In traditional narrative contexts-legal, psychoanalytic, and documentary-the ethics of representing violations of human rights are widely acknowledged. But what are the principles that guide the creation and dissemination of historically based fictional narratives? Are such representations capable of shaping, changing, or even effectively depicting "real" human atrocities? How do existing ideas about gender influence the way these narratives are written and perceived?
In Beyond Terror , Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg argues that after human rights violations have occurred, the realm of representation-actual and fictional-is precisely the ground upon which struggles for justice and peace are waged in legal, emotional, and cultural terms. Moving beyond the myriad of fictional accounts that have portrayed the carnage of World War II, the Holocaust, and the Vietnam War, Goldberg focuses on emerging narratives about recent abuses, including those in South Africa, Rwanda, and Iraq.
Through the lens of literary, feminist, and human rights theory, this important book examines the meaning and influence of films such as Cry Freedom, Three Kings, and Salvador , and novels such as Gil Courtemanche's A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali , Pat Barker's Double Vision , and Edwidge Danticat's The Farming of Bones .
Torture I: Safety. Jon Boorman, Beyond Rangoon; Richard Attenborough, Cry Freedom; David O. Russell, Three Kings Torture II: Citizenship. Jon Avnet, Red Corner; Oliver Stone, Salvador; Gil Courtemanche, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali Torture III: Desire. Sister Dianna Ortiz and Alan Dershowitz at CUNY Graduate Center; Stephen Frears, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid; the Lynndie England case Rape: The Division of Spheres. J.M. Coetzee, Disgrace; Gayl Jones, Corregidora; Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits Genocide: Witness. Edwidge Danticat, The Farming of Bones; Pat Barker, Double Vision; Edoardo Ponti, Between Strangers; Atom Egoyan, Ararat
Elizabeth Swanson Goldberg is an assistant professor of English at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.