Images of Traumatic Memories
Intersections of Literature and Photography in the Novels of Riggs, Safran Foer and Seiffert
By employing the lens of the most recent critical studies on intermediality, the author analyses the interaction between literature and photography in three contemporary hybrid novels (Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, 2011, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer, 2005, and The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert, 2001) sharing the narration of traumatic historical events. The intermedial dimension realised by the confluence of the two media devices offers new ways to create meaning and to reflect upon the nature of collective and individual trauma, by re-enacting the distortion and the inaccessibility to the memories of those experiences. In this context, the reader emerges as an active participant in the process of fiction-making, as the act of reading becomes a renewed act of witnessing.
Dr Anja Meyer holds a PhD in Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Verona, Italy, with a thesis on the relationship between literature and photography in contemporary English literature. Her areas of research include English literature, visual studies, trauma studies and theatre studies.