Great literature may help us to understand trauma

Great literature may help us to understand psychological trauma. In a newly published essay (link here), “Ahab Rages and Odysseus Weeps: Trauma as a Core Concept for Humanistic Inquiry,” I summon Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick and Homer’s The Odyssey for that purpose. Drawing upon Moby-Dick, I consider the injured Captain Ahab as a workplace trauma sufferer and abusive boss. Examining The Odyssey, I see Odysseus experiencing grief and exhaustion as he tries to return home after 10 years of fighting a war.

The piece has just been posted to the blog of Harrison Middleton University, a fully online university devoted to Great Books and Great Ideas, where I am a 2022 “Fellow in Ideas.” In this side-gig role, I am contributing writings to HMU’s publications and taking part in various discussion groups.

2 responses

  1. David – Reading your post, I’m wondering if you’re aware of an extraordinary project called Theater of War (https://theaterofwar.com/). It features “dramatic readings of seminal plays—from classical Greek tragedies [by Sophocles] to modern and contemporary works—followed by town hall-style discussions designed to confront social issues by drawing out raw and personal reactions to themes highlighted in the plays.” The discussions often include the subject of trauma. I’ve been watching performances online for a few years and find them powerful and very healing. The next performance is this Sunday, June 26 (https://theaterofwar.com/schedule).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: