Genres as Repositories of Cultural Memory

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Rodopi, 2000 - 568 pages
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This volume deals with the inherent relation between literary genres and cultural memory. Indeed, generic repertoires may be regarded as bodies of shared knowledge (a sort of 'encyclopaedia' or 'museum' of stocked culture) and have played and still play an important role in absorbing and activating that memory. The contributors have focused on some specific memory-linked genres that prove especially relevant in remembering and transforming past experiences, i.e. the (post)modern historical novel and various forms of (post)modern autobiographical writing. They deal with such renowned authors as Carlos Fuentes, Vargas Llosa, Umberto Eco, Antonio Tabucchi, John Barth, Julian Barnes, Michel Butor, Nathalie Sarraute, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Claude Simon, Georges Perec and Marguerite Yourcenar. The volume, thus, constitutes an attractive and representative sample of (post)modern forms of rewriting and problematizing individual and collective pasts.

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Page 522 - But neither breath of morn, when she ascends With charm of earliest birds; nor rising sun On this delightful land; nor herb, fruit, flower, Glistering with dew; nor fragrance after showers; Nor grateful evening mild; nor silent night With this her solemn bird; nor walk by moon, Or glittering starlight, without thee is sweet.
Page 522 - With thee conversing I forget all time ; All seasons and their change, all please alike. Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet, With charm of earliest birds...
Page 220 - Éveillons au hasard les échos de ta vie, Parlons-nous de bonheur, de gloire et de folie, Et que ce soit un rêve, et le premier venu. Inventons quelque part des lieux où l'on oublie; Partons, nous sommes seuls, l'univers est à nous.
Page 522 - Sweet is the breath of morn, her rising sweet With charm of earliest birds ; pleasant the sun When first on this delightful land he spreads His orient beams on herb, tree, fruit, and flower Glistering with dew, fragrant the fertile earth After soft showers ; and sweet the coming on Of grateful evening mild...
Page 125 - Vous devriez bien nous faire des contes philosophiques, où vous rendriez ridicules certains sots et certaines sottises, certaines méchancetés et certains méchants; le tout avec discrétion, en prenant bien votre temps, et en rognant les ongles de la bête quand vous la trouverez un peu endormie.
Page 141 - Ce n'est pas ça ... entre le lire dans des livres ou le voir artistiquement représenté dans les musées et le toucher et recevoir les éclaboussures c'est la même différence qui existe entre voir écrit le mot obus et se retrouver d'un instant à l'autre couché cramponné à la terre et la terre elle-même à la place du ciel et l'air lui-même qui dégringole autour de toi...
Page 186 - We tell stories and listen to them because we live stories and live in them. Narrative equals language equals life: To cease to narrate, as the capital example of Scheherazade reminds us, is to die — literally for her, figuratively for the rest of us. One might add that if this is true, then not only is all fiction fiction about fiction, but all fiction about fiction is in fact fiction about life.
Page 177 - Highly susceptible to the sport of metaphysical games and passionately attracted to the conundrums of self-consciousness, John Barth has moved steadily away from the objective and realistic toward myth and unashamed fable. His first two novels, The Floating Opera and The End of the Road...
Page 522 - Glistring with dew, nor fragrance after showers, Nor grateful Evening mild, nor silent Night With this her solemn Bird, nor walk by Moon, Or glittering Starr-light without thee is sweet.
Page 221 - Le mot du proverbe doit être enveloppé dans l'action, de manière que, si les spectateurs ne le devinent pas, il faut, lorsqu'on le leur dit, qu'ils s'écrient : « Ah ! c'est vrai ! » — comme lorsqu'on dit le mot d'une énigme que l'on n'a pu trouver.

About the author (2000)

Hendrik van Gorp is Professor of General and Comparative Literature at the University of Leuven, Belgium. Ulla Musarra is Professor of General and Comparative Literature at the University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.