Review of Esther Rashkin, UNSPEAKABLE SECRETS AND THE PSYCHOANALYSIS OF CULTURE
Withheld Stories and the Limits of Ethnographic Knowability
How to write about survival? How to tell survival? By exploring manifold reasons to withhold a story, I shed light on the limits of ethnographic knowledge production and the politics of storytelling that mobilize one story and silence another. Through engaging with the fragmented narrative of a Moroccan survivor of a shipwreck in Spanish waters in 2003, I reconceptualize the movement called “migration as survival” by theorizing it as an ethnographic concept. I explore the different temporalities of survival as living through a life-threatening event and as living on in an unjust world. These interrelated temporalities of survival are embedded in the afterlife of the historical time of al-Andalus and the resurgent fear of the Muslim “Other.” By suggesting an existentially informed political understanding of the survival story, I show how the singularity of the survivor is inscribed in a regime of mobility that constrains people and their stories.
Trainer, Researcher and Scholar
Jackie Kirk’s death is an unspeakable loss to all of us, to the field of education and to the communities who will continue to benefit from her tremendous intellectual and personal contributions. We at UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) continue to honour her memory through our commitment to education for children and communities aff ected by conflict.
Michael Murphy, David Belbin, Dennis Brown, David C. Green and Matthew Steggle
The Iron-Blue Vault: Selected Poems by Attila József. Translated by Zsuzsanna Ozsváth and Frederick Turner (Newcastle: Bloodaxe, 1999), ISBN 1-85224-503-4 £8.95
Fallen among Scribes: Conversations with Novelists, Poets, Critics. David Gerard (Wilmslow: Elvet Press, 1998), ISBN 0951077686 £7.50
Breaking Enmities: Religion, Literature and Culture in Northern Ireland, 1967–97. Patrick Grant (London: Macmillan, 1999), ISBN 0-333-69829-0, Hardback £45
The Holocaust and the Text: Speaking the Unspeakable. Edited by A. Leak and G. Paizis (London: Macmillan, 2000), ISBN 0-333-73887-X, £15.99
Introduction to Renaissance English Comedy. Alexander Leggatt (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1999), ISBN 0-7190-4965-2, Paperback £9.99
Survivors of the Shoah and the Dangers of Testimony
The great catastrophes of history can be recognised through the paralysed silence which they leave in their wake, a silence which frequently is broken only to make way for the falsifications of memory. BEtween silence and falsification, a third path may be opened. For those who are capable of it, this path involves saying what happened, writing in the first person. This third possibility is doubly valorised. First of all, it offers a public testimony. It allows a truth which is unspeakable or not to be spoken to erupt onto the social scene. Secondly, it is meant to have a cathartic function. The author of the testimony would in this way be unburdening himself o a horror too heavy to bear. Put into words, his suffering would become something which could be shared. It is this sharing which will be discussed here, its power to grant peace. One may doubt this power.
Few aspects of Northern Irish political culture are as denuded as those that attempt to locate and understand the terrorist act. From the exasperation of Margaret Thatcher’s outburst at the time of the Hunger Strikes that ‘it is not political, it is a crime’, to the exhausted freedom fighter/terrorist binary opposition recently pressed back into service by Peter Mandelson, terrorism has consistently been perceived as an act that defies the realm of civic discourse. Indeed, it has been the traditional role of language in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist atrocity to present itself as unable to capture the overwhelming materiality of the event itself. What, so the argument runs, can words offer in the face of such violence? Understood as such, every terrorist outrage becomes unspeakable.
Horror, Vampires, and the Maternal in Late Nineteenth-Century Gothic Fiction
The most intricate element shared by both psychoanalysis and gothic narratives is their preoccupation with the past and its complex impact on the genesis and state of the present. This is the case from a historical and cultural perspective as well as from the point of view of subjectivity and identity. Who are we, how do we relate to the world around us, and what threatens our sense of ‘being present/in the present’ – these questions are at the centre of any psychoanalytic inquiry and simultaneously seem to inform what could be referred to as a gothic narrative structure. The concept of haunting, the hidden spectre in the past/of the past ready to strike when we least expect it are intrinsic to both the psychoanalytic discourse per se and any tale of horror and terror where an unsuspecting hero (or more often a heroine) has to develop strategies to fight off the unspeakable monstrosities attacking him or her. Thus, what Victor Sage and Allan Lloyd Smith regard as particular to the Gothic: ‘it is a language, often an anti-historicising language, which provides writers with the critical means of transferring an idea of the otherness of the past into the present’ could also be defined as a specific element of any psychoanalytic discourse.
Selin Çağatay, Olesya Khromeychuk, Stanimir Panayotov, Zlatina Bogdanova, Margarita Karamihova and Angelina Vacheva
Grinchenko argues that the seeming neprohovoriuvanist ’ (unspeakability) of certain aspects of women’s experiences of war is being overcome by the emerging new historiography (243). The volume certainly succeeds in helping to speak the “unspeakable
Demythifying Luis Buñuel’s Tierra sin pan in Fermín Solís’s Buñuel en el laberinto de las tortugas
Torreiro (Madrid: Ocho y medio, 2001), 155–166. 32 For a collection of Buñuel’s writings, see Luis Buñuel, An Unspeakable Betrayal: Selected Writings of Luis Buñuel , trans. Garrett White (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000). 33 Buñuel, An
JCM Conference, Bendorf, March 1999
. ‘Hear’ could and probably should be ‘listen’. As for ‘the Lord’, I hardly know where to begin. It is the unsayable, unspeakable ‘name’ of God, and is an archaic, continuous form of the verb ‘to be’. And ‘One’ in Hebrew carries a whole cluster of meanings