Making meaning and meaning making: memory, postmemory and narrative in Holocaust literature
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractThis paper explores links between narration and memory in Holocaust literature and examines ways in which individuals construct memory and postmemory. Based on the premise that ‘All authors mediate reality through their writing...’ and taking into consideration that what we remember and how we remember is likely to have a significant impact on the narratives that we construct, this article considers the reliability of memory. It argues that whilst there is, at times, a blurring of boundaries between fact and fiction in Holocaust literature, this has little or no impact on the validity and authenticity of the narratives. In an attempt to address these issues more fully, this paper explores the notions of making meaning and meaning making, whilst considering the effects of positionality, time and trauma on memory. Key texts referred to in this discussion include Night (1958) by Elie Wiesel, All Rivers Run to the Sea (1996) by Elie Wiesel, In My Brother’s Shadow (2005) by Uwe Timm and The Dark Room (2001) by Rachel Seiffert. These texts have been chosen in order to highlight the subjectivity of memory and postmemory and to demonstrate the role that narrative plays in their construction and representation.
TypeMeetings and Proceedings
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