“創傷歷史與集體記憶——作為交流型記憶和文化記憶的文學” (Traumatic history and collective memory –communicative and cultural memory in literature)
2015 (Chinese)In: Tsinghua Journal of Chinese Literature 清華中文學報 (Qinghua zhongwen xuebao), ISSN 2218-8517, Vol. 13, 283-310 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
In Europe traumatic experiences as part of collective memories find a public form in monuments and rituals. The remembrance of collective traumatic experiences is ritualized in order to provide people to mourn the dead, to express their solidarity with those who lost their relatives or friends, to cherish their own survival or to show respect to those who sacrificed their lives for a common cause. Traumatic events are also written into narratives, so that those who did not experience the trauma themselves have the chance to remember the concreteness of the events. Most important, monuments and rituals as well as visual and written narratives are used not only to educate people but to re/define an identity on the basis of the collective acknowledgement of the misdoings in the past.
In China official historiography gives us no account of any traumatic experience in Chinese history. Up until recently Chinese students were basically instructed to look at 20th century’s China with pride and optimism but above all to look ahead into a promising future. Despite the fact that official historiography is however dull and boring, without ”real” heroes or victims, with no details for what ”really” happend, this master narrative – which reads either as a success story for the CCP’s claim for power or as a story of national humiliation – seems to be powerful and integrative. In my paper I investigate two different literary concepts of dealing with a traumatic past in 20th century China. The first concept is basically driven by the urge to testify, to add the true story of the people to official history. The second concept is detached from first-hand experience or a specific historical traumatic experience. However, both approaches are perceived of as part of communicative memory that aims at turning a traumatic experience into a “meaningful past”.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Taibei, 2015. Vol. 13, 283-310 p.
traumatic history, communicative memory, cultural memory
Research subject Asian Languages and Cultures
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-136525OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-136525DiVA: diva2:1054904