Exploring the Literary Representation of Trauma in Contemporary Iraqi Fiction from Socio-historical Perspective

Sayed M. Ismail Mousa, Ghassan Nawaf Jaber Alhomoud


The present study aims to critically review the aspects of war in selected Iraqi war novels— Sinan Antoon, The Baghdad Eucharist (2017), Corpse Washer (2013) Zauhair Jabouri, The Corpse Hunter (2014)—that focus on depicting vividly the traumatic experiences of Iraqi, particularly after the US-led invasion of Iraq 2003 and how these novels could recur constantly to humanist themes and traumatized figures, the psychological suffering of minorities and the oppressed. In other words, it aims to make visible specific historical instances of trauma in Iraqi war fiction. The present study undertakes an in-depth investigation of the socio-political and historical dimensions of Cathy Caruth’s literary trauma simply because trauma experiences in Iraq were emanated from several causes such as social injustice, the oppression of minorities, political despotism, and the persecution of religious minorities, the displacement of Iraqis from the homeland, and the genocidal policies of jihadist. The study has found that Iraqi war fiction depends on the stylistic technique of repeating certain expressions, phrases, and lexical items to intensify the extraordinary events. It is a narrative of traumatic haunting known for its non-linear and circular style that often leads to ambiguity where readers are often unable to decode the authorial intentions, deriving its ambiguity from the traits of dreams and nightmares, the interpretations of which are continually and unredeemably haunted by the memory of loss.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v12n1p162

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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