Twilight Memories: Marking Time in a Culture of Amnesia

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Psychology Press, 1995 - Social Science - 292 pages
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As we are approaching our fin de sielce, issues of time and memory haunt contemporary culture. Musuems and memorials are being constructed rapidly, as if there were no tomorrow. Contemporary art and literature focuses on memory and the past, rather than claiming radical breakthroughs into some unknown future. With the recent resurgence of nationalism and issues of national identity, the political future, too, seems to fold itself back into the past rather than offering a bold vision of the 21st century. The great paradox of our fin de siecle culture is that novelity is even more associated with memory and the past rather than future expectation. But if the obsession with memory is one salient symptom in this age of a modernity grown old, then cultural and political amnesia is undoubtedly its counterpoint. Rather than blaming amnesia on television or the school, Twilight Memories argues that the danger of amnesia is inherent in the information revolution. Our obsessions withcultural memory can be read as re-representing a powerful reaction against the electronic archive and they mark a shift in the way we live structures of temporality. In this book, the media are the hidden veil through which the author looks at the problem of cultural memory and an emerging new sensibility of temporality in literature, art, politics, media theory and the museum.
 

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Contents

Time and Cultural Memory at Our Fin de Siecle
1
Time and Memory
3
The Museum as Mass Medium
13
The Failure of German Intellectuals
37
German Identities after Unification
67
Memories of Utopia
85
Media and Culture
103
The Fragmented Body in Rilkes
105
An Analytic Storyteller in the Course of Time
145
Diogenes as Postmodern Intellectual
157
Baudrillards Theory of Simulation
175
Fluxus in Context
191
The Terror of History the Temptation of Myth
209
Monuments and Holocaust Memory in a Media Age
249
Notes
261
Index
279

Ernst Jungers Armored Texts
127

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About the author (1995)

Andreas Huyssen is a Professor of German and Comparative Literature at Columbia University.

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