A recent debate over trauma theory in Holocaust studies has implications for writing by the “generation after.” This article looks at Anne Karpf's The War After (1996) and the 1998 movie Left Luggage (based on a novel by Carl Friedman), as well as David Grossman's See Under: Love (1985), as examples of how traumatic knowledge is accessed through literary narratives and the imagination, rather than the historical events. In particular, the trope of “autism” serves to symbolize the difficulty of communicating repressed traumatic memory, while images of containment symbolize the unspeakable contents of the psychic envelope.
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