Introduction: the arts of trauma

Benyei, Tamas and Stara, Alexandra (2014) Introduction: the arts of trauma. In: Benyei, Tamas and Stara, Alexandra, (eds.) The edges of trauma: explorations in visual art and literature. Newcastle upon Tyne : Cambridge Scholars Publishing. pp. 1-17. ISBN 9781443853422


This collection of essays offers new research in the growing field of trauma studies with a distinctly innovative feature: it draws from both literature and the visual arts to develop an interdisciplinary dialogue, placing itself in what theorists Saltzman and Rosenberg have described as the “potential space of trauma… the very domain that exists between the visual and the verbal, between what is seen and what is said” (2006). Operating in what could be defined as an overarching Adornian context, the contribution of each of these essays is deliberately not in the psychological or therapeutic aspects of trauma but in the relationship between trauma and art, the ‘edge condition’ between traumatic non-experience and aesthetic experience. The extensive editors’ introduction defines in detail the present work’s contribution to contemporary trauma studies, and opens an investigation – developed further by the precisely curated original essays that follow – into the possibilities and limits of (aesthetic) representation in the context of modernity and trauma.

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