Portland State University. Department of English
Date of Publication
Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Creative Writing
David Naimon (1969- ), Babari Masjid (Faizabad, India) -- History, Victims of terrorism -- India -- Biography, Improvised explosive devices, Memory, Psychic trauma
1 online resource (ii, 152 pages)
In 2010, my wife and I were harmed in a bombing while traveling in India. Over a thousand people were attending the outdoor Hindu ceremony along the Ganges in Varanasi but when I woke up in the rubble no one was there. I searched for my wife amidst the concrete debris, found her unconscious, roused her, and we fled. This thesis is an examination of that gap in my experience, that unlived and unknown lapse of time-- between the moment I was blown off my feet by the blast wind until I stood up again-- and how it has reshaped my life.
Circling that gap, a gap now filled with surrogate memories (e.g. others' accounts of the stampede after the explosion, photos of the destruction that we never saw first-hand), this thesis looks at the history that my wife and I unwittingly stumbled into, of the Babri Mosque and the Hindu-Muslim cycle of violence surrounding its existence, its destruction and the destruction's aftermath. Mainly, however it is about the marriage of two bombing victims, two bombing victims who have nearly the same physical injuries and thus for years have fooled themselves into believing they understand what the other is going through. It circles not only the unlived bombing "experience" but also the unspoken differences between how they've both been affected by the trauma. Blast wind physics, ear anatomy and physiology (the main site of their injuries), trauma research, and Hindu, Muslim and Buddhist history and comsology are all used in service of this investigation.
Naimon, David, "Walking the Ridge of the Whorl" (2019). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 5131.