n Scrutiny2 - Toni Morrison and Yvonne Vera : an associative fugue

Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0041-5359


This paper reflects on the ways in which selected fictional works by Yvonne Vera and by Toni Morrison explore trauma and the spaces in which trauma is (historically and culturally) healed. The paper negotiates some of the complexities of the relationship between trauma and music in certain texts through a method of reading and argumentation articulated here by means of the term <I>fugue</I>. This modality of reading is employed because both the musical and psychiatric definitions of this term - which dialogically create the impetus for this associative study - invite a simultaneous enunciation of multiple lines of inquiry. The paper navigates a series of associative questions that arise in reading Vera and Morrison's novels alongside one another; rather than provide a comparative study of these authors' works which, in the case of studies of African-American and African authors, often becomes restricted to black Atlantic interpretative frames.

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