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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kathryn Robson
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The possibility of a so‐called ‘narrative cure’, whereby a survivor of traumatic experience can begin to deal with her past through integrating it into narrative, has become central both to psychotherapy and to literary criticism on writings of trauma as a means of ethical, ‘truthful’ testimony and of healing. This article seeks to question the correlation between testimony and ‘cure’ through analysing the function of the ‘narrative cure’ in a psychotherapeutic text and in a literary text. This highlights how any notion of ‘truthful’ testimony is always underwritten by fiction, which raises crucial ethical questions about the relation between fiction and ‘truth’, testimony and ‘cure’ and psychotherapy and literature. I argue that the ‘narrative cure’ is not a privileged space of curative ‘truth’, but a point of tension between memory and amnesia and between ‘truth’ and fiction; it is precisely this tension, I suggest, which should characterize and structure interdisciplinary responses to trauma.
Author(s): Kathryn Robson
Publication type: Article
Publication status: Published
Journal: Cultural Values
ISSN (print): 1479-7585
ISSN (electronic): 1467-8713
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