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Pellicer-Ortin, Silvia. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015. 290 pp.



Silvia Pellicer-Ortin

EVA FIGES' WRITINGS: A JOURNEY THROUGH TRAUMA Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2015. 290 pp. 


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 This book provides a general overview of the life and literary career of the prolific writer Eva Figes, placing her extensive production within the various literary movements that have shaped the last century, and drawing on the main features of her works and the different stages in her production. Having recourse to the tools provided by narratology and using the theoretical background of the disciplines of ethics, Holocaust and trauma studies, together with other related fields such as theories of artistic representation, identity questions concerning Jewishness, contemporary history and philosophy, it carries out a comprehensive analysis of Figes's main works. The main starting hypothesis explored throughout the book is that an evolution may be traced in the aesthetics employed by Figes throughout her career - from her initial Modernist phase to her more realist position - to depict individual and collective traumas. This development is a result of her need to find a mode of representing various traumatic events that have given shape to her personal and family history and to our recent collective history, from the two World Wars and the Holocaust to the social exclusion suffered by minority groups like women or the Jewish immigrant communities. This evolution will be also approached thematically, as there is a development from her early interest in depicting isolated male traumatised characters to the traumas suffered by women under patriarchal structures, and, then, to the encounter with her own suffering as a Holocaust survivor.