The Hole: Notes toward an insurrectionary poetics of the wounded text
My project considers broken narratives through an investigation of the concepts of (narrative) holes, specifically wounds (trauma) and the mouth (voice/language) in relation to minor literatures. Holes, I argue, can act as openings and portals for minor voices and have the potential to undermine and subvert entrenched patriarchal and neoliberal power structures and therefore could be claimed as sites of resistance beyond teleologically progressing temporalities. I hope to establish the textual hole as feminist (writing) practice with insurrectionary potential and try to bring froward the notion of the “wounded text” and its implications towards a polyvocal and pluralistic textual practice whereby the hole acts as metaphor and analogy to investigate the space in between parts of fragmented, incoherent, disjunct or multi-linear narratives.
I argue that the wounded text should not be healed and instead propose the notion of un-healing (Un-heil-ung) as political and writerly strategy. The wound needs to stay open in order to speak. Healing in this framework means silencing and acts in complicity with dominant structures.
Starting from a narratological, structuralist and post-structuralist analysis of text in combination with sources from second-wave feminism, post-feminism and queer theory I work toward a re-introduction of materiality of the body into the text.
Through methods such as critical fabulation (Hartman 2008a) and narrative restraint, as Saidya Hartmann calls “the refusal to fill in the gaps and provide closure” (Hartmann 2008b) but also by anecdotal storytelling and questioning of the authorial position, I try to approach the hole and tend to the wounded text by employing a variety of literary and academic writing registers. From the holes in the tissue of the written part of the thesis grows a collection of extra-textual works (printed texts, video works etc.) acting as paratexts and a body of reading performances aided by props/costumes in installation settings.
Hartman, S., 2008a. Lose your mother, New York: Farrar, Straus and Girous.
Hartman, S., 2008b. Venus in Two Acts. Small Axe, 12(2), pp.1–14.
Michael Newman and Roxy Walsh