Recovering the Uneventful: Trauma and Survival in Sade Adeniran's Imagine This
Keywords:healing, trauma, testimony, subjectivity, traumatic eruptions
This article discusses Sade Adeniran’s novel Imagine This and its portrayal of the protagonist’s pain and the efforts she makes to recapture the stable life that preceded her traumatic suffering by telling her story in form of diary entries. It follows theoretical models of trauma as explicated by Cathy Caruth and in particular, Shoshana Felman and Dori Laub’s idea that the subject’s testimony as a necessary catalyst to healing. The article argues that rather than a linear movement from trauma, through testimony, to healing, Imagine This re-conceptualizes traumatic experience and healing as a complex journey that is shaped by multiple trauma events rather than a single one. Thus, the subject’s testimony is constantly interrupted successive sufferings, thereby postponing closure and healing. This relation between the subject and pain implies the individual produces many testimonies rather than one, a crucial strategy for re-imagining the self and to begin the complex journey towards healing.
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