Palgrave Studies in Life Writing

The Art and Science of Trauma and the Autobiographical

Negotiated Truths

Authors: Jensen, Meg

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  • - Draws on a wealth of material, from autobiographical fiction (Ballard, Kerouac, Woolf, Nabokov etc) to prison poems, from witness testimony to autography, and from testimonio to war memorials and monuments
  • - Interdisciplinary - relevant to contemporary debates in literature, psychology, global politics, psychology, neuroscience etc
  • - Demonstrates that incorporating insights from literature and cultural studies, human rights, psychology and neuroscience, is the best way to develop effective narrative-based writing therapies for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and related disorders
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About this book


This book examines posttraumatic autobiographical projects, elucidating the complex relationship between the ‘science of trauma’ (and how that idea is understood across various scientific disciplines), and the rhetorical strategies of fragmentation, dissociation, reticence and repetitive troping widely used the representation of traumatic experience. From autobiographical fictions to prison poems, from witness testimony to autography, and from testimonio to war memorials, otherwise dissimilar projects speak of past suffering through a limited and even predictable discourse in search of healing. Drawing on approaches from literary, human rights and cultural studies that highlight relations between trauma, language, meaning and self-hood, and the latest research on the science of trauma from the fields of clinical, behavioral and evolutionary psychology and neuroscience, I read such autobiographical projects not as ‘symptoms’ but as complex interrogative negotiations of trauma and its aftermath: commemorative and performative narratives navigating aesthetic, biological, cultural, linguistic and emotional pressure and inspiration.


About the authors

Meg Jensen is Associate Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing and Director of the Life Narrative Research Group at Kingston University. In 2014 she co-edited a major collection, Life Narratives and Human Rights, with Margaretta Jolly. She lives in London with her lovely family and two rather stupid cats.

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Table of contents (7 chapters)
  • The Negotiated Truth

    Pages 1-28

    Jensen, Meg

  • Valuing the Witness: Typologies of Testimony

    Pages 29-71

    Jensen, Meg

  • Time, Body, Memory: The Staged Moment in Posttraumatic Letters, Journals, Essays, and Memoirs

    Pages 73-113

    Jensen, Meg

  • What It Is Like: Fiction, Fear, and Narratives of Feeling in Posttraumatic Autobiographical Novels

    Pages 115-151

    Jensen, Meg

  • Speaking In and Speaking Out: Posttraumatic Poetry and Autography

    Pages 153-199

    Jensen, Meg

Buy this book

eBook  
  • ISBN 978-3-030-06106-7
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover  
  • ISBN 978-3-030-06105-0
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
The Art and Science of Trauma and the Autobiographical
Book Subtitle
Negotiated Truths
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Life Writing
Copyright
2019
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-06106-7
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-06106-7
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-06105-0
Series ISSN
2730-9185
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XIII, 299
Number of Illustrations
1 b/w illustrations
Topics