This volume is the first book of criticism to provide a systematic analysis of a corpus of emblematic contemporary British fictions from the combined perspective of trauma theory and ethics. Although the fictional work of writers such as Graham Swift has already been approached from this perspective, none of the individual works or authors under analysis in the twelve essays collected in this volume has been given such a systematic and in-depth scrutiny to date. This study, which is addressed to academics and university students of British literature and culture, focuses on the literary representation of trauma in key works by Martin Amis, J. G. Ballard, Pat Barker, John Boyne, Angela Carter, Eva Figes, Alan Hollinghurst, Delia Jarrett-Macauley, A.L. Kennedy, Ian McEwan, Michael Moorcock, Fay Weldon and Jeanette Winterson, within the context of the “ethical turn” in the related fields of literary theory and moral philosophy that has influenced literary criticism over the last three decades, with a special focus on the ethics of alterity, the ethics of truths, and deconstructive ethics.




Table of Contents

Jean-Michel Ganteau and Susana Onega: Introduction
Lena Steveker: Reading Trauma in Pat Barker’s Regeneration Trilogy
Silvia Pellicer-Ortín: The Ethical Clock of Trauma in Eva Figes’ Winter Journey
Charley Baker: “Nobody’s Meat”: Revisiting Rape and Sexual Trauma through Angela Carter
Jakob Winnberg: “A New Algebra”: The Poetics and Ethics of Trauma in J.G. Ballard’s The Atrocity Exhibition
Jean-Michel Ganteau: Trauma as the Negation of Autonomy: Michael Moorcock’s Mother London
María Jesús Martínez-Alfaro: Where Madness Lies: Holocaust Representation and the Ethics of Form in Martin Amis’ Time’s Arrow
Gerd Bayer: World War II Fiction and the Ethics of Trauma
José M. Yebra: “A Terrible Beauty”: Ethics, Aesthetics and the Trauma of Gayness in Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty
Georges Letissier: “The Eternal Loop of Self-Torture”: Ethics and Trauma in Ian McEwan’s Atonement
Angela Locatelli: Conjunctures of Uneasiness: Trauma in Fay Weldon’s The Heart of the Country and in Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach
Anne Whitehead: Representing the Child Soldier: Trauma, Postcolonialism and Ethics in Delia Jarrett-Macauley’s Moses, Citizen and Me
Susana Onega: The Trauma Paradigm and the Ethics of Affect in Jeanette Winterson’s The Stone Gods
Notes on Contributors