Can we remember other people's memories? The Generation of Postmemory argues we can: that memories of traumatic events live on to mark the lives of those who were not there to experience them. Children of survivors and their contemporaries inherit catastrophic histories not through direct recollection but through haunting postmemories multiply mediated images, objects, stories, behaviors, and affects passed down within the family and the culture at large. In these new and revised critical readings of the literary and visual legacies of the Holocaust and other, related sites of memory, Marianne Hirsch builds on her influential concept of postmemory. The book's chapters, two of which were written collaboratively with the historian Leo Spitzer, engage the work of postgeneration artists and writers such as Art Spiegelman, W.G. Sebald, Eva Hoffman, Tatana Kellner, Muriel Hasbun, Anne Karpff, Lily Brett, Lorie Novak, David Levinthal, Nancy Spero and Susan Meiselas. Grappling with the ethics of empathy and identification, these artists attempt to forge a creative postmemorial aesthetic that reanimates the past without appropriating it. In her analyses of their fractured texts, Hirsch locates the roots of the familial and affiliative practices of postmemory in feminism and other movements for social change. Using feminist critical strategies to connect past and present, words and images, and memory and gender, she brings the entangled strands of disparate traumatic histories into more intimate contact. With more than fifty illustrations, her text enables a multifaceted encounter with foundational and cutting edge theories in memory, trauma, gender, and visual culture, eliciting a new understanding of history and our place in it.
This book examines the life and art of those contemporary artists who by force or by choice find themselves on other shores. It argues that the exilic challenge enables the émigré artist to (re)establish new artistic devices, new laws and a new language of communication in both his everyday life and his artistic work.
Through various lenses and theoretical approaches, this book explores the contested experiences, meanings, realms, goals, and challenges associated with the construction, preservation, and transmission of the memories of state repression in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.
“In this rigorous and beautifully written account, Hirsch and Spitzer chronicle a search for a vanished world and, through the terrible lacuna of the Holocaust, discover the life before and after. Simultaneously a history of a fascinating Central European town, an excavation of a thriving culture, and a journal of several returns, Ghosts of Home adds both scholarly and human dimensions to our knowledge of the Holocaust, the vicissitudes of memory, the predicament of the second generation, the poignant impossibility of recapturing the past – and the need to understand and honor it in its full complexity.”—Eva Hoffman, author of Time “This exemplary masterpiece of cultural memory interweaves the thoughtful reflections of the post-memorial family memoir with astute historical recontextualisation of one family's experiences of the complex Jewish negotiations of cultural modernity and shifting political dominions in Central Europe. Built around the figure of the journey that takes the reader back and forth across the layered histories of the city of former Czernowitz the text explores the fabric of memory in places, images and things which have the affective power to undo amnesia. This book re-engages us not only with an important fragment of 'the past' but asks us to think about what it means to carry lost histories, intergenerationally, and to transform 'the past' by tenderly and thoughtfully reinserting such memories, often transmitted by images and objects, into the still fragile picture of the experience of European Jews across the long twentieth century.”—Griselda Pollock, author of Encounters in the Virtual Feminist Museum: Time, Space and the Archive "Ghosts of Home is a compelling cross-generational memoir of Czernowitz, once a vital center of a fragile German-Jewish cultural symbiosis in the outer reaches of the Habsburg Empire. Hirsch and Spitzer have created a remarkable narrative of live voices, documents, photographs, travelogues, and memorabilia out of which emerges the 'idea of Czernowitz,' ghostlike and filled with gaps, but like a promise of another history which was not to be. This is embodied cultural history at its best."—Andreas Huyssen, author of Present Pasts: Urban Palimpsests and the Politics of Memory "In Ghosts of Home, Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer have written a remarkable inter-generational memoir of Czernowitz and its remarkable German-Jewish cultural world, vanished in the Holocaust. With grace and precision, they use both history and memory to shape a profound set of reflections on loss and survival. Anyone interested in reading a verse of Celan or a short story of Appelfeld should start here. What a gift to join these two scholars on their moving, penetrating journey back to what was once home, somewhere in the now-vanished Jewish world of Czernowitz."—Jay Winter, author of Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History "In a very fine intertwining between the private and the public, this book evokes landscapes of memory animated by ghosts emerging from the past. Hirsch and Spitzer provide us with a multifaceted image of the complex universe of memory. This volume is an important contribution to our way of conceiving the practice of history, its meaning and methodology, its struggle against the unknowns of memory and its choice to give up the claim to omniscience. It is also a delicate and moving story of how individuals connect to each other in the effort to give us back the richness and frailty of the past. For us readers, like for the children of survivors, a passage of memories takes place that allows us to say 'it's our story now.'”—Luisa Passerini, author of Memory and Utopia: The Primacy of Intersubjectivity "This is an engaging and exciting multilayered, guided tour through the city of many names—Czernowitz/Chernivtsi/Cernauti—that perhaps never existed except in memories, dreams, and nightmares. Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer's work is an experiment in story-telling, part history and part dialogical memoir that incorporates voices of parents, survivors, and witnesses and is full of precise and poignant details."—Svetlana Boym, author of The Future of Nostalgia
Collected Essays on Literary and Visual Conjunctures
Author: Ofra Amihay
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
The question of the relation between the visual and the textual in literature is at the heart of an increasing number of scholarly projects, and in turn, the investigation of evolving visual-verbal dynamics is becoming an independent discipline. This volume explores these profound literary shifts through the work of twelve talented, and in some cases, emerging scholars who study text and image relations in diverse forms and contexts. The inter-medial conjunctures investigated in this book play with and against the traditional roles of the visual and the verbal. The Future of Text and Image presents explorations of the incorporation of visual elements into works of literature, of visual writing modes, and of the textuality and literariness of images. It focuses on the special potential literature offers for the combination of these two functions. Alongside examinations of major forms and genres such as memoirs, novels, and poetry, this volume expands the discussion of text and image relations into more marginal forms, for instance, collage books, the PostSecret collections of anonymous postcards, and digital poetry. In other words, while exploring the destiny of text and image as an independent discipline, this volume simultaneously looks at the very literal future of text and image forms in an ever-changing technological reality. The essays in this book will help to define the emergent practices and politics of this growing field of study, and at the same time, reflect the tremendous significance of the visual in today’s image culture.
