Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://theses.ncl.ac.uk/jspui/handle/10443/4076
Title: The stories we carry
Authors: Bostock, Elizabeth Anne
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: This thesis is engaged with a critical exploration of and creative response to family archives. Presented in two parts, the thesis is first a work of fiction, a novel, which was initially inspired by my own Danish family history during the Second World War, but soon found a life of its own. Set in a small provincial town in Jutland, the novel explores themes of loss and connection, as well as those of loneliness and compromise. The second part is an interrogation of the stories we carry: stories from history, stories from the family archive and stories conjured up from the imagination alone. In the Holmboe family archive, I discovered fortytwo volumes of Christian Holmboe’s journals and among them the list of the dead in the family’s home town of Horsens in early September 1943. Ebbe Holmboe, my great-uncle, was murdered at the age of twenty-three in a Nazi concentration camp. Signs in this Danish archive led me to a diverse selection of accounts written across Europe during and after the Second World War and included the archival research, journals and creative responses of Élisabeth Gille (the daughter of Irene Némirovsky), Georges Perec and Jacqueline Mesnil- Amar among others. Their unique works of memoir, documentary journal and imagined biography confront the annihilation of family during war and seek to articulate the aftermath that endures far beyond the events themselves. The thesis ends with a reflection on the prose fiction of W.G. Sebald and Anne Michaels, two novelists who show how imagined stories can fill the silences left by history and create new memories.
Description: PhD Thesis
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10443/4076
Appears in Collections:School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics

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