Narrative, Ethics and Hermeneutics
"Can violence be narrated? Can language help us understand the pain of others, of ourselves? Can words and images give shape to extreme bodily and mental experiences? How do we "interpret" violence and suffering and can these interpretations be violent themselves? This book raises fundamental questions about the reach and limits of language and human imagination. At the same time, it urges us to radically think through supported by a rich repertoire of philosophical, narrative, and cultural concepts the nature of violence and the entire range of its brutal and subtle forms." -Jens Brockmeier, Professor of Psychology, The American University of Paris, France "The title Interpreting Violence immediately calls up the need for witnessing, that crucial activity that is the only thing we can do. But witnessing, as the first chapter of this book already intimates, is a socio-cultural attitude that can counter the violence of ghoulish reveling - remember Adornos warning. The authors, all renowned cultural analysts, delve deep into the many different aspects of the presence of violence in culture; the impossibility yet necessity to represent it. Erasure is no better solution than voyeurism. This is a book that matters." -Mieke Bal, Cultural analyst and video artist
Cassandra Falke is Professor of English Literature at UiT The Arctic University of Norway. She is the author of three books and the editor or co-editor of three others: Intersections in Christianity and Critical Theory (ed. 2010), Literature by the Working Class: English Autobiography, 1820-1848 (2013), The Phenomenology of Love and Reading (2016), Phenomenology of the Broken Body (co-ed., 2019), Wild Romanticism (co-ed. 2020), and Global Human Rights Fiction (forthcomig). She is the President of the American Studies Association of Norway and leads the English literature section at UiT and the Interdisciplinary Phenomenology research group. Victoria Fareld is Associate Professor of Intellectual History at Stockholm University. Her research focuses mainly on political philosophy, theory of history and memory studies, with particular interests in the connections between time, ethics, memory and historical justice. Her most recent book is From Marx to Hegel and Back: Capitalism, Critique, and Utopia (co-ed, 2020). Among her recent articles and book chapters are "Time" (2022), "Framing the Polychronic Present" (2022), "Entangled Memories of Violence" (Memory Studies, 14:1, 2021), "Coming to Terms with the Present," (2019) and "History, Justice and the Time of the Imprescriptible" (2018). Hanna Meretoja is Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of SELMA: Centre for the Study of Storytelling, Experientiality and Memory at the University of Turku, nland, and Principal Investigator in the Academy of Finland research consortium "Instrumental Narratives: The Limits of Storytelling and New Story-Critical Narrative Theory" (20182023). Her research is mainly in the fields of narrative studies, cultural memory studies and trauma studies. Her monographs include The Ethics of Storytelling: Narrative Hermeneutics, History, and the Possible (2018) and The Narrative Turn in Fiction and Theory (2014), and she has co-edited, with Colin Davis, The Routledge Companion to Literature and Trauma (2020) and Storytelling and Ethics: Literature, Visual Arts and the Power of Narrative (2018), and the special issues "Cultural Memorial Forms" (Memory Studies, 2021, with Eneken Laanes) and "Critical Approaches to the Storytelling Boom" (Poetics Today, 2022, with Maria Mkel).
List of contributors Interpreting Violence, Violent Interpretations: Introduction Cassandra Falke, Victoria Fareld and Hanna Meretoja Part I. Representing Violence, Violent Representations Witnessing Violence in Literature and Humanitarian Discourse Cassandra Falke (UiT - The Arctic University of Norway) Memory, Encore! Popular Music, Power and Postwar Memory Avril Tynan (Turku Institute for Advanced Studies) Rethinking Planetarity in the Specter of (Neo)colonial Violence: The Strangler Vine and Thugs in America Amrita Ghosh (Linneaus University) Variants and Consequences of Violence in Iris Murdochs The Sacred and Profane Love Machine Jakob Lothe (University of Oslo) Violent Appetites: Distaste and the Aesthetics of Violence Tero Eljas Vanhanen (University of Helsinki) Part II. Understanding the Violence of Perpetrators A Manifesto on the Hermeneutics of Violence Brian Schiff and Michael Justice (American University of Paris) Narrative Mastery over Violence in Perpetrator-Authored Documents: Interpreting Closure in The Stroop Report Erin McGlothlin (Washington University) Space of Murder, Space of Freedom: The Forest as a Posttraumatic Landscape in Holocaust Narratives Helena Duffy (Turku Institute for Advanced Studies) Part III. Articulating Inherent Violence Physical, Emotional and Discursive Violence: The Problem of Narrative in Karl Ove Knausgrds My Struggle Hanna Meretoja (University of Turku) Reading Violence, Violent Reading: Levinas and Hermeneutics Colin Davis (Royal Holloway, University of London) Style and the Violence of Passivity in Samuel Becketts How It Is. Amanda Dennis (American University of Paris) Vulnerability, Violence and Nonviolence Victoria Fareld (Stockholm University) Index