Topics in Modern Greek Literature
Greek Historical Novels of Trauma
In this course we will address the interaction between history and literature on the level of trauma. The course will present fiction written in response to, or contextualized by, traumatic historical events, over a period ranging from the end of the nineteenth to the middle of the twentieth century, events that affected deeply the state and society of Greece.
As a distinct category of fiction, by its definition, " trauma novel" refers to a work of fiction that conveys a deep sense of loss or intense fear on an individual or a collective
level. But how is historical trauma reflected in such literary works? Whether or not we consider them a subcategory of the `trauma novel", historical novels of trauma have
some basic characteristics in common among themselves and with the above. Thus, they can help raise various issues, which we will explore in this course, such as: the
relationship between trauma and identity, trauma and its inter-generational transmission, trauma and memory, trauma and the geography of place, trauma and language, trauma and silence. As we examine historical trauma throuth the selected fiction, we will be gaining, at the same time, a deeper insight into the historical events involved in these works.
The novels chosen for this course are available in English translation. Greek history and essays addressing specific historical events are in English. A reader is being prepared by the instructor with selections and essays from contemporary trauma theory.