Cultural Memory and Western Civilization: Functions, Media, Archives

Cultural Memory and Western Civilization: Functions, Media, Archives

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Aleida Assmann
Cambridge University Press
Edition: English ed., 2/23/2012
EAN 9780521165877, ISBN10: 0521165873

Paperback, 424 pages, 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.7 cm
Language: English

Cultures invest great efforts into creating a long-term memory on the basis of oral transmission, media technology and institutional frameworks. This book provides an introduction to the concept of cultural memory, focusing on the 'arts' of its construction, particularly various media such as writing, images, bodily practices, places and monuments. Examining the period from the European Renaissance to the present, Aleida Assmann reveals the close association between cultural memory and the arts, arguing that the artists who have supplemented, criticized, transformed and opposed it are its most lucid theorists and acute observers. Her analysis also addresses the interaction of cultural memory with individual memory and the ways in which cultural memory supports or subverts social and political identity constructions. Ultimately, this book offers a comprehensive overview of the history, forms and functions of cultural memory, which has become a central analytical tool for scholars across disciplines.

Part I. Functions
1. Memory as ars and vis
3. The battle of memories in Shakespeare's histories
4. Wordsworth and the wound of time
5. Memory boxes
6. Function and storage
two modes of memory
Part II. Media
7. Metaphors, models, and media of memory
8. Writing
9. Image
10. Body
11. Places
Part III. Storage
12. Archives
13. Permanence, decay, residue - problems of conversation and the ecology of culture
14. Memory simulations in the wasteland of forgetfulness - installations by modern artists
15. Memory as 'leidschatz'
16. Beyond the archive
17. Conclusion
the arts of memory.