Autofiction and Trauma: Negotiating Vulnerable Subject Positions in Charlotte Roche’sSchoßgebete


Nina Schmidt
pages: 46 – 68
published online: 22 july 2013


‘One true event’, the loss of three brothers in a car accident, constitutes the core of Roche’s novel Schoßgebete(‘lap prayers’) that I read both as a trauma narrative and as autofiction. The results of this analysis will be brought together with my comments on the public appearances of the author and the media’s response to Schoßgebete. I show that the use of autofiction undermines the assumed referentiality of the much-talked about novel, thereby granting Roche poetic license that crucially enables agency, helping the author/narrator to evade traumatic passivity and silence. Autofiction therefore is a mode of writing eminently suitable for the story-ing of illness, death and trauma.
Key Words :autofiction, trauma, Schoßgebete/Wrecked, death and illness narrative/pathography.

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