The Open Wound of Trauma

January 23rd, 2011 § 1 comment § permalink


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Child's drawing, September 14, 2001.

This year one of the holiday gift items I requested was a long list of books and films about 9/11. My fabulous husband cleaned out my Amazon wishlist, which means 1) I better get reading and 2) I must now restock that list because I have a birthday in February and there is a seemingly endless list of resources to consult for this dissertation.

A few nights ago, I was reading one of the new books in the pile, Trauma Culture by E. Ann Kaplan. She has a remarkable way of pulling the reader into her work. In the introduction, Kaplan writes about her own experience of 9/11 to demonstrate, among other things, the merging of personal and cultural trauma.

I found her writing to resonate in the context of my current research project, but also in the wake of the tragedy that took place just two weeks ago in Arizona. She writes, “Trauma can never be “healed” in the sense of a return to how things were before a catastrophe took place, or before one witnessed a catastrophe; but if the wound of trauma remains open, its pain may be worked through in the process of its being “translated” via art.” » Read the rest of this entry «

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