Sebald’s novel Austerlitz can be considered a „trauma novel” not only for a narratological reason (that is, because it reflects upon the non-representability of trauma on the level of words), but also because it reveals the impossibility of depicting a past memory with pictures – despite of the fact that both the narrator and the title character are feel impelled to do so. The attitude of the narrator illustrates a phenomenon that the German sociologist Bernhard Giesen describes as the perpetrator’s trauma. According to this theory the individual trauma becomes a collective one in case of the perpetrators. Austerlitz, on the other hand, turns into a medium of the victimes as well. Cultural trauma can also become a part of the personal identity due to certain individuals and media, such as the photography, which is of crucial importance for remembering in the novel. One can describe the sound and picture of the trauma with the term of catachresis. This figure involves the constraint of signifying the non-representability.
Ugyanannak a szerző(k)nek a legtöbbet olvasott cikkei