Decolonizing cultural memory in Andrea Levy's Small Island

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    This article examines Andrea Levy’s 2004 novel Small Island as a postcolonial trauma novel that revisions cultural memory of World War II and its aftermath. Utilising the insights of Stef Craps’s Postcolonial Witnessing, it explores the ways in which Levy’s text redresses the marginalization of non-western and minority trauma and addresses the underexplored relationship between First and Third World traumas. Eschewing classic western definitions of trauma as a point of rupture and fragmentation, the novel provides an alternative trauma aesthetic based on the power of storytelling and the use of humour to mitigate the traumatic losses of the past. Drawing on Michael Rothberg’s notion of “multidirectional memory”, it argues that Small Island employs a notion of cultural memory as heterogenous to suggest strong continuities in the experience of Black and white men and women before and after the war in terms of the long history of colonialism.
    Keywords: Andrea Levy; World War II; Black British history; trauma narrative; multidirectional memory; decolonizing theory
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Postcolonial Writing
    Early online date15 Jul 2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jul 2019

    Fingerprint

    Cultural Memory
    Trauma
    Small Islands
    Second World War
    History
    British History
    Marginalization
    Aesthetics
    Fragmentation
    Black British
    Traumatic Loss
    Storytelling
    Third World
    Witnessing
    Colonialism
    Continuity
    Key Words
    Rupture
    Novel
    Minorities

    Keywords

    • Andrea Levy
    • decolonizing theory
    • Black British history
    • World War II
    • trauma narrative
    • multidirectional memory

    Cite this

    @article{9a707ff987ae418081484e8718834b54,
    title = "Decolonizing cultural memory in Andrea Levy's Small Island",
    abstract = "This article examines Andrea Levy’s 2004 novel Small Island as a postcolonial trauma novel that revisions cultural memory of World War II and its aftermath. Utilising the insights of Stef Craps’s Postcolonial Witnessing, it explores the ways in which Levy’s text redresses the marginalization of non-western and minority trauma and addresses the underexplored relationship between First and Third World traumas. Eschewing classic western definitions of trauma as a point of rupture and fragmentation, the novel provides an alternative trauma aesthetic based on the power of storytelling and the use of humour to mitigate the traumatic losses of the past. Drawing on Michael Rothberg’s notion of “multidirectional memory”, it argues that Small Island employs a notion of cultural memory as heterogenous to suggest strong continuities in the experience of Black and white men and women before and after the war in terms of the long history of colonialism. Keywords: Andrea Levy; World War II; Black British history; trauma narrative; multidirectional memory; decolonizing theory",
    keywords = "Andrea Levy, decolonizing theory, Black British history, World War II, trauma narrative, multidirectional memory",
    author = "Sonya Andermahr",
    year = "2019",
    month = "7",
    day = "15",
    doi = "10.1080/17449855.2019.1633554",
    language = "English",
    journal = "Journal of Postcolonial Writing",
    issn = "1744-9855",
    publisher = "Taylor & Francis",

    }

    Decolonizing cultural memory in Andrea Levy's Small Island. / Andermahr, Sonya.

    In: Journal of Postcolonial Writing, 15.07.2019.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Decolonizing cultural memory in Andrea Levy's Small Island

    AU - Andermahr, Sonya

    PY - 2019/7/15

    Y1 - 2019/7/15

    N2 - This article examines Andrea Levy’s 2004 novel Small Island as a postcolonial trauma novel that revisions cultural memory of World War II and its aftermath. Utilising the insights of Stef Craps’s Postcolonial Witnessing, it explores the ways in which Levy’s text redresses the marginalization of non-western and minority trauma and addresses the underexplored relationship between First and Third World traumas. Eschewing classic western definitions of trauma as a point of rupture and fragmentation, the novel provides an alternative trauma aesthetic based on the power of storytelling and the use of humour to mitigate the traumatic losses of the past. Drawing on Michael Rothberg’s notion of “multidirectional memory”, it argues that Small Island employs a notion of cultural memory as heterogenous to suggest strong continuities in the experience of Black and white men and women before and after the war in terms of the long history of colonialism. Keywords: Andrea Levy; World War II; Black British history; trauma narrative; multidirectional memory; decolonizing theory

    AB - This article examines Andrea Levy’s 2004 novel Small Island as a postcolonial trauma novel that revisions cultural memory of World War II and its aftermath. Utilising the insights of Stef Craps’s Postcolonial Witnessing, it explores the ways in which Levy’s text redresses the marginalization of non-western and minority trauma and addresses the underexplored relationship between First and Third World traumas. Eschewing classic western definitions of trauma as a point of rupture and fragmentation, the novel provides an alternative trauma aesthetic based on the power of storytelling and the use of humour to mitigate the traumatic losses of the past. Drawing on Michael Rothberg’s notion of “multidirectional memory”, it argues that Small Island employs a notion of cultural memory as heterogenous to suggest strong continuities in the experience of Black and white men and women before and after the war in terms of the long history of colonialism. Keywords: Andrea Levy; World War II; Black British history; trauma narrative; multidirectional memory; decolonizing theory

    KW - Andrea Levy

    KW - decolonizing theory

    KW - Black British history

    KW - World War II

    KW - trauma narrative

    KW - multidirectional memory

    UR - http://www.mendeley.com/research/decolonizing-cultural-memory-andrea-levys-small-island

    U2 - 10.1080/17449855.2019.1633554

    DO - 10.1080/17449855.2019.1633554

    M3 - Article

    JO - Journal of Postcolonial Writing

    JF - Journal of Postcolonial Writing

    SN - 1744-9855

    ER -