection 214 Pages


On writing our pain we inevitably write about the past because it is impossible to produce art in situations of acute physical pain. As Elaine Scarry has convincingly argued in The Body in Pain, during severe illness individuals spontaneously lose the means to convey their feelings and emotions. So the art of pain inevitably comes from a witness to this pain, i.e. doctors, sympathetic onlookers and ex-patients who examine their pain once it has remitted. This interdisciplinary collection of essays identifies as its core issues the translation of pain into art, the (im)possibility of finding your own voice in situations of pain, and the presumed therapeutic power of the artistic representation of pain. This volume assembles contributions from scholars in New Zealand, Canada, The United States, Germany, Portugal, Sweden and Spain. Photographs, films, paintings, fictional narratives, autobiographies and poems on pain are analyzed using a variety of critical approaches and different perspectives that range from structuralism to psychoanalysis.


ISBN (Softcover)
Kunst Schmerz (Motiv) Aufsatzsammlung Pain Medical Discourse Narratives Visual Art
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2005. 214 pp., 20 fig.

Biographical notes

Nieves Pascual (Volume editor)

The Editor: Nieves Pascual graduated at the University of Granada in English Philology in 1989. She obtained her Ph.D. at the Complutense University in Madrid. She is Associate Professor of NorthAmerican Literature at the University of Jaén, Spain. For seven years she has been working on the effects of illness on the process of creation and has published her research in Style, Mosaic, Revista Canaria de Estudios Ingleses and the Journal of Intercultural Studies. She is currently working on a monograph on hunger, women and postcolonial literatures.


Title: Witness to Pain