Survivor Syndrome

I denne study guide kan du få hjælp til at analysere novellen "Survivor Syndrome" af Liz Jensen, som kan findes i antologien Wider Contexts (s. 242-246). Udover analysehjælpen kan du finde et summary af teksten samt idéer til fortolkning og perspektivering. 

Præsentation af teksten

Titel: “Survivor Syndrome” (2011)
Forfatter: Liz Jensen
Genre: Short story

Liz Jensen (f. 1959) er en britisk forfatter med danske rødder. Før hun blev forfatter arbejdede hun som journalist og tv-producer. Mange af Jensens fortællinger handler om, hvordan menneskeheden risikerer at udslette sig selv gennem menneskeskabte klimaforandringer, og er dermed meget relevante for samfundsdebatten i det 21. århundrede. 

Uddrag

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Title

In the literal sense, the title of the story “Survivor Syndrome” by Liz Jensen suggests that the story will deal with a psychological condition. Upon reading the story, readers will suspect that this refers to the psychological impact that a disastrous flood has on Londoners and on the main character, a Greek photographer called Dimitri. Survivor syndrome (also called survivor guilt or survivor disorder) often refers to a psychological condition that occurs when a person feels guilty for having survived an event that others did not. Other common reactions to disasters include emotional numbness and a sense of detachment from the event and from others. 

This sense of detachment is suggested as Dimitri details how Londoners begin to distance themselves emotionally from the tragic consequences of the flood and the waterpox epidemic (p. 243, ll. 28-31). Dimitri himself is affected by life in London and becomes increasingly detached from what he witnesses: “I noticed, for example, that although I cared about the people less, my aesthetic appreciation of them was becoming keener.” (p. 243, ll. 38-40). This reaches an extreme as Dimitri, instead of saving a boy from drowning, takes a picture of him (p. 246, ll. 9-11). 

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Survivor Syndrome

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