The dialectic of silence and remembrance in Lily Brett’s ''Things could be worse''

DSpace/Manakin Repository

The dialectic of silence and remembrance in Lily Brett’s ''Things could be worse''

Show full item record

Title: The dialectic of silence and remembrance in Lily Brett’s ''Things could be worse''
Author: Botez, Catalina
Abstract: The dynamics of silence and remembrance in Australian writer Lily Brett’s autobiographic fiction Things Could Be Worse reflects the crisis of memory and understanding experienced by both first and second-generation Holocaust survivors within the diasporic space of contemporary Australia. It leads to issues of handling traumatic and transgenerational memory, the latter also known as postmemory (M. Hirsch), in the long aftermath of atrocities, and problematises the role of forgetting in shielding displaced identities against total dissolution of the self. This paper explores the mechanisms of remembrance and forgetting in L. Brett’s narrative by mainly focusing on two female characters, mother and daughter, whose coming to terms with (the necessary) silence, on the one hand, and articulated memories, on the other, reflects different modes of comprehending and eventually coping with individual trauma. By differentiating between several types of silence encountered in Brett’s prose (that of the voiceless victims, of survivors and their offspring, respectively), I argue that silence can equally voice and hush traumatic experience, that it is never empty, but invested with individual and collective meaning. Essentially, I contend that beside the (self-)damaging effects of silence, there are also beneficial consequences of it, in that it plays a crucial role in emplacing the displaced, rebuilding their shattered self, and contributing to their reintegration, survival and even partial healing.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10437/3016
Date: 2011


Files in this item

Files Size Format View
The dialectic_of_silence.pdf 398.3Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record

Search DSpace


Advanced Search

Browse

My Account