Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the by Michael Rothberg

By Michael Rothberg

Multidirectional reminiscence brings jointly Holocaust reports and postcolonial reviews for the 1st time. making use of a comparative and interdisciplinary method, the booklet makes a twofold argument approximately Holocaust reminiscence in an international age through situating it within the unforeseen context of decolonization. at the one hand, it demonstrates how the Holocaust has enabled the articulation of different histories of victimization while that it's been declared "unique" between human-perpetrated horrors. at the different, it uncovers the extra fabulous and infrequently said incontrovertible fact that public reminiscence of the Holocaust emerged partially due to postwar occasions that appear at the beginning to have little to do with it. particularly, Multidirectional reminiscence highlights how ongoing tactics of decolonization and hobbies for civil rights within the Caribbean, Africa, Europe, the USA, and in other places without warning galvanized reminiscence of the Holocaust.

Rothberg engages with either famous and non-canonical intellectuals, writers, and filmmakers, together with Hannah Arendt, Aimé Césaire, Charlotte Delbo, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marguerite Duras, Michae

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Additional resources for Multidirectional Memory: Remembering the Holocaust in the Age of Decolonization (Cultural Memory in the Present)

Sample text

An important epistemological gain in considering memory as multidirectional instead of as competitive is the insight, developed here through historical case studies, that the emergence of memories into the public often takes place through triggers that may at first seem irrelevant or even unseemly. Thus, to give a concrete example that will prove significant for this book, the practice of torture seems like an unlikely trigger for Holocaust memory—for how could a practice as widespread, if repellant, as torture conjure up the extremity of genocide?

I also show how these texts can help us rethink discussions of the universalization of the Holocaust by foregrounding complicity and revealing a multidirectional alternative beyond the universal/particular opposition—an opposition that nevertheless sneaks back into Smith’s novel through a simplified gendering of memory. Chapter 9 tracks the return of attention to October 17 since the 1980s in order to argue for an ethics of multidirectional memory subtended by a fidelity to historical comparison.

Along with the Iraq War and the “war on terror,” which, with their liberal use of torture and indefinite detention, have produced uncomfortable echoes of the Holocaust and colonial adventures past, the other dominant political site of multidirectional memory today is the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli crisis. In the Epilogue, “Multidirectional Memory in an Age of Occupations,” I briefly consider the implications of my theory of collective memory for that intractable struggle as well as for the claims of indigenous peoples.

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