Original Research

Metaphors of pain: the use of metaphors in trauma narrative with reference to Fugitive pieces

J. Anker
Literator | Vol 30, No 2 | a78 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v30i2.78 | © 2009 J. Anker | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 16 July 2009 | Published: 16 July 2009

About the author(s)

J. Anker, Faculty of Education & Social Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Wellington Campus, South Africa

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This article is a contribution to the recent interdisciplinary discourse between psychoanalysis, trauma theory and narrative by discussing the traumatic experiences of characters in the novel “Fugitive pieces” by Anne Michaels, with a specific focus on the metaphorical style of this novel.

The article addresses the role of metaphor in the memory of trauma while comparing the relation between trauma, narrative and memory with reference to the work of Cathy Caruth, Van der Kolk and Margaret Wilkinson. Recent neurobiological research in the working of the brain during trauma and the insights of Borbelly in the role of metaphor during therapy are discussed.

Insights of Lacan, Modell and Laplanche are integrated with those of psychologists like Knox, Borbelly and Van der Hart to counter arguments against the criticism brought against some of the metaphorical themes in “Fugitive pieces”.

Metaphor is seen as one possible way of saying the inexpressible and the progression in the use of metaphor by patient and character alike is seen as one of the signs of healing from trauma.


Healing; Metaphor; Memory Trauma; Trauma Theory


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Crossref Citations

1. «Noah's Ark» by Halyna Hordasevych: How Metaphor Reveals Trauma
Snizhana Zhygun
LITERARY PROCESS: methodology, names, trends  issue: 21  first page: 57  year: 2023  
doi: 10.28925/2412-2475.2023.21.6