Download Committing the Future to Memory: History, Experience, Trauma by Sarah Clift PDF

By Sarah Clift

While old determinacy conceives the prior as a posh and volatile community of causalities, this e-book asks how background should be relating to a extra radical destiny. To pose that query, it doesn't reject determinacy outright yet quite seeks to discover the way it works. In interpreting what it capacity to be "determined" through heritage, it additionally asks what sort of openings there can be in our encounters with heritage for interruptions, re-readings, and re-writings.

Engaging texts spanning a number of genres and a number of other centuries from John Locke to Maurice Blanchot, from Hegel to Benjamin Clift appears to be like at stories of time that exceed the ancient narration of reviews stated to have happened in time. She specializes in the co-existence of a number of temporalities and opens up the quintessentially sleek idea of old succession to different chances. the choices she attracts out contain the mediations of language and narration, temporal leaps, oscillations and blockages, and the function performed by way of contingency in illustration. She argues that such possible choices compel us to reconsider the methods we comprehend historical past and id in a irritating, or certainly in a post-traumatic, age.

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Extra info for Committing the Future to Memory: History, Experience, Trauma

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For, it is only from a perspective of this sort—near and far, visible and yet barely discernable, accessible only in its inaccessibility and so on—that, Benjamin suggests, we will be able to “see” what is at stake in the end of storytelling. Then he goes on to suggest that “the art of storytelling is coming to an end. Less and less frequently do we encounter people with the ability to tell a tale properly. More and more often there is embarrassment all around when the wish to hear a story is expressed.

Philosopher Michel de Certeau has claimed as much, grounding his description of historiographical time in the relation it bears to death. Like Arendt, he too suggests that modern history presumes to have evacuated death from its own temporality. But de Certeau’s account also differs from Arendt’s; he discerns in this temporality of endless succession not the radical purging of death but its curious ubiquity. ”33 De Certeau’s account draws out the implications of history’s relation to the past when its “heterology” consists of a weighty deadness: On its own account, historiography takes for granted the fact that it has become impossible to believe in this presence of the dead that has Narrative Life Span, in the Wake 27 organized (or organizes) the experience of entire civilizations; and the fact too that it is nonetheless impossible “to get over it,” to accept the loss of a living solidarity with what is gone, or to confirm an irreducible limit.

9 In relating Lockean empiricism to Aristotelian philosophy in this way, Leibniz is recalling the radical 46 Memory in Theory shift that Aristotle had inaugurated in relation to the metaphysics of Plato. Indeed, the presuppositions that Aristotle was able to articulate by virtue of this shift would be the very ones upon which Locke would later draw. However, as Leibniz also contends, both moderns differ “at many points from the teachings of both of these ancient writers” (48). Nowhere is this claim more compellingly demonstrated than in the difference between Locke and Aristotle on memory and, in particular, on the relation between memory and subject-constitution, or identity.

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