The Saturday Night Ghost Club; The brain is a subtle organ: the depiction of traumatic memory in selected Canadian fiction

Davidson, Craig (2017). The Saturday Night Ghost Club; The brain is a subtle organ: the depiction of traumatic memory in selected Canadian fiction. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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\(The\) \(Saturday\) \(Night\) \(Ghost\) \(Club\), a work involving selective memory loss resulting from a traumatic event, depicts the mechanics of this loss, conveying the manner in which a primary character’s condition — one distinguished by his inability to remember a key trauma — combines with active strategies to avoid recall of said trauma.
In preparing to write this thesis, and in toggling between the critical and creative elements, I found myself drawn back to a theme of long obsession: the idea of memory loss and memory retrieval, and the bedrock scientific and psychological principles that inform the subject. I was interested in the plausibility of the condition affecting Calvin Sharpe, and curious about the science and psychology of memory repression following trauma; this led to an interest in the manner in which it has been represented in fiction — specifically, the fiction of my home country.
As the creative thesis took shape, I began to (a) re-read works in which memory plays a role, paying attention to books featuring depictions of medical conditions which effect memory — for example, “buried” or “repressed” memories — play a role, and (b) investigate scientific sources and general readership books focused on behavioural sciences, cognitive psychology, neuropsychology, and neuroscience.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and American & Canadian Studies, Department of Film and Creative Writing
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PS American literature


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