<i>Recomposing the past: trauma and improvisation in Toni Morrison's</i> Jazz <i>and Jackie Kay's</i> Trumpet

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:
Recomposing the past: trauma and improvisation in Toni Morrison's Jazz and Jackie Kay's Trumpet

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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This chapter views the conceptualisation of literature as a way of ‘working-through’, which consequently involves its own potential risks, and stresses that writing must not forget the challenge that trauma causes to representation. It argues that literary fiction provides the freedom and flexibility to be able to express the resistance and impact of trauma. The chapter also analyses two important works of fiction that draw on the forms of jazz to suggest the transition from trauma to recovery.

Keywords: literature; conceptualisation; challenge; trauma; representation; literary fiction; impact; jazz; recovery

Chapter.  9099 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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