Erna Brodber's historical interest in oral accounts as a source of emotional realities and social-psychological responses is expanded in her experimental novel Louisiana to include supernatural and extra-ordinary phenomena. Her incorporation of spirit possession into the life experiences of her protagonist forces a fundamental rethinking of the psyche, historical evidence, and the temporal relationship of the present to the past. Her novel suggests that silences in the written records are not only absences to be filled with new historical data but also spaces of affect, which does not designate “feeling” so much as a visceral response that cuts across thought and feeling, mind and body, spirit and matter, the physical and intuitive senses.
Jenny Sharpe; When Spirits Talk: Reading Erna Brodber's Louisiana for Affect. Small Axe 1 November 2012; 16 (3 39): 90–102. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/07990537-1894114
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