The Fragmenting Force of Memory

The Fragmenting Force of Memory

Self, Literary Style, and Civil War in Lebanon

eBook - 2012
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This study is about earlier, largely experimental forms of cultural production that situate and work through personal experiences of the civil war in Lebanon. It addresses selected works of literature, autobiography and memoir of Jean Said Makdisi, Rashid al-Daif, Elias Khoury, Mai Ghoussoub, and the civil war trilogy of documentary films by Mohamed Soueid. From a phenomenological, hermeneutical perspective the book is concerned with how they give accounts of themselves as remnants, leftovers, undigested remains of the civil war and related trajectories of ideological attachment to symbolic mandates. Constrained to reposition their sense of self from an agent of history to a casualty of history, their acutely personal works of cultural production initiate an unraveling of both self and circumstance through the fragmenting force of memory. Drawing on a broad range of phenomenological critical theory (within the research fields of postcolonial, memory, psychoanalytic, gender and literary studies) attuned to subjectivity as a field of social production and exchange, I explore how my writers and filmmaker employ a non-presentist, anachronic or paratactic register of memory to excavate both a historical understanding of self and related modalities of being. I discuss how the symptomatic style of their work embodies, creatively and critically situates, a refusal to package and normalize any idealized account of the war, related assemblages of temporal succession, or else a presentation of self as discrete and omniscient.
Publisher: Newcastle upon Tyne, UK : Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2012
ISBN: 9781443839556
Characteristics: 1 online resource (204 pages)


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