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Literary Agency in the Wake of Catastrophe

The Canonization of the Literary Responses to Trauma

Veronica De Pieri    Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia, Italia    



Textual agency plays a fundamental role with regard to the literary production devoted to catastrophic events and the trauma they entail; it raises questions about the ethics of the disaster, as if to say the legitimacy of the literary works on the theme. The authorial commitment to bear witness to the events often clashes with the unrepresentability of the event itself: silence and discursivity are both misleading choices in the sense that the first is a real blot on History, while the latter implies to domesticate trauma in order to transpose it into literary forms. This article aims to give relevance to the therapeutic agency of the Literature of the catastrophe and in doing so, it contributes to the re-evaluation of the genre as part of the literary canon.

Dec. 6, 2018
Oct. 9, 2018
July 11, 2018

Keywords: CanonCatastropheLiteratureFukushimaTrauma

Copyright: © 2018 Veronica De Pieri. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.