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Cultural Memory

Essays on European Literature and History

Edric Caldicott and Anne Fuchs

Memory and culture are terms which are now fashionable, if not over-used, but they need careful handling. This book explores their use in a variety of contexts: in European creative writing, in the spheres of national celebration, mourning, and administration of the arts, and in concepts of translation and history. The editors’ introduction maps the surrounding theoretical terrain, and each of the following twenty-two essays explores related issues within the specific brief of a local context, whether in France, Germany, Ireland, Italy or Spain, organized under five thematic lines of enquiry: Memory as Counter-History, Narrativity and Remembering, Locating Memory, Remembering and Renewal, Remembering as Trauma.
Coming into prominence after the Holocaust and the fall of European dictatorships, studies in Cultural Memory have been fuelled by the works of Walter Benjamin, Aby Warburg, the rediscovery of Maurice Halbwachs, and more recently by Pierre Nora’s notion of ‘sites of memory’. Furthermore, they have benefited from the reflections of a range of contemporary theorists in this area, including Paul Ricœur, Michel de Certeau and Jan Assman. The studies in this volume, however, go beyond the present to show how, in earlier times, the devices of memory and commemoration were exploited both for and against the state. Within the sphere of the present, the expression of memory in narrative is shown to be an essential source of inspiration for the creative writer, discovering renewal in a sense of loss.
Contents: Edric Caldicott/Anne Fuchs: Introduction – Jeanne Riou: Historiography and the Critique of Culture in Schiller, Nietzsche and Benjamin – Carol Baxter: Communal Memory as a Response to Crisis: The Community of Port-Royal, 1661-1711 – Síofra Pierse: A Sceptic Witness: Voltaire’s Vision of Historiography – Angela Reinicke: Authenticity, Truth and the Other in B. Wilkormirski’s Bruchstücke and W. G. Sebald’s Die Ausgewanderten – Sabine Egger: Deconstructing Marxist-Leninist Historiography: Memories of National Socialism in East German Poetry – David Rock: Creating Memories in the Search for Identity: The Holocaust Fiction of Jurek Becker – Eamonn Jordan: The Meta-Theatricalization of Memory in Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa – Deirdre Byrnes: Exposing the Gaps in Memory: Forgetting and Remembering in Monika Maron’s Pawels Briefe – Patrick Crowley: Figuring the Past: Cultural Memory in Pierre Michon’s Vies minuscules – Douglas Smith: Without Walls: ‘World Art’ and Malraux’s Imaginary Museum – Guy Beiner: Mapping the ‘Year of the French’: The Vernacular Landscape of Folk Memory – Christian J. Emden: ‘Nachleben’: Cultural Memory in Aby Warburg and Walter Benjamin – Phyllis Gaffney: Aughrim, Flanders, Ladysmith and Other Sites of Memory in Beckett’s Mercier et Camier – Gillian Pye: Haunting the Self: Herbert Achternbusch’s Ella – Edric Caldicott: Anniversaries: Republican Collectivization of Memory, from Molière to Dreyfus – Deirdre O’Grady: Deformity and Dualism: Arrigo Boito and the Crisis of Italian Romanticism – Susan Bassnett: Translation as Re-Membering – Patrick O’Donovan: Common Culture and Creativity: Forgetting and Remembering in the Cultural Theory of Michel de Certeau – Alison Ribeiro De Menezes: Purloined Letters: Juan Goytisolo, José María Blanco White, and the Cultural Construction of Marginal Identity – Tom Quinn: Rewriting Memory: The Great War in Céline’s Voyage au bout de la nuit – Carmel Finnan: Contested Memories: Autobiographical Challenges to the Collective Memory of the Shoah – Catherine O’Leary: History and Remembering in the Post-Franco Theatre of Antonio Buero Vallejo – Silvia Ross: Remembering Betrayal: The Roman Ghetto’s Pantera Nera in Elena Gianini Belotti and Giuseppe Pederiali.