When we are grown up, we come to know many things, but for any variety of reasons, we cannot think about it. There may be things we have forgotten; or have intuition or felt sense for that we sometimes find ourselves desperately struggling to put in words, which the British psychoanalyst, Christopher Bollas called ‘The Unthought known’.
Memories of these experiences live in the boundary between our conscious and unconscious mind. It is the stress we feel in our bodies is one of the primary ways to trace and uncover much of the content of this The Unthought Known.
Scientifically the unthought known is created-virtually from conception through birth & into our first few years, the brain stores stressful experiences without the benefit of language. Normally, everybody have this trauma in life. Significantly many writers have shown this traumatic experience in their works.
Jayne Anne Phillips is one of the well known contemporary Post Modern Feminist writers of American literature. She is the author of several collections of literary pieces and whose works have been translated in twelve languages. To Bollas, unknowingly everything has been inculcated into the memory being as the fetus in the mother’s womb. In the novel ‘Quiet Dell’ Phillips has shown this trauma through two characters. It was written in Oct 13, 2013. It was written based on the true incident happened in Quiet Dell in 1931, West Virginia.
“Quiet” means calm; here the place which is known for calmness turns to chaos. The characters Harry and Annabel are intrude by this unthought known.
Due to the Great Depression, Dutch immigrants in West Virginia began to advertise for companionship in the matrimonial bureau site called ‘lonely hearts’. By registering in this website the person can do online dating and can seek friendship, fidelity and matrimony.
Starving: “There are more people starving for love and companionship
than there are starving for bread,” red-inked the American Friendship
Society of Detroit, which offered “ABSOLUTELY FREE”
lists of wealthy widows to anybody who had the
price of a two-cent stamp. In four years the “society”
had collected more than $ 10,000 in dues.
“We Make Thousands Happy,”
Time Magazine, September 14, 1931.
The protagonist Asta Eicher, widow of three children has registered in the site. She began to receive seductive letters from a wealthy, college- educated civil engineer and widower called Cornelius Pierson (Harry). For six months she began to receive letters in which he promised to protect her, marry her and will take care of her and her children.
He never revealed that he was already married; similarly she was unaware that he is a con-man who preyed on widows, brutally murdered them...