Fictionalising Trauma: The Aesthetics of Marguerite Duras's India Cycle

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisMonograph


Fictionalising Trauma brings together the essential aspects of two troublesome issues: Marguerite Duras's cyclic aesthetics, and the challenge of working through major historical trauma. With Duras being the most disputed French artist after World War II, symbolising psychic trauma represents the undeniable problematic crux of contemporary trauma research. This stylistic analysis of the famous India Cycle offers an exploration of the novelistic and cinematic devices arising from Duras's steadfast struggle with the trauma of French colonialism.Learning on the concept of an embodied mind as developed in current social neuroscience, Fictionalising trauma reveals how converting trauma into fiction can be a powerful emotional strategyfor surviving traumatic events. The study also shows how Duras dissects European racism By progressively modifying and defamiliarising her key figures, thus suggesting a change in our cultural memory By collectively sharing trauma through art.

Translated title of the contributionTrauman fiktionalisointi: Marguerite Durasin Intia-syklin estetiikka
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Faculty of Arts
Thesis sponsors
Place of PublicationHelsinki
Print ISBNs978-952-92-6405-6
Electronic ISBNs978-952-10-5858-5
Publication statusPublished - 12 Dec 2009
MoE publication typeG4 Doctoral dissertation (monograph)

Bibliographical note

Dissertation in Comparative Literature

Note regarding dissertation

Doctoral dissertation, Comparative Literature

Fields of Science

  • 6122 Literature studies
  • French literature
  • French avantgarde film
  • Marguerite Duras
  • postcolonialism
  • cognitive narratology
  • historical trauma
  • Empathic reading
  • cyclicity
  • feminist literary theory
  • trauma fiction

Cite this