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Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Susan Brison's Aftermath is a moving personal narrative of a harrowing experience. It is at the same time a thought-provoking philosophical reflection of broad interdisciplinary interest, particularly for the study of trauma and narrative. In both respects, it helps the reader to understand with greater insight and compassion the uneven, arduous movement from victim to survivor and agent in the aftermath of traumatic violence."--Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University, author of Writing History, Writing Trauma and History and Memory after Auschwitz

"In Aftermath, Susan Brison dares to cross personal experience with philosophy, proving her point that the only real way to make sense of trauma is to pay attention to, and respect, actual trauma experienced by actual people. This book is an act of personal and intellectual courage, allowing reason, at last, to triumph over tradition."--Helen Benedict, author of Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes and Recovery: How to Survive Sexual Assault

"In this wonderfully illuminating book, Susan Brison demonstrates that, in the right hands, the personal is . . . philosophical. Brison's narrative art shows how violence can damage a self and reveals much about the social goods required for moral personhood."--Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D., author of Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character and Odysseus in America

"By facing what follows from traumatic abuse without blinking, by refusing to forget that the world can never be as it was, Susan Brison's shatteringly insightful Aftermath reconstructs philosophy as she reinvents survival."--Catharine MacKinnon, University of Michigan and the University of Chicago

"This book is well written, widely accessible, and vastly important for many, many people in and outside philosophy. It is also a book that will contribute to a much-needed transformation of philosophy itself. The author's narrative is gripping, admirably direct, concise, and never self-indulgent. As tricky as it is to take yourself as a 'cas to probe the notion of self in philosophy, the author's success in doing so is total. The outcome is a unique and founding work that deserves to be made available quickly and put at the disposal of a very large public."--Mieke Bal, University of Amsterdam

"Aftermath gave me hours of good reading and thinking. Clearly and beautifully written, it crosses disciplinary boundaries and will make an important contribution to feminist thinking, moral philosophy, and the literature on trauma. Any serious reader could be moved and provoked by it."--Sara Ruddick, author of Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace

"A triumph of beauty and understanding in the face of unspeakable horror."--Andrea Ashworth, author of Once in a House on Fire

Synopsis:

"Susan Brison's Aftermath is a moving personal narrative of a harrowing experience. It is at the same time a thought-provoking philosophical reflection of broad interdisciplinary interest, particularly for the study of trauma and narrative. In both respects, it helps the reader to understand with greater insight and compassion the uneven, arduous movement from victim to survivor and agent in the aftermath of traumatic violence."--Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University, author of Writing History, Writing Trauma and History and Memory after Auschwitz

"In Aftermath, Susan Brison dares to cross personal experience with philosophy, proving her point that the only real way to make sense of trauma is to pay attention to, and respect, actual trauma experienced by actual people. This book is an act of personal and intellectual courage, allowing reason, at last, to triumph over tradition."--Helen Benedict, author of Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes and Recovery: How to Survive Sexual Assault

"In this wonderfully illuminating book, Susan Brison demonstrates that, in the right hands, the personal is . . . philosophical. Brison's narrative art shows how violence can damage a self and reveals much about the social goods required for moral personhood."--Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D., author of Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character and Odysseus in America

"By facing what follows from traumatic abuse without blinking, by refusing to forget that the world can never be as it was, Susan Brison's shatteringly insightful Aftermath reconstructs philosophy as she reinvents survival."--Catharine MacKinnon, University of Michigan and the University of Chicago

"This book is well written, widely accessible, and vastly important for many, many people in and outside philosophy. It is also a book that will contribute to a much-needed transformation of philosophy itself. The author's narrative is gripping, admirably direct, concise, and never self-indulgent. As tricky as it is to take yourself as a 'cas to probe the notion of self in philosophy, the author's success in doing so is total. The outcome is a unique and founding work that deserves to be made available quickly and put at the disposal of a very large public."--Mieke Bal, University of Amsterdam

"Aftermath gave me hours of good reading and thinking. Clearly and beautifully written, it crosses disciplinary boundaries and will make an important contribution to feminist thinking, moral philosophy, and the literature on trauma. Any serious reader could be moved and provoked by it."--Sara Ruddick, author of Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace

"A triumph of beauty and understanding in the face of unspeakable horror."--Andrea Ashworth, author of Once in a House on Fire

Synopsis:

On July 4, 1990, while on a morning walk in southern France, Susan Brison was attacked from behind, severely beaten, sexually assaulted, strangled to unconsciousness, and left for dead. She survived, but her world was destroyed. Her training as a philosopher could not help her make sense of things, and many of her fundamental assumptions about the nature of the self and the world it inhabits were shattered.

At once a personal narrative of recovery and a philosophical exploration of trauma, this book examines the undoing and remaking of a self in the aftermath of violence. It explores, from an interdisciplinary perspective, memory and truth, identity and self, autonomy and community. It offers imaginative access to the experience of a rape survivor as well as a reflective critique of a society in which women routinely fear and suffer sexual violence.

