Whose shadow is it? The representation of trauma and creativity in Anton Nimblett’s ‘Ring Games’ and ‘Sections of an Orange’

in International Journal of Jungian Studies
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Intervening in the current debate about an overemphasis on the individual in classical psychoanalytic trauma theory and the demand for a prioritization of the group in postcolonial trauma studies, this article proposes that Anton Nimblett’s short stories ‘Ring Games’ and titular ‘Sections of an Orange’ from his 2009 collection invite a postcolonial, post-Jungian optic because they portray the devastating effects of a colonized creative unconscious on the characters’ Self, relationships, and the collective. Both short stories explore the traumatic impact of colonialism and neoliberalism on the development of the characters’ unconscious and consciousness, unveiling the obstacles to re-inscribing a traditional heteronormative, Euro- American image of masculinity; individuating as gay; and living an authentic life. Questioning the binary opposites of the individual and the group, both short stories gesture towards the importance of creative self-realization as one cornerstone of individual and collective health when healing the destructive impact of postcolonial and neoliberal power configurations.

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