Modern Greek Literature
Time as a Historical and Literary Category in Modern Greek Literature of Trauma (Prose and Poetry)
How is time expressed, through the narrative presentation of trauma, in contemporary Greek fiction and poetry? In recent years, trauma theory has focused more intensely on the relationship between trauma and history. As such, trauma literature is seen to provide a mode of interpretation of history as well as as mode of penetration into history.
In this class, we will examine selected works of trauma, fiction and poetry, from the nineteenth century to the present, and their confrontations with both history and theory. We will focus on elements of time that bring to light the relationship between trauma literature and historical narrative, from violently apocalyptic visions of time in historical events to constructions of time in literature of trauma, personal and collective, poetry and prose. We will examine the ways in which the reconstruction of events allows for the representation of trauma as text and of the relationship between pain and language. We will look into how the writing of trauma underscores the effort to move from the loneliness of the individual testimony to a search for legitimacy and community within the communal experience of history. To repeat the words of trauma theorist Cathy Caruth (Unclaimed Experience p.24), “… history, like trauma, is never simply one’s own, history is precisely the way we are implicated in each other’s traumas”.
Greek texts are also available in English translation. History and theory are in English.
Foreign films are subtitled.