Walking with shadows : writing trauma, short fiction & Jungian psychoanalysis

Newsome, R ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8477-0130 2022, 'Walking with shadows : writing trauma, short fiction & Jungian psychoanalysis' , Short Fiction in Theory and Practice . (In Press)

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Abstract

A growing field at the intersection of literary and trauma studies makes the persuasive case for creative writing as a means to represent and process trauma across a range of genres from traditional memoir to hybrid and fictionalised approaches. Yet despite this, how the specific qualities of short fiction can expand on existing modes remains theoretically underexplored. This paper offers an intervention into the aforementioned field through an exploration into how the qualities of brevity and experiment that are associated with short fiction can be employed to mirror and synthesise aspects of the psychoanalyst Carl Jung’s ground-breaking work on the unconscious and his narrative approaches to processing trauma. Firstly, this paper presents the short story, “Disappearing Act”, a hybrid of memoir and short fiction based on a personal traumatic experience of childhood abuse and informed by the Jungian concept of individuation (commonly referred to in contemporary psychoanalytic circles as shadow work). Secondly, it includes an accompanying critical reflection on the story’s creative process and the ways in which autobiographical short fiction can be employed as a mode of shadow work to demonstrate how the form operated as a creatively rich device to process traumatic life material for this writer.

Item Type: Article
Schools: Schools > School of Arts & Media
Journal or Publication Title: Short Fiction in Theory and Practice
Publisher: intellect journals
ISSN: 2043-0701
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Rachel Newsome
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2022 10:16
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2022 10:16
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/63469

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