5A Literary Transcodifications/5
Session 5 – July 3, 11:00 – 13:00
Transcodification of a Literary Character in Fiction
The article discusses the representation of the main character in Georgina Harding’s novel The Gun Room (2016), which tells a story of a war photographer, Jonathan. One of his photographs of the Vietnam war becomes well-known across the world. The photograph, the image of a soldier, functions both as a symbol of the war and a reminder of a personal wound. In the novel, the photograph functions as a literary character, which represents emotional and moral consequences of the experience of war. The photograph gradually turns into a witness of trauma, both a single-incident trauma and multiple traumas. The photograph undergoes complex transcodification: first viewed as a piece of visual art, later it becomes a tool of memory. Drawing on trauma theory, the article examines the scope of the personal trauma represented in the novel The Gun Room and surveys different aspects of personal and collective trauma. The photograph, which is the leading motif in this novel, functions as a transfer of personal and collective memory of traumatic experience and can be even interpreted as a site of memory. Close relationship between the individual memory and group or collective memory will be emphasized: collective memory may have a strong influence on the capacity of individual or personal memory; likewise, individual memory influences the generality of collective memory. Transcultural and transgenerational aspects of traumatic experience will be examined. The article also questions the load and duration of restatement and transmission of trauma in the globalized world.
INGRIDA EGLĖ ŽINDŽIUVIENĖ is Professor of English and Literature at the Department of Foreign Language, Literature and Translation Studies, Vytautas Magnus University, Kaunas, Lithuania. She teaches contemporary British and American Literature, Literature and Culture, and other subjects. Ingrida Eglė Žindžiuvienė has published articles on contemporary British and American literature, comparative literary studies, American Studies, and TEFL, and has participated in conferences worldwide. With lectures she has visited universities in Estonia, Finland, Great Britain, Italy, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Sweden, Turkey, the USA and other countries. Ingrida Eglė Žindžiuvienė is the co-author of the following books: English at a Glance (2002), Modern North American Women Writers (2005), Doing Research on ELT (2013) and others. Her main research interests include comparative studies of literature, literary theory and cultural studies. Ingrida Eglė Žindžiuvienė is a member of MLA, ESSE, IATEFL, TESOL and other associations.