<i>Othello in the ghetto: trauma and intertextuality in Caryl Phillips's</i> The Nature of Blood

Anne Whitehead

in Trauma Fiction

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2004 | ISBN: 9780748618576
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651726 | DOI:
Othello in the ghetto: trauma and intertextuality in Caryl Phillips's The Nature of Blood

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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This chapter examines intertextuality, which can also suggest a literary precedent that threatens to influence the actions of a character in the present. It studies two narratives that reference Shakespeare's Othello and Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. The chapter discusses trauma fiction, which overlaps with postcolonial fiction in its use of intertextuality in order to allow previously silenced voices to tell their own story. It concludes that the intertextual recovery of formerly marginalised voices signals the ethical dimension of trauma fiction, which records and witnesses those that are ‘forgotten’ or overlooked in the narrative of history.

Keywords: intertextuality; trauma fiction; postcolonial fiction; silenced voices; ethical dimension; narrative of history

Chapter.  11843 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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