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The Traumatic Imagination: Histories of Violence in Magical Realist Fiction By Euge ...

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The Traumatic Imagination:


Writing Horror

Traumatic Imagination and Magical Realism

Events characterized by extreme violence and/or extended states of fear and anxiety tend to resist rationalization and interpretation in a narrative form because of their powerful and lasting impact on the human psyche. However, traumatization, albeit of a different type and intensity, may also be incurred by indirect or mediated experiences of violent events, such as listening to survivors’ (or trauma patients’) stories, watching war documentaries, films, and news footage, as well as reading trauma narratives. The concepts of vicarious traumatization and transgenerational trauma have constituted the fulcrum of the present project since its inception in early 2003, when, coincidentally, the United States invaded Iraq in order to “finish” a war started twelve years earlier, which, in its turn, had allegedly put to rest, as the media hype of the day went, the demons haunting America’s collective memory since yet another “unfinished” war of twenty-odd years before, named after a Southeast Asian country. Television brought all three wars into the living rooms