This essay reads the hidden histories of the First World War and the Algerian War of Independence in Pat Barker’s Regeneration and Assia Djebar’s Children of the New World, focusing on their representation of a feminized resistance to war that takes silence as its most powerful weapon. In contrast to the privileging of bearing witness in post-Holocaust theories of language and suffering, this essay argues that Barker and Djebar ultimately suggest that, in the face of war’s atrocities, not speaking is an equally valuable act.
Silence as Resistance in Pat Barker’s Regeneration and Assia Djebar’s Children of the New World
Eleanor Reeds is a doctoral candidate and instructor at the University of Connecticut. Her research focuses on genre, voice, and the construction of the reader in British and transatlantic literature of the nineteenth century. Her article on Elizabeth Gaskell and the ethics of risk appeared in Victorian Review, and she has also contributed to forthcoming issues of Children’s Literature Association Quarterly and The Lion and the Unicorn.
Eleanor Reeds; Silence as Resistance in Pat Barker’s Regeneration and Assia Djebar’s Children of the New World. Twentieth-Century Literature 1 December 2016; 62 (4): 429–447. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0041462X-3764046
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