the killed self

I've been reading Acts of Memory: Cultural Recall in the Present edited by Mieke Bal et al. In an essay by Ernst van Alphen, Symptoms of Discursivity: Experience, Memory and Truama he discusses how trauma denies subjectivity. In order to survive trauma, one must "kill the self." And when this happens, one is no longer able to tell. "It is the voice that has disappeared by abjuring subjectivity." He goes on to say, "A killed self has no experiences, not to mention narratable memories." van Alphen explains that for this reason, memory is also traumatic because remembering is an invasive act, not entered into voluntarily. (These memories come in flashbacks and triggers.) Therefore, there is no available discourse to share these "failed experiences" or traumas. van Alphen asserts that memory is not something we have but rather something we produce and is produced for us culturally.

Wow. I find the essay fascinating and am still trying to come to terms with it and figure out my response.