Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/170769
Title: TRACING TRAUMATIC TALES: ORPHEUS'S LAMENT AND (MIS)REPRESENTATIONS OF THE UNSPEAKABLE AFTER AUSCHWITZ AND GAZA
Authors: GOH KHIAM LI
Issue Date: 13-Apr-2020
Citation: GOH KHIAM LI (2020-04-13). TRACING TRAUMATIC TALES: ORPHEUS'S LAMENT AND (MIS)REPRESENTATIONS OF THE UNSPEAKABLE AFTER AUSCHWITZ AND GAZA. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This thesis proposes a framework based on the Greek myth of Orpheus — particularly, his lament — for understanding the literary treatment of trauma. Responding to trauma studies’ concerns regarding the aporetic necessity and impossibility of speaking the unspeakable, the essay surveys scholarship surrounding discourse’s disruption when confronted by trauma and other like concepts for which no words suffice. Finding resonances and references to the Orphic myth in negotiating language’s failure, this thesis makes an intervention in trauma studies by arguing for an Orphic framework which responds to that aporia by reflexively narrating — deconstructing — the failed process of narrativizing trauma. In so doing, the Orphic lament materializes the unspeakable by illuminating its absence in its confession of language’s failure and (mis)representation. Thereafter, this thesis draws on the enduring discourse surrounding the representation of collective trauma in Holocaust studies as well as the ironically parallel Jewish and Palestinian traumas to extend the discussion of the Orphic lament from “after Auschwitz” to Gaza. To achieve this, this thesis reads two graphic novels of traumatic experience using the framework presented: Art Spiegelman’s Maus: A Survivor’s Tale (1986) and And Here My Troubles Began (1992), and Joe Sacco’s Footnotes in Gaza (2009). It will demonstrate how the texts — despite their seemingly polar historical specificities — apologetically dismantles the process of narrating trauma to begin ethically grappling with the unspeakable. Finally, the essay ends with a brief reflection on the relation between the Orphic and the form of the trauma graphic novel, seeding future discussion in this area.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/170769
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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