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Mariko Hori Tanaka

The global trauma of the nuclear age 173 8 The global trauma of the nuclear age in Beckett’s post-war plays Mariko Hori Tanaka The Holocaust and the development of nuclear weapons changed the world at the end of the Second World War. These two horrific events still weigh heavily on our lives. As Theodor Adorno warned, ‘Today something worse than death is to be feared’ (2001: 106). Both events proved that human beings can be infinitely savage and that we can potentially even destroy our species. Referring to his own famous words, ‘After Auschwitz one could no

in Samuel Beckett and trauma
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German nuclear cinema in neoliberal times
Steffen Hantke

Introduction: nuclear cinema between normality and catastrophe Given the number of accidents that have taken place in nuclear power plants around the world since the commercial use of the technology became widespread in the 1950s, it is surprising how few films there are that depict such accidents. Compared to the number of films devoted to

in Neoliberal Gothic

Samuel Beckett and trauma is a collection of essays that opens new approaches to Beckett’s literary and theoretical work through the lens of trauma studies. Beginning with biographical and intertextual readings of instances of trauma in Beckett’s works, the essays take up performance studies, philosophical and cultural understanding of post-traumatic subjectivity, and provide new perspectives that will expand and alter current trauma studies.

Chapter 1 deals with a whole range of traumatic symptoms in Beckett’s personal experiences which find their ways into a number of his works. Chapter 2 investigates traumatic symptoms experienced by actors on stage. Chapter 3 examines the problem of unspeakability by focusing on the face which illuminates the interface between Beckett’s work and trauma theory. Chapter 4 explores the relationship between trauma and skin – a psychic skin that reveals the ‘force and truth’ of trauma, a force that disrupts the apparatus of representation. Chapter 5 considers trauma caused by a bodily defect such as tinnitus. Chapter 6 focuses on the historically specific psychological structure in which a wounded subject is compelled to stick to ordinary life in the aftermath of some traumatic calamity. Chapter 7 provides a new way of looking at birth trauma by using the term as ‘creaturely life’ that is seen in the recent biopolitical discourses. Chapter 8 speculates on how Beckett’s post-war plays, responding to the nuclear age’s global trauma, resonate with ethical and philosophical thoughts of today’s post-Cold War era.

Adrian Curtin

and 1945 is a grotesque chapter in human history. Also ghastly was the nuclear devastation of Japanese cities by the US in August 1945, which caused the death of approximately 140,000 people in Hiroshima and 40–70,000 people in Nagasaki, and plagued survivors (hibakusha) with radiation sickness and other damaging side-effects (Bryant and Peck, 2009: 711). In relation to aerial bombardment, there was precedent for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in the firebombing of major Japanese cities, as well as the bombing of Dresden, Hamburg, London, and other British

in Death in modern theatre
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Rachel Sykes, Jennifer Daly, and Anna Maguire Elliot

, Robinson became an influential figure at the Writers’ Workshop at the University of Iowa and secured a reputation for nonfiction through publication of two diverse and controversial volumes that she often refers to as her most important works: Mother Country: Britain, the Welfare State, and Nuclear Pollution (1989) and The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (1998). Since Gilead , the rate at which Robinson has published fiction has been astonishing, with a fourth Gilead novel released in 2020, as Rachel Sykes discusses in the Epilogue to this collection

in Marilynne Robinson
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Agnes Andeweg and Sue Zlosnik

nuclear family. In Gothic fiction, the family is not the safe refuge of the ideological construct of the private sphere but the site of threat, particularly, as many critics have noted, for its female members. 3 As James Twitchell suggests, ‘if the Gothic tells us anything it is what “too close for comfort” really means’. 4 It is nothing new to state that Gothic fiction revels in family secrets

in Gothic kinship
Bernice M. Murphy

of narrative is the frequency with which the sanctity and supposedly inherent moral worth of the nuclear family is violently rent asunder. In the Suburban Gothic, in other words, you frequently have the most to fear from those you are related to. In American popular culture, suburbanites are seldom menaced by a terrible ‘other’; instead, they tend to be violently despatched by one of their own, usually

in Gothic kinship
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Euro-American orphans, the bildungsroman, and kinship building
Maria Holmgren Troy, Elizabeth Kella, and Helena Wahlström

’s Ellen Foster (1987) and The Life All Around Me by Ellen Foster (2006). These novels question widespread assumptions about the benefits of the nuclear family through their orphan protagonists’ explorations of alternative kinship constellations. Because they are orphans, Irving’s and Gibbons’s protagonists are outsiders, but because they are white they may still lay claim to the dominant formulation of American identity; and the challenge they launch against the nuclear family ideal may be effectual precisely because they occupy a position of racial privilege. While we

in Making home
The painful nearness of things
Lisa Mullen

of potential and the suppression of the object’s definitive conclusion finds echoes in the absences and narrative ruptures which characterise the post-war period’s treatment of bombs as cultural objects. In this chapter I will argue that atomic culture resonates with anxieties about objects and intimacy, and that this motif crosses and re-crosses the threshold between traditional explosives and nuclear technology. In the first chapter of this book, we saw how bombs created new ecosystems of undead life, and left behind object-witnesses and rubble that told human

in Mid-century gothic
Steven Sheil’s Mum & Dad
Johannes Schlegel

. Since during his speech several cuts to close-ups of the family members’ faces occur, indicating their compliance and affirmation, the concept of the nuclear family as relying on mutual affection is turned upside down, if not rejected, thus bringing to light a hidden conception of the modern family as a disciplining unit. In light of this inversion, one might be inclined to take Mum & Dad as a mere

in Gothic kinship