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|Title:||‘FOR A LICK OF NIGHT IN THE MORNING; FOR A LITTLE BREAK IN THE MOURNING’: WRITING THE GRIEVING SELF IN CONTEMPORARY FICTION||Authors:||PENG HONG JIN||Issue Date:||11-Apr-2022||Citation:||PENG HONG JIN (2022-04-11). ‘FOR A LICK OF NIGHT IN THE MORNING; FOR A LITTLE BREAK IN THE MOURNING’: WRITING THE GRIEVING SELF IN CONTEMPORARY FICTION. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.||Abstract:||Central to this thesis is the notion of closure, which is conventionally understood as ‘moving on’ or ‘healing’ in contemporary discourse. Traditional modes of psychoanalytic work posit that ‘closure’ may be achieved through the talking cure, which originated and was subsequently popularised in the late nineteenth century. This uncomplicated relationship between language and trauma—which I contextualise in terms of personal grief—suggests complete linguistic mastery, demonstrated in literary work through conventional narrative structure and form, over the ghosts of the past. These ideas of therapeutic articulation, however, have been challenged over the past several decades, given the rise of deconstruction and trauma studies since the eighties. In light of these developments in literary criticism, I explore how closure itself transforms to produce alternative modes of grieving. By adapting and subsequently problematising the Freudian model of mourning and melancholia, I propose that grieving may be situated somewhere in between both states, necessitating a mode of ‘staying’ with grief that departs from progressivity. Through the lens of autofiction, I read Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers and Yiyun Li’s Where Reasons End to examine how the autofictional subject similarly attempts to master grief by chronicling its transformation in the wake of los,. I focus specifically on the difficulties encountered in writing ‘unspeakable’ grief by examining the formally experimental techniques of Grief and Reasons, which in turn performs the work of ‘staying’ with grief. Ultimately, by visualising alternative modes of mourning, this project seeks to explore how closure itself is transformed through literary form, thus charting a way of grieving that is less susceptible to the pressures of ‘moving on’.||URI:||https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228008|
|Appears in Collections:||Bachelor's Theses|
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