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Review of The theater of trauma: American modernist drama and the psychological struggle for the American Mind.

Cardeña, Etzel LU (2007) In Journal of Psychological Trauma 6(1). p.51-60
Abstract
Reviews the book, The theatre of trauma: American modernist drama and the psychological struggle for the American mind by M. Cotsell (2005). The author's main thesis is that American modernist dramaturgy was mostly propelled by representations of trauma and the ensuing dissociation, contrary to the usual interpretation that it was powerfully influenced by Freudian Oedipal theory of infantile sexuality and fantasy. Professor Cotsell's thesis does have merits. Cotsell reminds the reader that besides the "secret" family abuse, the USA was responsible for the massive traumatization of African Americans, who could be lynched at the slightest provocation. Even being a pregnant mother would not save one from the mob's fury. And, of course, the... (More)
Reviews the book, The theatre of trauma: American modernist drama and the psychological struggle for the American mind by M. Cotsell (2005). The author's main thesis is that American modernist dramaturgy was mostly propelled by representations of trauma and the ensuing dissociation, contrary to the usual interpretation that it was powerfully influenced by Freudian Oedipal theory of infantile sexuality and fantasy. Professor Cotsell's thesis does have merits. Cotsell reminds the reader that besides the "secret" family abuse, the USA was responsible for the massive traumatization of African Americans, who could be lynched at the slightest provocation. Even being a pregnant mother would not save one from the mob's fury. And, of course, the whole Western civilization had recently suffered the carnage and loss of historical innocence brought about by World War I. I learned much about the weirdness and scope of so much of early 20th century American theatre, with plays about mesmerists, "multiple personalities," pedophile characters, structural and narrative experimentation, and other dissociative and traumatic phenomena. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Theatre, Trauma, History, American modernist drama
in
Journal of Psychological Trauma
volume
6
issue
1
pages
51 - 60
ISSN
1932-2895
DOI
10.1300/J513v06n01_05
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
938329c7-7327-4b28-81b9-4c5efd04e778 (old id 619752)
date added to LUP
2007-11-29 11:02:18
date last changed
2016-04-16 05:57:22
@misc{938329c7-7327-4b28-81b9-4c5efd04e778,
  abstract     = {Reviews the book, The theatre of trauma: American modernist drama and the psychological struggle for the American mind by M. Cotsell (2005). The author's main thesis is that American modernist dramaturgy was mostly propelled by representations of trauma and the ensuing dissociation, contrary to the usual interpretation that it was powerfully influenced by Freudian Oedipal theory of infantile sexuality and fantasy. Professor Cotsell's thesis does have merits. Cotsell reminds the reader that besides the "secret" family abuse, the USA was responsible for the massive traumatization of African Americans, who could be lynched at the slightest provocation. Even being a pregnant mother would not save one from the mob's fury. And, of course, the whole Western civilization had recently suffered the carnage and loss of historical innocence brought about by World War I. I learned much about the weirdness and scope of so much of early 20th century American theatre, with plays about mesmerists, "multiple personalities," pedophile characters, structural and narrative experimentation, and other dissociative and traumatic phenomena.},
  author       = {Cardeña, Etzel},
  issn         = {1932-2895},
  keyword      = {Theatre,Trauma,History,American modernist drama},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Review},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {51--60},
  series       = {Journal of Psychological Trauma},
  title        = {Review of The theater of trauma: American modernist drama and the psychological struggle for the American Mind.},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J513v06n01_05},
  volume       = {6},
  year         = {2007},
}