Caesar's Things, the unpublished religious novel by Zelda Fitzgerald, is considered a product of her mental disorder, yet it is rarely analyzed with the tools available through psychoanalytic theory. The often-remarked incoherence of the text becomes more legible when read in terms of psychological trauma instead of the vague idea of madness. At the literal center of the novel in chapter 4 are traces of an unrepresented trauma, which doubles and is screened by an explicitly described trauma in chapter 1, and whose repercussions affect the main character Janno throughout the novel. The narrative form itself exhibits features associated with posttraumatic experience, such as the centrality of death, the splitting of the self, the distortion of temporality, and the shattering of witness seen in failures of memory and language. Yet far from merely recording psychosis, the narrative frame consciously establishes a stabilizing architecture for these posttraumatic traits, adapting a clear structure derived from biblical motifs and decentering the psychiatrists represented in the manuscript. In Caesar's Things, Zelda Fitzgerald represents an unresolved wound to the psyche but indicates hope of healing in a future redemption.

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