Remembering the migrant identity: a comparative study of Les pieds sales, by Edem Awumey, and Ru, by Kim Thuy
2016 (English)In: Transcultural identity, constructions in a changing world / [ed] Irene Gilsenan-Nordin / Chatarina Edfeldt / Lung-Lung Hu / Herbert Jonsson / André Leblanc, Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2016, 137-149 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2016. 137-149 p.
Remembering, Migrant Identity, Edem Awumey, Kim Thuy, time process
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-125725ISBN: 978-3-631-66061-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-125725DiVA: diva2:894913
Remembering does not mean reproducing, or duplicating time, but re-structuring time, restructuring a story and building up a new identity through words. The process of memorizing (remembering) and a structuring process (recollecting the pieces) are both linked to the idea of “re-membering”. In both novels, we find this re-membering process at the very heart of the writing process. The re-membering process is a part of the cultural memory. Maurice Halbwachs insisted on the reference frame for a collective memory (Halbwachs, 1925, p. 124). The collective memory depends on the social group who defines it, the family, the religion or another collective entity (Sabourin, 1997, p. 141). Here, the re-membering process is an attempt to structure a traumatic migration experience. In this cultural memory, we would like to use the concept of Castoriadis, the imaginary signification (Castoriadis, 1975). Castoriadis was himself a Greek émigré that came to France after the Second World War (Jollivet, Premat, Rosengren, 2011, p. 14). He developed a theory in 1975 based on the definition of imaginary significations. A culture is defined by a pattern of imaginary significations that means a set of representations / intentions / affects (Castoriadis, 1975, p. 433). These significations make sense for a culture as they create values symbols and representations that cannot be explained.
In the re-membering process, Awumey and Thúy catch some experiences and try to relate them to some imaginary significations. At the same time, the migration creates a conflict of representations that makes difficult to recreate a coherent world.2016-01-172016-01-172016-02-05Bibliographically approved