Abstract

ABSTRACT:

Amy Kurzweil’s graphic memoir Flying Couch demonstrates the lingering struggles the third generation of Holocaust survivors face in trying to understand their own identities. This article examines Flying Couch and Kurzweil’s struggles with her familial Holocaust trauma. Through the use of maps, Kurzweil examines her relationship to her grandmother, a Holocaust survivor, and her mother, a member of the second generation after the Holocaust. The article argues that while these maps work to ground both Kurzweil and the narrative itself, these attempts actually emphasize the instability with which Kurzweil still grapples. However, Kurzweil’s inclusion of various forms of mapping consists of more than recognizing her grandmother’s Holocaust trauma because she also examines her relationship to her mother, and her own identity as an individual. These maps create opportunities in which she can understand her identity as a part of and apart from her familial trauma. Through these familial interactions, the maps in Flying Couch create a generational topography in which they serve two important functions: (1) to connect Kurzweil with her familial and intergenerational Holocaust trauma, and (2) to allow Kurzweil to understand her sense of self apart from this intergenerational trauma.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1948-5077
Print ISSN
0271-9274
Pages
pp. 172-194
Launched on MUSE
2021-09-15
Open Access
No
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