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Literature and Linguistics (Vol. 1 No. 2); Literature and Violence (Vol. 3 Nos. 1-2)

Women, Consumption and Popular Culture (Vol. 4 No. 1); Life, Community, and Ethics (Vol. 4. No. 2)

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Transatlantic Literary and Cultural Relations, 1776 to the Present (Vol. 11 No. 2). 


The aftermath of major historical events often offers the opportunity to come to terms with one’s own idea of belonging to a social, religious, ideological, or political group. This paper analyses Antonio Lobo Antunes’s outstanding novel Os Cus de Judas (The Land at the End of the World, 1979) and Chaim Potok’s short narrative The Trope Teacher (2001) in order to demonstrate how the narration of a traumatic experience, such as taking part in a war becomes an expedient to deal artistically with the past, and at the same time, to reassess one’s own group identity. In both works, the protagonists’ reappraisal of their sense of belonging leads them to accept the impossibility of getting rid of the burden of the past and to refuse to be included in any given definition of “identity.”

KEYWORDS: war, inner exile, disillusion, rejection, identity

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