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The Trauma Novel

Contemporary Symbolic Depictions of Collective Disaster

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Ronald Granofsky

This study attempts to make sense of a group of novels that deal in a symbolic way with contemporary forms of collective disaster (the prospect of nuclear war, the Holocaust, environmental destruction). It shows similarities among British, American, Canadian and other novels never before grouped together and argues that they constitute a distinct sub-genre of fiction: the trauma novel. In so doing, the book sets forth an original theory about how literary symbolism functions as part of a cultural response to collective trauma.

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INDEX 191

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1945, 2, 11, 56 Adams, Hazard, 111, 173 Allende, Isabel, 4 Allende, Salvador, 4 Amis, Kingsley, 177n. 4 Amis, Martin, 5, 17, 55-64, 90, 177n. 4; Einstein's Monsters, 5, 55-57; "Thinkability," 55, 56-57, 57; Time's Arrow, or The Nature of the Offence, 55, 56, 57-64, 64, 90, 177n. 4 Andersen, Hans Christian, 37 apartheid, 156, 159, 161, 162 apocalypse, 3, 4, 25, 165 Ararat (Thomas), 30, 172 Arendt, Hannah, 55 The An of the Self (Kosinski), 76 Atwood, Margaret, 7, 13, 14, 19, 108, 114-23, 164, 166, 173; The Handmaid's Tale, 13; Suifacing, 14-15, 109, 114-23, 153, 157, 164, 166, 173 Auschwitz, 58, 59, 60, 62, 63, 165 Index The Autumn of the Patriarch (Garcia Marquez), 4 Bacon, Francis, 166 Bakhtin, M.M., 21, 22, 56, 74 Ballantyne, R.M., 7, 155; The Coral Island, 7 Barth, John, 172, 178n. 6 Barthelme, Donald, 172, 178n. 6 Baum, L. Frank, 25; The Wizard of Oz, 164 Beckett, Samuel, 4, 26, 162, 172 Being There (Kosinski), 171 Bernhard, Thomas, 178n. 6 Bettelheim, Bruno, 108, 121 Binhstone (Thomas), 110, 141-42 black humour, 4, 5, 56, 58 Blind Date (Kosinski), 76 Borges, Jorge Luis, 178n. 6 Brave New World (Huxley), 4 Brians, Paul, 3 Briefing for a Descent into Hell (Lessing), 34 Browning, Robert, "'Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came,'" 23 Burgess, Anthony, A 192 Clockwork Orange, 4 Butor, Michel, 178n. 6 Calvino, Italo, 178n. 6 Campbell, Joseph, 110, 111; The Hero with a Thousand Faces, 110 Camus, Albert, 26; The Plague, 26, 82...

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