Forbidden Zones Th e Representation of Quiet Trauma in Recent British and French World War I Novels ANNA BRANACH- KALLAS Th e Great War confronted the belligerent countries with an unprec- edented number of war neuroses. Th e number of men displaying symp- toms similar to hysteria, diagnosed by Victorian psychiatrists as a woman’s disease, surprised the army and medical staff . Hysterical soldiers chal- lenged the traditional ideal of masculinity, according to which men were expected to be self- controlled, courageous and honorable, and to prove their virility in war. Consequently, “wounds of the mind” were oft en in- terpreted as malingering or moral weakness and were even punished with court- martial and execution. W hile the reality of shell shock, a term intro- duced by Charles Myers in 1915, was reluctantly accepted by the medical authorities, war neuroses among civilians who did not experience any di- rect death encounter were already reported in Th e Lancet at the beginning of 1916. Shocked by the news about war atrocities and the mass deaths of the fi rst industrialized war, civilian s experienced vicarious traumatiza- tion that took speci c for fi ms. According to Trudi Tate, these “war
Journal of Literature and Trauma Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 12, 2018
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