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Bodies in transit : body, trauma and, text in the works of Henry "Box" Brown, Jean Toomer, and Charlotte Delbo / by Erin Mae Clark.

Publication | Library Call Number: E450 .B874 2010

Bodies in Transit unites a diverse array of authors from across space and time to examine the methods by which trauma is translated into literature. The central focus is on mapping articulations of traumatic history in works that defy genre classification while powerfully reflecting the origin and transmission of trauma in the technologies of power in their time. Railroad technologies disrupt cultural fabric and often aid authors who struggle to represent the unrepresentable by invoking the markings of trauma in technologies already capable of denoting disruption and shock. Such trauma resists genre, for the chaos of traumatic memory is not contained by rigid structures. Rather, the works examined in Bodies in Transit are united in their use of technological symbols to emphatically indicate memory of physical and psychological pain. Henry Box Brown‘s multimedia panorama narrative defies the slave narrative template and focuses on Brown‘s performance of his escape via the railway as a way of expressing the realities of slavery that are otherwise lost in strictly textual works. Jean Toomer and Charlotte Delbo similarly negate generic singularity and rely instead upon the power of technology to delineate the shape of trauma. What emerges is a fuller understanding of how authors circumvent genre in order to connect readers and viewers with the horrors of genocide and violence, and ultimately, the very essence of humanity.

Clark, Erin Mae, 1982-
Record last modified: 2018-05-29 16:28:00
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