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  • Author or Editor: Karen Anne McCarthy x
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Abstract

In this article, I engage with the present-tense narration in Anne Enright’s novel, The Gathering. The narrator, Veronica Hegarty, is tasked with assembling her family for a wake after the suicide of her closest brother Liam. What his death unleashes in her is a compulsion to write down an “uncertain event,” which may or “may not have happened,” in which Liam was sexually assaulted as a child. The narrative suggests that Veronica witnessed this “event” and, in line with the aporetic nature of traumatic experience, did not register it as such. The narrative temporal strategy, as this article will demonstrate, is key to the author’s representation of the “event” which, due to its traumatic nature, is always of the present, and never successfully relegated to the past. I also explore the ways in which the novel suggests a healing which can be neither contained nor enacted within the confines of this overtly present-tense narrative.

In: KronoScope