My Words Would Have Murdered: Sandor Ferenczi, Women’s Memoir, and Reparative Reading

· Issue 22 (2018)
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Abstract

This article explores some of the ways in which the work of Sandor Ferenczi can open new possibilities for readers of literary trauma narratives.  I examine the significant ways in which Ferenczi re-writes the Freudian analytic paradigm to introduce the importance of factors such as trust, compassion, and belief. I posit that through the use of strategies such as fragmentation and absence, contemporary women memoirists such as Meena Alexander, Theresa Cha, and Maxine Hong Kingston invite a reader who is invested in co-creating multiple selves and stories that make sense of trauma in diverse ways. By entering into dialogue with such work, we not only gain insight into the nature of trauma and its inscription, but also take part in the kind of flexible, dialogic witnessing process called for by not only Ferenczi, but the authors of the texts themselves.

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