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Bodily detours: Sarah Kofman's narratives of childhood trauma

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kathryn Robson


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Although psychological trauma has repeatedly been described in terms of the body, the relation between traumatic loss, narrative, and the body requires further elucidation. This article explores how Sarah Kofman's autobiographical texts -- "Rue Ordener, rue Labat" and critically neglected shorter texts -- deploy bodily figures to narrate Kofman's own traumatic childhood as a Jew in Occupied France. Where psychoanalytic theory offers a model of articulating traumatic loss through bodily figures, Kofman's writing mobilizes a different model figured through a corporeal 'double bind' that embodies the difficulty and concomitant necessity of recounting traumatic loss.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Robson K

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Modern Language Review

Year: 2004

Volume: 99

Issue: 3

Pages: 608-621

ISSN (print): 0026-7937

ISSN (electronic): 0306-2473

Publisher: Maney Publishing


DOI: 10.2307/3738990


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