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Soft WeaponsAutobiography in Transit$
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Gillian Whitlock

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780226895253

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226895277.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 21 October 2019

Embedded: Memoir and Correspondents

Embedded: Memoir and Correspondents

(p.131) Six Embedded: Memoir and Correspondents
Soft Weapons

Gillian Whitlock

University of Chicago Press

This chapter turns to what Leigh Gilmore calls the “limits” of autobiography: its trading in trauma—and war. It also identifies memoir as a vehicle for haunted and fragmented accounts of the professional self in a specific historical context. The memoir is traditionally the prerogative of the literate elite. It is a distinctive space for autobiographical writing. The impacts of graphic accounts of trauma in war journalism from Iraq are an important issue. Journalists' memoirs from Baghdad rapidly take up performatively the spatial organization of news coverage. Travels in American Iraq is a nomadic memoir: processual and unresolved. Naked in Baghdad provides a valuable thick description of the correspondents' world, using the tools, customs, and technology of Anne Garrels' craft to autobiographical and ethnographic effect. The terrible and spectral presence of the victims of war is implanted in the American experience of Iraq.

Keywords:   trauma, war, memoir, Leigh Gilmore, autobiographical writing, Travels in American Iraq, Baghdad, correspondents

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