Scraping down the past: Memory and amnesia in W. G. sebald's anti-narrative

Philosophy and Literature 34 (2):394-408 (2010)
Vanguard anti-narrativist Galen Strawson declares personal memory unimportant for self-constitution. But what if lapses of personal memory are sustained by a morally reprehensible amnesia about historical events, as happens in the work of W.G. Sebald? The importance of memory cannot be downplayed in such cases. Nevertheless, contrary to expectations, a concern for memory needn’t ally one with the narrativist position. Recovery of historical and personal memory results in self-dissolution and not self-unity or understanding in Sebald’s characters. In the end, Sebald shows how memory can be significant, even imperative, within a deeply anti-narrativist outlook on the self, memory, and history.
Keywords W. G. Sebald  Galen Strawson  narrative views of the self  memory  collective memory  Holocaust  amnesia  ethics of memory
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1353/phl.2010.0006
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 27,678
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Representations of Time and Memory in Holocaust Literature.Arun Kumar Pokhrel - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry 4 (8):27-37.
Consciousness, Self-Consciousness, and Episodic Memory.Rocco J. Gennaro - 1992 - Philosophical Psychology 5 (4):333-47.
Risdon Vale: Place, Memory, and Suburban Experience.Kate Booth - 2008 - Ethics, Place and Environment 11 (3):299 – 311.
Memory and Identity.Marya Schechtman - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (1):65-79.
To Remember Memory.Ella Buceniece - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 21:15-24.
The Structure of Time in Autobiographical Memory.J. Campbell - 1997 - European Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):105-17.
Memory and History.Dmitri Nikulin - 2008 - Idealistic Studies 38 (1/2):75-90.
Memory, History, Forgetting.Paul Ricœur - 2004 - University of Chicago Press.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

575 ( #2,514 of 2,170,016 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

36 ( #7,720 of 2,170,016 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums