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Information and Persuasion

Studies in Linguistics, Literature, Culture, and Discourse Analysis

Edited By Maria-Ionela Neagu and Domnita Tomescu

This transdisciplinary study gathers research papers that reveal the multifarious facets of the concept of «persuasion». It is argued that regardless of its degree of intentionality, the act of persuasion underlying each information item prompts the interlocutors to cross the borders of political, historical, linguistic, narrative, psychotherapeutic, and even marketing configurations. The contributors’ contention is that political thinking and ideology-grounded linguistic patterns act as a form of social control, both informing and shaping the sense of identity of the manipulated masses and of the oppressed.

«Taking a sociolinguistic turn, this volume of interesting scholarly works addresses matters of ideological loadings in a variety of genres, contributing to the development of new research paradigms.» – Bledar Toska, University of Vlora «Ismail Qemali»

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Manipulated memory: censuring the Romanian Holocaust under Ceauşescu and its aftermath (Arleen Ionescu)


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Arleen IonescuPetroleum-Gas University Ploiesti

Manipulated memory: censuring the Romanian Holocaust under Ceauşescu and its aftermath

Abstract: This chapter will look at Romanian anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial. The theoretical framework relies on Ricoeur’s definitions of the abuses of memory. In its second and third part, the chapter focuses on the historical truth and on the censure of memory during communism in different books of history. The last section illustrates how Ceauşescu’s heritage was to haunt Romanians for a long time.

1.  Abusing memory

In his ground-breaking volume on memory and history, Paul Ricoeur (2004, 66–67) asserted that when there is a breach of the memory’s pact with the past, memory is replaced by imagination. When history is being rewritten using not memory but imagination, memorialization is abused through manipulation. When memory is reduced to recalling, it operates in the wake of imagination, which has a different aim than memory, since there is an “eidetic difference” between their aims and intentionalities: while imagination is “directed toward the fantastic, the fictional, the unreal, the possible, the Utopian”, memory is focused on “prior reality, priority constituting the temporal mark par excellence of the ‘thing remembered,’ of the ‘remembered’ as such” (Ricoeur 2004, 6).

Ricoeur further distinguished between three possible abuses of memory, whose outcome is blocked, manipulated or abusively controlled memory. While blocked memory is related to trauma and acting out, memory can be manipulated through...

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