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Spaces of Expression and Repression in Post-Millennial North-American Literature and Visual Culture

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Edited By Izabella Kimak and Julia Nikiel

The essays included in this book offer an overview of literary works, films, TV series, and computer games, which reflect current social and political developments since the beginning of this century. The contributions intend to x-ray the most crucial aspects of contemporary North-American literature and culture. Addressing a variety of media, the authors of the essays probe the many ways in which repression and expression are the primary keywords for understanding contemporary American life and culture.

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A New Take on “The Mournful and Never Ending Remembrance”: Personal Loss and the Trauma of History in E. L. Doctorow’s Andrew’s Brain (Sławomir Studniarz)

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Sławomir Studniarz

A New Take on “The Mournful and Never Ending Remembrance”: Personal Loss and the Trauma of History in E. L. Doctorow’s Andrew’s Brain

Abstract: The article examines E. L. Doctorow’s novella Andrew’s Brain, dealing with personal loss and the national disaster of the attack on the World Trade Center. The novella exposes the trauma of history and its shattering effect on human consciousness.

Keywords: trauma, disaster, confession, archive, intertext

Poe’s ballad “The Raven” remains arguably the most famous literary representation of loss in American literature, and its message of the “Mournful and Never Ending Remembrance” continues to echo throughout the works of diverse American authors. The present article aims to explore the reworking of this idea in the last novel of E. L. Doctorow Andrew’s Brain, published in 2014. This strange valedictory offering of Doctorow stands perhaps as the author’s philosophical and artistic testament, on the one hand, firmly placed in the context of the Western metaphysical tradition, while on the other, critically reexamining its long-standing claims in the light of recent findings of neuroscience and genetics.

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