chapter  3
Detouring the Singularity of Trauma: Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Pages 35

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close presents a search for an addressee literary or human, in the interlocution with whom the void of trauma can begin to resonate.1 This experience is therefore oriented toward an encounter, but is itself a present absence and thus recalls the mainstays of deconstructivist trauma theory (see, for instance, Caruth 1996, 62). A “hole in the middle of me that every happy thing fell into” (EL 71) is how child-protagonist Oskar describes the impact of his father’s absence, and this sensation of nega tivity, of a void pervading existence is pivotal in Foer’s approach to trauma. At rst sight, therefore, this is a text that positions itself in a Freudian and Neo-Freudian psychoanalytical tradition, and approaches trauma as a “record to be made” very much in Dori Laub’s (1992a, 57) sense.