Australian Journal of French Studies

Narrating Trauma: Distance and Proximity in the Haitian Earthquake of 2010

Australian Journal of French Studies (2016), 53, (1-2), 67–78.

Abstract

At 4.53pm on Tuesday 12 January 2010 a devastating earthquake measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale hit the Caribbean island of Haiti. The sheer magnitude of its destruction put Haiti on the world map in an unprecedented manner as the horror of the earthquake and its aftermath was watched around the world and generated a huge relief effort. In contrast to aspects of the country’s past such as the experience of slavery, which left little written trace of its effects, this contemporary event was recorded in minute detail in both written and visual forms. This article examines how contemporary Haitian writers Dany Laferrière and Rodney Saint-Eloi have used their craft to narrate, and thereby attempt to come to terms with, this trauma. It also explores the way in which both distance and proximity are necessary in order to come to terms with trauma and how the narrative process helps forge a path towards healing.

Access Token
£25.00
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Thomas, Bonnie