Joshua Pederson’s Sin Sick: Moral Injury in War and Literature proposes the use of moral injury – a psychological concept describing the affliction of those who break their moral code when committing despicable acts – as a framework through which war narratives of the American War on Terror can be productively read without resorting to the controversial idea of perpetrator trauma, which seems to excuse veterans as victims of the war. Pederson provides the reader with a clinical overview of the condition as well as a first literary theory of moral injury as a manifestation of various forms of excess through a genealogical reading that includes analyses of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Camus’ The Fall. Sin Sick appears as a step in the right direction as it addresses in a timely manner a blind spot in trauma theory using a concept that more accurately describes a specific type of suffering. In the author’s mind the very term “moral injury” entails an acknowledgement of the soldiers’ wrongdoing, and this allows him to defend contemporary war writers from critics accusing them of using a narrow point of view that focuses on the pain of the American protagonists and hides the suffering of their victims. Ultimately, the study introduces readers to a fresh way to understand the psychological pain of perpetrators and seeks to inaugurate a new branch of studies that can run in parallel with trauma theory.

Sin Sick: Moral Injury in War and Literature by Joshua Pederson (A Book Review)

Angelo Arminio
2022

Abstract

Joshua Pederson’s Sin Sick: Moral Injury in War and Literature proposes the use of moral injury – a psychological concept describing the affliction of those who break their moral code when committing despicable acts – as a framework through which war narratives of the American War on Terror can be productively read without resorting to the controversial idea of perpetrator trauma, which seems to excuse veterans as victims of the war. Pederson provides the reader with a clinical overview of the condition as well as a first literary theory of moral injury as a manifestation of various forms of excess through a genealogical reading that includes analyses of Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment and Camus’ The Fall. Sin Sick appears as a step in the right direction as it addresses in a timely manner a blind spot in trauma theory using a concept that more accurately describes a specific type of suffering. In the author’s mind the very term “moral injury” entails an acknowledgement of the soldiers’ wrongdoing, and this allows him to defend contemporary war writers from critics accusing them of using a narrow point of view that focuses on the pain of the American protagonists and hides the suffering of their victims. Ultimately, the study introduces readers to a fresh way to understand the psychological pain of perpetrators and seeks to inaugurate a new branch of studies that can run in parallel with trauma theory.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11573/1657335
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