individual memory

Places and “Non-Places”: The Identity of a Place in the Perspective of Individual Memory and Social Forgetting

Author: Jolanta Muszyńska
Institution: University of Białystok
Year of publication: 2019
Source: Show
Pages: 125-137
DOI Address:
PDF: kie/126/kie12608.pdf

The article deals with the issue of the identity of the place, taken in reference to the concept of places and non-places by Marc Augé. The main purpose of the theoretical analyses and analysis and interpretation of empirical results of the study was to determine the identity of the place (borderland) by referring to the individual memory of members of the minority group, inscribed in multifaceted, individual negotiations of experiencing the identity of the place. An important aspect discussed in the article are issues of social forgetting in Paul Connerton’s approach and socio-cultural consequences of this process for the identity of the individual, group and place. Narrative interview was the main form of data collection. The analyses are oriented to the variable of the identity of the borderland. The categories of the analysis refer to: the cultural identity of the borderland; personal memories of respondents related to the events, situations related to the past of their family; social memory of the minority group; social memory of the majority group. Memory of the borderland is a memory strongly embedded in a given area and unequivocally localized - assigned to a place “marked” and “embedded” culturally. This, of course, implies a series of difficult group-based negotiations regarding the contents of memory, places, events that, from the perspective of internal diversity of the group, may construct contradictory images of the past of the place.

Пам’ять про ІІ Світову Війну в романах Кейт Аткінсон

Author: Тетяна Белімова (Tetiana Belimova)
Institution: Інститут літератури імені Т. Г. Шевченка Національної академії наук України (Shevchenko Institute of Literature of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine)
Year of publication: 2022
Source: Show
Pages: 69-80
DOI Address:
PDF: pomi/04/pomi406.pdf

Memory of world war II in the novels of Kate Atkinson

The article analyzes Kate Atkinson’s novels «Life after Life», «Ruins of God» and «Transcription» in terms of memory studies. The current objectives of the study were: 1) to outline private memories in the textual structure (these are the main correlates of individual and collective memory); 2) revealing the relationship between the injuries suffered by the heroes and the «wounds of time» inflicted by World War II; 3) understanding the mechanism of «crystallization» of collective memory in a particular cell («place of remembrance» in novels); 4) delineation of the boundaries of the cultural archive, which is reproduced by the author. The study found that the main message of the novels is focused on the theme of World War II, its understanding and reflection in the collective memory of the British. Through the images of the main characters, the author recreates the memories of wartime. It is noticed that in all novels the chaotic, instead of chronological principle of reproduction of the past is applied: the plot acquires cyclic character. This image principle mimics the work of the human brain, which sporadically emits layers of memory. This kaleidoscope of memories follows the author’s logic: the scattered fragments of memory form a coherent history, correlated with the national archive. Teddy Todd is a survivor who survived to preserve the memory of his fallen comrades («places of remembrance») and to testify about war crimes, as well as to nurture a new generation of Britons. At the same time, Ursula Todd and Juliet Armstrong present a feminine but polar experience of war. At first glance, there are no significant differences between the heroines: both work for secret military departments, contributing to the approach of victory, both took the place of men who went to the front. At the same time, Juliet Armstrong is a double agent recruited for espionage in favor of the Soviet Union, who, through her own betrayal, separates herself from the collective memory. Miss Armstrong’s memoirs do not correlate with the National Archives, but are the antithesis of the British collective consciousness, constituting an unexplored «white spot» (the phenomenon of betrayal is indeed something of a native «stain»). The post-war duty of Teddy and Ursula Todd, the true heirs of national values, is to heal the «place of remembrance» and to preserve the memory of the fallen. Todd’s memories should be embodied in «places of remembrance» (monuments, museums, military burials, works of art, etc.). The conditional archive of the novel, the «place of remembrance» recreated in it, correlate with the collective memory of the peoples of Britain, thus encouraging the understanding of the traumatic experience of World War II.

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