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Trauma Fiction$
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Anne Whitehead

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780748618576

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748618576.001.0001

Othello in the ghetto: trauma and intertextuality in Caryl Phillips's The Nature of Blood

(p.89) Chapter 4 Othello in the ghetto: trauma and intertextuality in Caryl Phillips's The Nature of Blood
Trauma Fiction

Anne Whitehead

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter examines intertextuality, which can also suggest a literary precedent that threatens to influence the actions of a character in the present. It studies two narratives that reference Shakespeare's Othello and Henry James's The Turn of the Screw. The chapter discusses trauma fiction, which overlaps with postcolonial fiction in its use of intertextuality in order to allow previously silenced voices to tell their own story. It concludes that the intertextual recovery of formerly marginalised voices signals the ethical dimension of trauma fiction, which records and witnesses those that are ‘forgotten’ or overlooked in the narrative of history.

Keywords:   intertextuality, trauma fiction, postcolonial fiction, silenced voices, ethical dimension, narrative of history

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