Disrupted narrative voices and the representation of trauma in Sonya Hartnett's Surrender and Kalinda Ashton's The Danger Game
In this paper I will consider the intersection between family tragedy, trauma, and affective uses of narration in two Australian novels: Surrender (Hartnett, 2005) and The Danger Game (Ashton, 2009). In both of these novels, narratological techniques are utilised to represent a grief beyond words-the tragic loss of a close family member, specifically, a sibling. Both novels use disruptions in narrative forms-particularly in the inherent expectations readers bring to the forms of first, second and third person narration. These narrative disruptions mirror the disruptions of identity experienced by the characters in these texts. Moreover, as we engage with the traumatic content through a fractured subjectivity presented by these texts, our identities as readers, too, become fractured and disrupted. These disruptions of identity echo that which is experienced by the characters themselves through their loss. By analysing the link between these disruptions and the content of these novels, we get a better understanding of the ways in which fictive worlds can represent psychological issues. The narration of these novels and their engagement with childhood sibling loss enable us to begin to create and understand a broader aesthetic of representational trauma.
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