Traumatic cosmopolitanism: Eleanor Dark and the world at war

Gildersleeve, Jessica (2016) Traumatic cosmopolitanism: Eleanor Dark and the world at war. Hecate: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Women's Liberation, 41 (1/2). pp. 7-17. ISSN 0311-4198


This essay argues that women writers working during and prior to the Second World War produced works which might be identified as examples of ‘traumatic cosmopolitanism’ – that is, a cosmopolitanism forged through the shared experience of trauma. In narrativising their shared, global traumatic experience, and in particular, the experience of being a writer during this time, wartime women writers effectively construct a community of (thinking about and writing about) suffering which moves beyond the national discourses of jingoism and ignorance that can perpetuate trauma and violence. With a focus on Eleanor Dark’s wartime novel The Little Company (1945), this essay suggests that Australian women writers of the Second World War are at the vanguard of such ethical projects for the ways in which they challenge the lapse into nationalist dichotomous discourses of war, and considers the dual sense of psychological threat and the ethical responsibility of the writer which is figured in such works.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: c. Hecate Press. Permanent restricted access to Published version, in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Arts and Communication
Date Deposited: 25 Oct 2016 06:01
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2017 06:49
Uncontrolled Keywords: Eleanor Dark, World War Two, Australian women's writing, trauma, ethics
Fields of Research : 20 Language, Communication and Culture > 2005 Literary Studies > 200502 Australian Literature (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Literature)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture

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