Of Holes and Wounds: Postcolonial Trauma and the Gothic in Catherine Jinks’s The Road
Keywords:Trauma, Australian postcolonial gothic, the uncanny, the abject, Indigenous tales
This paper analyses Catherine Jinks’s The Road (2004), a multi-protagonist novel, looking into the relationship between personal and historical forms of trauma in the context of postcolonial Australia and following Rothberg’s comparatist approach. More specifically, and taking advantage of the many synergies between the traumatic and the gothic, it studies the novel’s reliance on gothic tropes like the uncanny and the abject in order to demonstrate that both theme and narrative form work together against the overcoming of individual and national plights. The indigenous paratexts that frame Jinks’s story, read in the light of Walter Benjamin’s theses on history, prove particularly meaningful in this respect.
Balaev, Michelle. “Trends in Literary Trauma Theory.” Mosaic, vol. 41, no. 2, 2008, pp. 149‒65.
Benjamin, Walter. “Theses on the Philosophy of History.” 1955. Illuminations. Edited and introduced by Hannah Arednt, translated by Harry Zohn, Schocken, 1969, pp. 253‒64.
Botting, Fred. The Gothic. Routledge, 1996.
Caruth, Cathy. “Trauma and Experience: Introduction.” Trauma: Explorations in Memory, edited and introduced by Cathy Caruth, Johns Hopkins UP, 1995, pp. 1‒12.
Caruth, Cathy. Unclaimed Experience: Trauma, Narrative, and History. Johns Hopkins UP, 1996.
Craps, Stef. Postcolonial Witnessing: Trauma Out of Bounds. Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Elder, Catriona. Being Australian: Narratives of National Identity. Allen & Unwin, 2007.
“First Encounters and Frontier Conflict.” AIATSIS, aiatsis.gov.au/explore/ articles/first-encounters-and-frontier-conflict/. Accessed 26 Oct. 2018.
Flanagan, Joseph. “The Seduction of History: Trauma, Re-Memory, and the Ethics of the Real.” Clio, vol. 31, no. 4, Summer 2002, pp. 387‒402.
Gelder, Ken. “Australian Gothic.” 2007. The Routledge Companion to Gothic, edited by Catherine Spooner and Emma McEvoy, Routledge, 2009, pp. 115‒23.
Gooder, Haydie, and Jane M. Jacobs. “‘On the Border of the Unsayable’: The Apology in Postcolonizing Australia.” Interventions, vol. 2, no. 2, 2000, pp. 229‒47.
Herman, Judith Lewis. Trauma and Recovery. 1992. Pandora, 2001.
“Historical Roads of New South Wales: Silver City Highway.” Extract from the September 1962 Issue of “Main Roads.” Journal of Department of Main Roads: New South Wales, pp. 1‒7, www.shop.nsw.gov.au/shopnsw/ documents/agency22/RTA017/. Accessed 8 Apr. 2018.
Jinks, Catherine. The Road. Allen & Unwin, 2004.
Kristeva, Julia. Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection. 1980. Columbia UP, 1982.
Lawson, Tom. The Last Man: A British Genocide in Tasmania. I. B. Tauris, 2014.
McKay, Helen, editor. Gadi Mirrabooka: Australian Aboriginal Tales from the Dreaming, retold by Pauline E. McCloud, Francis Firebrace Jones and June E. Barker, Libraries Unlimited, 2001.
Nadal, Marita. “Gothic and Trauma in Shirley Jackson’s We Have Always Lived in the Castle.” Between the Urge to Know and the Need to Deny: Trauma and Ethics in Contemporary British and American Literatures, edited by Dolores Herrero and Sonia Baelo-Allué, Universitätsverlag Winter, 2011, pp. 161‒74.
Piper, Karen. Cartographic Fictions: Maps, Race and Identity. Rutgers UP, 2002.
Punter, David, and Elisabeth Bronfen. “Gothic: Violence, Trauma and the Ethical.” The Gothic, edited by Fred Botting, The English Association/D.S. Brewer, 2001, pp. 7‒21.
Punter, David, and Glennis Byron. The Gothic. Blackwell, 2004.
Rothberg, Michael. Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization. Stanford UP, 2009.
Rudd, Alison. Postcolonial Gothic Fictions from the Caribbean, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. U of Wales P, 2010.
Rudd, Kevin. “Sorry Speech.” The Sydney Morning Herald, www.smh.com.au/news/national/kevin-rudd-says-sorry/2008/02/13/ 1202760342960/. Accessed 13 Feb. 2008.
Sefa Dei, George J. “Rethinking the Role of Indigenous Knowledges in the Academy.” International Journal of Inclusive Education, vol. 4, no. 2, 2000, pp. 111‒32.
Visser, Irene. “Trauma Theory and Postcolonial Literary Studies.” Journal of Postcolonial Writing, vol. 47, no. 3, 2011, pp. 270‒82.
Visser, Irene. “Decolonising Trauma Theory: Retrospect and Prospects.” Humanities, vol. 4, 2015, pp. 250‒65.
Whitehead, Anne. Trauma Fiction. Edinburgh UP, 2004.
Young, James O. “Profound Offense and Cultural Appropriation.” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, vol. 63, no. 2, Spring 2005, pp. 135‒46.
How to Cite
Authors retain publishing rights and grant ES Review. Spanish Journal of English Studies right of first publication.
Simultaneously, all articles and reviews published in ES Review will be available under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), by which others are allowed to share and use their work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this journal.
In addition, ES Review allows authors to arrange additional contracts for the non-exclusive publication of the journal’s published version of the work (e.g., in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal. In such a case, authors are required to approach the editor(s)/publisher to request permission.