A Lifetime Memory Quest: Identity, Places and Characters in John McGahern's Memoir Cover Image
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A Lifetime Memory Quest: Identity, Places and Characters in John McGahern's Memoir
A Lifetime Memory Quest: Identity, Places and Characters in John McGahern's Memoir

Author(s): Dana Radler
Subject(s): Novel, Short Story, Other Language Literature, Theory of Literature
Published by: Editura Universitatii LUCIAN BLAGA din Sibiu
Keywords: identity; memory; remediation; migration; autobiography;

Summary/Abstract: Childhood and youth emerge and re-emerge, time and again, as durable concerns and difficult intervals to reach adulthood, as John McGahern describes his experience in novels and short stories. In Memoir (2005), the writer adopts a more detached vision than in his earlier writings, yet he does not admit it to be a typical autobiography. How are conflicts shaped and reconverted by the passage of time? Where does imagination start and where do facts determine the narrative? Is Memoir a piece of fiction, a well-documented and rather neutrally-written volume, or something in between? This article aims at exploring the way in which the narrator’s identity is infused with difficult, tormenting memories of a distant past, while the writer undergoes a difficult process. To understand the process, the analysis relies on major cultural concepts: collective memory (Halbwachs), communicative memory (Assmann), remembering as remediation (Erll) and memory seen as migration (Glynn and Kleist).

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 2
  • Page Range: 7-23
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: English