Summary of The Splintered Glass
These essays discuss trauma studies as refracted through literature, focusing on the many ways in which the terms ‘cultural trauma’ and ‘personal trauma’ intertwine in postcolonial fiction. In a catastrophic age such as the present, trauma itself may serve to provide linkage through cross-cultural understanding and new forms of community. Western colonization needs to be theorized in terms of the infliction of collective trauma, and the postcolonial process is itself a post-traumatic cultural formation and condition. Moreover, the West’s claim on trauma studies (via the Holocaust) needs to be put in a perspective recuperating other, non-Western experiences. Geo-historical areas covered include Africa (genital alteration) and, more specifically, South Africa (apartheid), the Caribbean (racial and gendered violence in Trinidad; the trauma of Haiti), and Asia (total war in the Philippines; ethnic violence in India compared to 9/11). Special attention is devoted to Australia (Aboriginal and multicultural aspects of traumatic experience) and New Zealand (the Maori Battalion). Writers treated include J.M. Coetzee, Shani Mootoo, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Flanagan, Janette Turner Hospital, Andrew McGahan, Tim Winton, and Patricia Grace. Illuminating insights are provided by creative writers (Merlinda Bobis and Meena Alexander). Contributors: Meena Alexander, Heinz Antor, Bárbara Arizti, Merlinda Bobis, Donna Coates, Marc Delrez, Maite Escudero, Isabel Fraile, Aitor Ibarrola-Armendáriz, Susana Onega, Chantal Zabus.