Abstract

This work explores Junot Díaz’s incorporation of nerd culture into his novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and that move's larger impact on the genre of trauma narratives. By using allusions to nerd texts such as The Lord of the Rings to structure his depiction of the brutal reign of Dominican dictator Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina, Díaz effectively rewrites Dominican history, creating a retroactive continuity of fantasy. Retroactive continuity, or retcon, is a little-discussed interpretive strategy of the nerd community with striking parallels to Lacanian notions of fantasy. A reading of Díaz's retcon ultimately casts doubt on the silent victim's traditional role as the foundation of trauma narratives, suggesting instead that the ideological root of these stories is actually the hypothetical denier of trauma.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; English

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2012-03-09

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd5056

Keywords

Junot Díaz, Oscar Wao, retcon, fantasy, trauma

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