Post memory violence: the Great War and children of trauma

Nile, Richard (2020) Post memory violence: the Great War and children of trauma. M/C Journal, 23 (2).

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Abstract

Hundreds of thousands of Australian children had been born in the shadow of the Great War to men who enlisted between 1914 and 1918. The lives of these children could be and often were hard and unhappy, as Anzac historian Alistair Thomson observed of his own father’s experiences as the son of a returned serviceman who had been in and out of repatriation hospitals during the 1920s and 1930s (257-259) and who became erased from family stories (299-267). These children of trauma fit within a pattern suggested by Marianne Hirsch in her influential essay “The Generation of Postmemory.” According to Hirsch “Postmemory describes the relationship of the second generation to powerful, often traumatic, experiences that preceded their births but that were nevertheless transmitted to them so deeply as to seem to constitute memories in their own right” (np). This paper attempts to situate George Johnston’s novel My Brother Jack (1964) within the context of postmemory narratives of violence that were complicated in Australia by the Anzac Legend which occluded any too open discussion about the extent of war trauma present within community, including the children of war.

Item ID: 62442
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1441-2616
Copyright Information: Copyright (c) 2020 Richard Nile. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2020 02:45
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2005 Literary Studies > 200502 Australian Literature (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature) @ 50%
21 HISTORY AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 50%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology @ 50%
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