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)|
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