Trauma, Corporeality, and Textuality in Contemporary American Culture
Routledge – 2006 – 156 pages
"Foreign Bodies" investigates the relation between the notion of trauma and possible forms of representation within the necessary constraints that traumatic experience itself imposes. While many influential trauma theorists have focused on the notion of textual "voice" in their search for appropriate, effective, and adequate representational modes, the book argues that the act of narrating trauma cannot exclude corporeality as one of the central figures of this telling. One of the distinctive features of this book is, therefore, the attempt at tracing the indissoluble bond--detected in the work of a number of contemporary artists such as Toni Morrison, Don DeLillo, Dorothy Allison, and photographer Sally Mann--between voice and body, trauma and corporeality. In so doing, the book proposes a new direction within trauma studies, one that explicitly views the body as a medium of self-expression and, crucially, textual working through. By conceptually reading these narratives against the Freudian metaphor for traumatic memory that of a quasi-palpable "foreign body" the author attempts to increase or modify current knowledge on the relationship between expressive culture and trauma.