Haunting Legacies: Violent Histories and Transgenerational Trauma

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Columbia University Press, 2010 - Literary Criticism - 227 pages
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From mass murder to genocide, slavery to colonial suppression, acts of atrocity have lives that extend far beyond the horrific moment. They engender trauma that echoes for generations, in the experiences of those on both sides of the act. Gabriele Schwab reads these legacies in a number of narratives, primarily through the writing of postwar Germans and the descendents of Holocaust survivors. She connects their work to earlier histories of slavery and colonialism and to more recent events, such as South African Apartheid, the practice of torture after 9/11, and the "disappearances" that occurred during South American dictatorships..

SchwabÆs text includes memoirs. She also incorporates her own reminiscences of growing up in post-war Germany, mapping interlaced memories and histories as they interact in psychic life and cultural memory. Schwab concludes with a bracing look at issues of responsibility, reparation, and forgiveness across the victim/perpetrator divide.

"Passionate, committed, and hard-hitting on every page, Haunting Legacies draws on an exceptional range of theoretical models and literary texts to reveal the traumatic traces of violence written in to the cultural fabric of the present day. Rigorous in its analysis but never indifferent to the real suffering permeating the objects of its investigation, Haunting Legacies marries righteous indignation with a poetic reflection on Gabriele Schwab's own history growing up in West Germany in the immediate aftermath of her country's genocidal madness."-Stuart Taberner, Leeds Humanities Research Institute

"Highly Original and courageous. Schwab breaks new ground in the study of trauma and its intergenerational transmission."-Michael Levine, Rutgers University

"Brilliant, fresh, and stimulating. Schwab's work considerably expands on the most recent advances in psychoanalytic and postcolonial theory and is sure to be discussed across disciplines for many years to come."-Amir Eshel, Stanford University
 

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Contents

COL Schwab 12432 ch1
1
COL Schwab 12432 ch2
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COL Schwab 12432 ch3
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COL Schwab 12432 ch4
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COL Schwab 12432 ch5
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COL Schwab 12432 ch6
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COL Schwab 12432 ch7
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COL Schwab 12432 ch8
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COL Schwab 12432 index
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About the author (2010)

Gabriele Schwab is Chancellor's Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Irvine. Her books in English include Derrida, Deleuze, Psychoanalysis; Accelerating Possessions: Global Futures of Property and Personhood; and The Mirror and the Killer-Queen: Otherness in Literary Language.

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