As Brison observes, trauma disrupts memory, severs past from present, and incapacitates the ability to envision a future. Yet the act of bearing witness, she argues, facilitates recovery by integrating the experience into the survivor's life's story. She also argues for the importance, as well as the hazards, of using first-person narratives in understanding not only trauma, but also larger philosophical questions about what we can know and how we should live.

Bravely and beautifully written, Aftermath is that rare book that is an illustration of its own arguments.

Table of Contents

Preface ix

CHAPTER ONE: Surviving Sexual Violence 1

CHAPTER TWO: On the Personal as Philosophical 23

CHAPTER THREE: Outliving Oneself 37

CHAPTER FOUR: Acts of Memory 67

CHAPTER FIVE: The Politics of Forgetting 85

CHAPTER SIX: Retellings 101

Afterword 119

Acknowledgments 125

Notes 129

Bibliography 147

Index 157

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691115702
Author:
Brison, Susan J.
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Location:
Princeton
Subject:
General
Subject:
Psychology
Subject:
Self
Subject:
Psychotherapy - General
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Violence in Society
Subject:
Women's Studies
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Gender Studies
Subject:
Victims of violent crimes - Psychology
Subject:
Psychology : General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
December 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
Language:
English
Illustrations:
7 halftones
Pages:
184
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in 8 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » General
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » General
Health and Self-Help » Recovery and Addiction » Sexual Abuse
History and Social Science » Feminist Studies » Sex and Power
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » Violence in Society
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » Applied

Aftermath: Violence and the Remaking of a Self New Trade Paper
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$33.75 In Stock
Product details 184 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691115702 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "Susan Brison's Aftermath is a moving personal narrative of a harrowing experience. It is at the same time a thought-provoking philosophical reflection of broad interdisciplinary interest, particularly for the study of trauma and narrative. In both respects, it helps the reader to understand with greater insight and compassion the uneven, arduous movement from victim to survivor and agent in the aftermath of traumatic violence."--Dominick LaCapra, Cornell University, author of Writing History, Writing Trauma and History and Memory after Auschwitz

"In Aftermath, Susan Brison dares to cross personal experience with philosophy, proving her point that the only real way to make sense of trauma is to pay attention to, and respect, actual trauma experienced by actual people. This book is an act of personal and intellectual courage, allowing reason, at last, to triumph over tradition."--Helen Benedict, author of Virgin or Vamp: How the Press Covers Sex Crimes and Recovery: How to Survive Sexual Assault

"In this wonderfully illuminating book, Susan Brison demonstrates that, in the right hands, the personal is . . . philosophical. Brison's narrative art shows how violence can damage a self and reveals much about the social goods required for moral personhood."--Jonathan Shay, M.D., Ph.D., author of Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character and Odysseus in America

"By facing what follows from traumatic abuse without blinking, by refusing to forget that the world can never be as it was, Susan Brison's shatteringly insightful Aftermath reconstructs philosophy as she reinvents survival."--Catharine MacKinnon, University of Michigan and the University of Chicago

"This book is well written, widely accessible, and vastly important for many, many people in and outside philosophy. It is also a book that will contribute to a much-needed transformation of philosophy itself. The author's narrative is gripping, admirably direct, concise, and never self-indulgent. As tricky as it is to take yourself as a 'cas to probe the notion of self in philosophy, the author's success in doing so is total. The outcome is a unique and founding work that deserves to be made available quickly and put at the disposal of a very large public."--Mieke Bal, University of Amsterdam

"Aftermath gave me hours of good reading and thinking. Clearly and beautifully written, it crosses disciplinary boundaries and will make an important contribution to feminist thinking, moral philosophy, and the literature on trauma. Any serious reader could be moved and provoked by it."--Sara Ruddick, author of Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace

"A triumph of beauty and understanding in the face of unspeakable horror."--Andrea Ashworth, author of Once in a House on Fire

"Synopsis" by , On July 4, 1990, while on a morning walk in southern France, Susan Brison was attacked from behind, severely beaten, sexually assaulted, strangled to unconsciousness, and left for dead. She survived, but her world was destroyed. Her training as a philosopher could not help her make sense of things, and many of her fundamental assumptions about the nature of the self and the world it inhabits were shattered.

At once a personal narrative of recovery and a philosophical exploration of trauma, this book examines the undoing and remaking of a self in the aftermath of violence. It explores, from an interdisciplinary perspective, memory and truth, identity and self, autonomy and community. It offers imaginative access to the experience of a rape survivor as well as a reflective critique of a society in which women routinely fear and suffer sexual violence.

As Brison observes, trauma disrupts memory, severs past from present, and incapacitates the ability to envision a future. Yet the act of bearing witness, she argues, facilitates recovery by integrating the experience into the survivor's life's story. She also argues for the importance, as well as the hazards, of using first-person narratives in understanding not only trauma, but also larger philosophical questions about what we can know and how we should live.

Bravely and beautifully written, Aftermath is that rare book that is an illustration of its own arguments.

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