Memories of War and Conflict in 20th-Century Europe
Edited By Conny Mithander, John Sundholm and Maria Holmgren Troy
This volume is a vital contribution to memory studies and trauma theory.
Collective Traumas is a result of the multidisciplinary research project on Memory Culture that was initiated in 2002 at Karlstad University, Sweden. A previous publication with Peter Lang is Memory Work: The Theory and Practice of Memory (2005).
Skeletons in the Historical Cupboard. Reflections on Irish National Memory in Joseph O’Neill’s Blood-Dark Track (Billy Gray) 245
245 Skeletons in the Historical Cupboard Reflections on Irish National Memory in Joseph O’Neill’s Blood-Dark Track Billy GRAY They’re wrong to think that memory Hasn’t an increasing value Or that the weeds of time grow over Any real past event or pain That on and on the planet rolls. No. Duty commands that everything now That hasn’t been said, be said in full. Alexander Tvardovsky1 As I walk through woods of birch and oak past tall elders and across cuttings, my ancestors accompany me every step of the way. Joachim von Winterfeld2 In a recent advertisement, broadcast on Swedish cable television and sponsored by the Irish Tourist Board, the ubiquitous stereotypes of ‘brand Ireland’’ were inevitably reiterated and accompanied by a pre- dictable litany of hackneyed images: sanitised country cottages, celtic mists enveloping green, rolling hills and back-slapping natives welcom- ing smiling Scandinavian tourists with a seemingly spontaneous rendi- tion of The Wild Rover. However, amidst the clichéd oral and visual evocations of Irish cultural identity, it was significant that the adver- tisement concluded with a soundbite that was clearly designed to cap- ture the essence of the nation: against the backdrop of traditional Irish music, a voice gravely intoned the words “Ireland: the land of memo- 1 Quoted in Anna Applebaum’s Gulag: A History (2004) 501. 2 Translation of the original (von Winterfeld 32) contained in Marcus Funck and Stephen Malinowski’s “Masters of Memory: The Strategic Use of Autobiographical Memory by the German Nobility.” Collective Traumas 246 ries...
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