The Holocaust represents an immense historical as well as a cultural trauma. The following thesis talks about the trauma symptoms and the behavior of Holocaust victims, including a broad selection of scholarly research on the Holocaust aftermath. Afterwards, features of postgeneration art will be presented in detail, as second generation literature and art mirrors the depression and horrid state of the mind of survivors. By analyzing Art Spiegelmann’s “The Complete Maus” and Helen Fremont's "After Long Silence" this thesis aims at portraying the degree of traumatization as well as the extent to which the second generation is affected by the traumatic experiences of the parents ́ lives. Contents: - Symptoms of psychological trauma and behavior, - Recovery and the Necessity of a Story, - Direct and Indirect Trauma, - The Concept of Postmemory: Familial Transmission of Trauma, - The Silence of the First Generation.
How do the spaces of the past stay with us through representations—whether literary or photographic? How has the Holocaust registered in our increasingly globally connected consciousness? What does it mean that this European event is often used as an interpretive or representational touchstone for genocides and traumas globally? In this interdisciplinary study, Kaplan asks and attempts to answer these questions by looking at historically and geographically diverse spaces, photographs, and texts concerned with the physical and/or mental landscape of the Holocaust and its transformations from the postwar period to the early twenty-first century. Examining the intersections of landscape, postmemory, and trauma, Kaplan's text offers a significant contribution to our understanding of the spatial, visual, and literary reach of the Holocaust.
This volume collects work by several European, North American, and Australian academics who are interested in examining the performance and transmission of post-traumatic memory in the contemporary United States. The contributors depart from the interpretation of trauma as a unique exceptional event that shatters all systems of representation, as seen in the writing of early trauma theorists like Cathy Caruth, Shoshana Felman, and Dominick LaCapra. Rather, the chapters in this collection are in conversation with more recent readings of trauma such as Michael Rothberg’s “multidirectional memory” (2009), the role of mediation and remediation in the dynamics of cultural memory (Astrid Erll, 2012; Aleida Assman, 2011), and Stef Craps’ focus on “postcolonial witnessing” and its cross-cultural dimension (2013). The corpus of post-traumatic narratives under discussion includes fiction, diaries, memoirs, films, visual narratives, and oral testimonies. A complicated dialogue between various and sometimes conflicting narratives is thus generated and examined along four main lines in this volume: trauma in the context of “multidirectional memory”; the representation of trauma in autobiographical texts; the dynamic of public forms of national commemoration; and the problematic instantiation of 9/11 as a traumatic landmark.
Longing for the Bomb traces the unusual story of the first atomic city and the emergence of American nuclear culture. Tucked into the folds of Appalachia and kept off all commercial maps, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, was created for the Manhattan Project by the U.S. government in the 1940s. Its workers labored at a breakneck pace, most aware only that their jobs were helping "the war effort." The city has experienced the entire lifespan of the Atomic Age, from the fevered wartime enrichment of the uranium that fueled Little Boy, through a brief period of atomic utopianism after World War II when it began to brand itself as "The Atomic City," to the anxieties of the Cold War, to the contradictory contemporary period of nuclear unease and atomic nostalgia. Oak Ridge's story deepens our understanding of the complex relationship between America and its bombs. Blending historiography and ethnography, Lindsey Freeman shows how a once-secret city is visibly caught in an uncertain present, no longer what it was historically yet still clinging to the hope of a nuclear future. It is a place where history, memory, and myth compete and conspire to tell the story of America's atomic past and to explain the nuclear present.