Nelly Rosario's Song Of The Water Saints

1476 Words6 Pages
Up until the 19th century, trauma meant something psychical. Once limited to bodily wounds, trauma, in its contemporary understanding, is now also recognized as an injury to the mind, soul, or spirit. Though Sigmund Freud’s views of trauma evolved over time, what remains essential from his studies of “hysteria” and “shell-shock” is the inability of the mind to perceive the traumatic event as it occurs, resulting in a structure of delayed understanding. The traumatic memory cannot be processed on a linguistic level and as a result, surfaces through as somatosensory and involuntary responses. Studying these forms of embodied memory led those like French psychologist Pierre Janet to make the careful distinction between narrative and traumatic memory. Whereas narrative memory is adaptive and social, able to be integrated within a historical framework, the traumatic memory remains fixed, an invasive reminder of suffering that dissolves temporal boundaries. If we are to view selfhood as a narrative of identity, then trauma almost…show more content…
Alexander who see the trauma survivor as a collective agent of the trauma process, one who comes to represents a larger collective body. Meera Atkinson has more recently continued the understanding of collective trauma as part of a transgenerational collective memory. Nelly Rosario’s Song of the Water Saints (2002) explores this with three generations of women in the Dominican Republic. For many, the traumatic experience is one of cultural loss in which language becomes an important form of embodied memory. From Unincorporated Territory: Saina (2010) by Craig Santos Perez and Whereas (2017) by Layli Long Soldier both explore the legality of citizenship and erasure of culture and, in doing so, articulate new forms of cultural identity. That individuals are autonomous or separate from the political systems in which they operate are mere illusions in life writing about
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