Verbalization of Postmemory in Language of Art

Iryna Shchepna

Abstract


The study tested the phenomenon of postmemory, its main points, ways of verbal/nonverbal utterance and its connection with different kinds of art. As this occurrence is topical in many domains we can find lots of different attempts to name, to comprehend and even to interpret it. And a very important role in this context belongs to the foundress of this definition – professor from Columbia University Marianne Hirsch. Inspired by Spiegelman’s comic Maus and by her family stories, she developed her ideas and observations concerning the concept of postmemory in every subsequent work. The proposed theory caused the appearance of many new researches, articles, monographs on this topic and interpretations of works of art and historic, cultural occurrences. Hirsch explains this phenomenon as a kind of memory when the second generation remembers the recollections which they couldn’t live by their own. One from the denotative peculiarities of such memory according to her suggestions is imaginative investment and creation, namely memories which can be inherited by subsequent generations and which become a part of their experience exactly in consequence of imagination and empathy. As a result of such “reliving” there always can be a risk – to lost the border between own and “inherited” memories. In such case the best way to reveal postmemory is art, verbalization of it in the language of literature, music, painting, etc.

Keywords


postmemory; trauma; generational distance; empathy; verbal/nonverbal transmission of memory; familial and affiliative transmission of memory; places of memory

References


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