Bad news: a narrative account of the subjective experience of mastecomy
Econtent Management Pty Ltd
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Psychology and Social Science
This paper sets out to provide a narrative account of the subjective experience of mastectomy. Using personal archives and memories as its raw material, it draws on a range of literary genres, including poetry and stream-of-consciousness creative prose, in order to reflect on the process of moving from the nonarticulated raw life of a bodily and psychic experience into the discursive space of communicating some dimensions of that experience to others. In so doing, the paper amplifies the complexity of acknowledging that voice (in this case, the voice with which to narrate the mastectomy experience) comes from the interstices of knowledge and experience (Probyn1993). This paper, in consciously seeking to locate a voice with which to give life to the story and story to the life of this experience (Modjeska 1990), is attentive to poststructuralist understandings of the discursively constructed subject as fluid, complex and mobile (Evans 1999; Morris 1993). Further, the paper acknowledges the impact of audience and the availability of particular discourses in creating narratives with which to story bodily experience.