THE UNSPEAKABLE: TRAUMA AFFECTED NARRATIVES

Lorinda Tang

Abstract


This paper explores questions for writers who are depicting traumatised characters in their creative practice. As a literary trope, ‘the unspeakable’ has been relied on as a shorthand for traumatic experience and the ongoing affects of trauma. This paper asks whether the unspeakable is adequate to convey the lived experience of trauma, or does it minimise or sideline trauma? Does recourse to the notion of the unspeakable prevent misappropriation of stories or does it lead instead to other kinds of misrepresentation and marginalisation? How can writers, appreciating the complexities raised by the notion of unspeakability, still convey truth and inspire empathic readings when speaking about trauma?


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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.21153/cinder2020art952

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