By Peter Leese, Jason Crouthamel
This assortment investigates the social and cultural background of trauma to provide a comparative research of its person, communal, and political results within the 20th century. specific recognition is given to witness testimony, to strategies of non-public reminiscence and collective commemoration, and to visible assets as they light up the altering old nature of trauma. The essays draw on assorted methodologies, together with oral heritage, and use diverse assets similar to literature, movie and the published media. The contributions speak about ingenious, communal and political responses, in addition to the ways that the later welfare of traumatized members is formed via clinical, army, and civilian associations. Incorporating cutting edge methodologies and delivering a radical review of present examine, the booklet exhibits new instructions in old trauma studies.
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Extra info for Traumatic Memories of the Second World War and After
In this study, the authors drew a comparison between “neurotic” and “non-neurotic” patients. They emphasized the persistence of common symptoms in these two groups: high anxiety, loss of attention and concentration, sleep disturbance, recurring nightmares and various somatizations, a set of symptoms that characterize psychic trauma. Specialists of the psyche then began to include a very large new group in their studies, that of nontraumatized veterans, who had been neglected until the Vietnam War.
AFTERSHOCK After the Great War, the demobilization of medical staff and psychically injured patients largely deprived historians of any insight into psychic trauma due to the lack of archival sources. In this context, the studies of the American physician Thomas Salmon have become essential reading. 8 In fact, this was to be the first statistical study providing “follow-up” and visibility of the psychic patients who returned to the USA after the war. It was an “epidemiological” study, based on a small number of people already treated for mental/nervous disorders, gathering feedback on their posttreatment situations.
However, sequences relating encounters with death, so crucial in the Freudian conception of trauma, are almost entirely absent from these accounts. When it is mentioned, death is part of a much wider array of “stressful” factors. 21 As the medical discourse does not always give insight into the patients’ views, it is important for the historian to draw on other types of sources. The purpose here in using these sources is not to proceed in the manner of a clinician, for that would be overstepping the bounds of the historian’s MAKING TRAUMA VISIBLE 37 function, rather it is to more closely examine the viewpoint of the survivors of traumatic events however they may seek to express it.