Chapter

Embedded: Memoir and Correspondents

Gillian Whitlock

in Soft Weapons

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780226895253
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226895277 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226895277.003.0007
Embedded: Memoir and Correspondents

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This chapter turns to what Leigh Gilmore calls the “limits” of autobiography: its trading in trauma—and war. It also identifies memoir as a vehicle for haunted and fragmented accounts of the professional self in a specific historical context. The memoir is traditionally the prerogative of the literate elite. It is a distinctive space for autobiographical writing. The impacts of graphic accounts of trauma in war journalism from Iraq are an important issue. Journalists' memoirs from Baghdad rapidly take up performatively the spatial organization of news coverage. Travels in American Iraq is a nomadic memoir: processual and unresolved. Naked in Baghdad provides a valuable thick description of the correspondents' world, using the tools, customs, and technology of Anne Garrels' craft to autobiographical and ethnographic effect. The terrible and spectral presence of the victims of war is implanted in the American experience of Iraq.

Keywords: trauma; war; memoir; Leigh Gilmore; autobiographical writing; Travels in American Iraq; Baghdad; correspondents

Chapter.  13191 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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