In this volume collaborators from different universities all over the world explore a wide variety of methods for the study of literature as cultural memory. In literature, the past may be (re)constructed in various ways and in very diverse forms. This immediately raises the question as to how one can describe and inventory the various discourses and metadiscourses of historical representation. In what sense can the rhetoric of literary historiography itself contribute to literature's function as cultural memory? Which methods of analysis are most appropriate for describing specific text types or genres as cultural memory? What have been the pragmatic uses and the ethical merits of the stability and continuity that literature has often provided for European, American, Asian and African cultures? What are the dilemmas they create for our teaching at the end of the twentieth century? To all these questions, a wide range of scholars here tries to find answers. In thorough and highly original contributions, they not only address theoretical problems, but also engage themselves in practical analyses of specific works.


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Table of contents

METHODS AND FRAMEWORKS FOR THE STUDY OF CULTURAL MEMORY AND LITERATURE. K. DE WET: Dialogues Generated by Pivotal Figures in Literary Systems: A Systemic Approach to the Study of Literature. B. KEUNEN: Cultural Thematics and Cultural Memory: Towards a Socio-cultural Approach to Literary Themes. C. LEITERITZ: Histoire des concepts. Méthode d’investigation de la littérature comme mémoire culturelle. J. PIETERS: Literature and the Anamnesis of History. M. GRABAR: The Hermeneutics of Propaganda: The Violent Silencing of Reason in Literary and Scientific Hermeneutics. N.A. ANDERSON: The Identification of Generically Distinctive Strategies in Dramatic Communication: An Interdisciplinary Approach. M. SEXL: Literature as a Medium by which Human Experience can be Transmitted. M. SPIRIDON: Entre l’herméneutique et la théorie de la lecture: la part du lecteur dans le fonctionnement de la mémoire littéraire. PERIODIZATION AND CANON FORMATION. P. CORNEA: Canon et bataille canonique. G.C. KALMAN: Ways of Representing Discontinuous Memories: Re-arranging the Canonical Order by Breaking with Classical Literary Historiography. F. SINOPOLI: Antithesis and Comparison: Two Rhetorical Figures in the Study of Literature as Cultural Memory. D. SARINJEIVE: The More Things Change... —A Review of Post-apartheid English Studies. M. HIRAI: Tanizaki and Lawrence (or East and West): The Paradox of Love between Mother and Son. C. TANG: Writing World History: The Formation of Colonial Thinking at the Threshold of Modernity. NARRATION AND MEMORY. L. HUTCHEON: Irony, Nostalgia and the Postmodern. M. SCHMITZ-EMANS: Literature as Metahistory—Narratology as Reflection upon History. B. VAN DEN BOSSCHE: Myth as Literature, Literature as Myth: Some Remarks on Myth and Interpretation of Literary Texts. R. GÖRLING: Remembering the Forgetting: Trauma, Cultural Memory and Performance Art. C. DE LAILHACAR: Fragments of Fictional Memory as Building Blocks of Identity. M. STEELE: The Problematics and Politics of Cultural Memory: The Theoretical Dilemmas of Said’s Culture and Imperialism. G. WEISZ: Shamanism and Its Discontents. CULTURAL MEMORY IN THE TEXT. R.W. MÜLLER-FARGUELL: Awakening Memory: Freud and Benjamin. C. UHLIG: Memory and Appropriation: Shakespeare in Aesthetic Thought. W.D. MELANEY: Joyce and Metaphoric Excess: Ulysses as a Work of Plenitude. S. MONTES: La mémoire dans Dubliners de Joyce. Sémiotique et processus culturels. O. HEYNDERS: Literature as Cultural Memory: Paul Celan’s Reading of Emily Dickinson. J.T. DORSEY: African History in American Plays: August Wilson. G. TVERDOTA: Il faut être absolument grec! E. MACPHAIL: In the Wake of Solon. Memory and Modernity in the Essays of Montaigne. M. MEKE: Ecriture romanesque et dramaturgique comme mémoire culturelle: l’exemple de Bernard B. Dadié. INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES. J. ŠKULJ: Literature as a Repository of Historical Consciousness: Reinterpreted Tales of Mnemosyne. M.-B. FANTIN-EPSTEIN: Miklos Hubay—Hector Berlioz: la mémoire transfigurée. S. RIBEIRO DE OLIVEIRA: Musical Comedy and Cultural Memory in Brasil: Chico Buarque’s Transcultural Reading of John Gay’s The Beggar Opera and Bertolt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera. M. BERTHOMIER: Debussy/Berg: deux petits morts de l’opéra au début de XXe siècle. D. MEROLLA: Beyond Oral and Written Literatures: Oral, Written, Audio-Visual Media, and Literary Space.