Female re-writings of the Jewish diaspora: Metamemory novels and contemporary British-Jewish women writers
Resumen: In keeping with the interdisciplinary dialogue featuring the fields of Diaspora and Memory Studies, some current fictions seem to have absorbed, reproduced and deconstructed those contemporary discourses that reflect on the complex relation between the individual and collective construction of memory in the diaspora. It is in this context that British-Jewish women authors deserve special attention since they have struggled with numerous memory tensions together with the multifarious identity factors of being Jews, immigrants (or their descendants) and women, adding their multifaceted perspectives on affiliation and belonging to the complexity that defines Jewish identity and culture. This article starts from the neurobiological notion of ʻmetamemoryʼ and the idea that its study leads to understand better both memory and diasporic phenomena. Some contemporary fictional creations by British-Jewish women writers exemplify what could be defined as ʻthe metamemory novelʼ. In particular, I focus on the fictional works of some pertinent second- and third-generation British-Jewish female authors—Lisa Appignanesi's The Memory Man (2004), Linda Grant's The Clothes on their Backs (2008), and Zina Rohan's The Small Book (2010). Following Birgit Neumann's notion of ‘fictions of metamemory’ (2008a, b), I detail the key narrative features that configure these novels, such as polyphony, metafictionality and the blurring of time dimensions. Moreover, I study the generational bonds that are (de)constructed in these stories, thanks to Hirsch's notion of ‘postmemory’ (2008), which acquire healing properties for the protagonists. Finally, I conclude that the formal experimentation identified in these writings may confirm that today's Jewish female writers are resorting to literature as a platform to make their diasporic identities more dynamic.
Idioma: Inglés
DOI: 10.1111/lic3.12688
Año: 2022
Publicado en: Literature Compass 19, 12 (2022), e12688 [12 pp.]
ISSN: 1741-4113

Factor impacto CITESCORE: 1.1 - Arts and Humanities (Q1) - Social Sciences (Q3)

Factor impacto SCIMAGO: 0.217 - Literature and Literary Theory (Q1) - Cultural Studies (Q2)

Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/DGA/H03-20R
Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/MICINN/PID2021-124841NB-I00
Tipo y forma: Article (Published version)
Área (Departamento): Área Filología Inglesa (Dpto. Filolog.Inglesa y Alema.)

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