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Memory, History, Forgetting

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4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  173 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Why do major historical events such as the Holocaust occupy the forefront of the collective consciousness, while profound moments such as the Armenian genocide, the McCarthy era, and France's role in North Africa stand distantly behind? Is it possible that history "overly remembers" some events at the expense of others? A landmark work in philosophy, Paul Ricoeur's Memory, ...more
Paperback, 624 pages
Published August 15th 2006 by University Of Chicago Press (first published 2000)
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Jonathan
Much more readable than I expected, particularly as we are dealing with phenomenological approaches to time, and very clearly structured and argued. Lots of end-notes, so the text itself is actually much shorter than the number of pages suggests.

I agree with his fundamental concerns about the "unsettling spectacle offered by an excess of memory here, and an excess of forgetting elsewhere, to say nothing of the influence of commemorations and abuses of memory – and of forgetting" , though his sl
...more
Andrew
Feb 08, 2009 Andrew added it
Shelves: philosophy
Phenomenology is often very hard to read, and Ricoeur is no exception. But despite that, all of Ricoeur's observations seem wise and measured. This is dense, not because of obscurantist writing techniques, but because Ricoeur simply has a lot to say. Even when I disagree with him (especially some of his ideas about the historiographic process), I found myself respecting his arguments enough to continue onwards. I wish I had a greater grounding in Norbert Elias, Erving Goffman, and a few other pe ...more
Carl
Feb 27, 2010 Carl is currently reading it
I'm reading this as a supplement to the Cultural Memory reading I'm doing-- not sure how closely it will relate, or how much it will help with the problems of source criticism for ancient, oral religious beliefs which I am investigating, but I love Ricoeur, so I'll give it a go anyway! I suspect it would be best if I were to finish the Time and Narrative series first, but this book seems more directly relevant, so I'm going to see what I can get through for the time being. It's huge though. Not ...more
Okla Elliott
About 100 pages in so far, and I'm thoroughly impressed. I'll update this review when I finish it and let you know if the next 500 pages live up to the first 100.

[Update: It took me forever, but I finally finished the book. It is very strong in many regards, but I would not suggest it to even a highly educated general readership. This one is for specialists only. I had hoped to use it for my dissertation, which has a chapter on memory studies, but it ended up not proving useful for me.]
Marilena
Serious mnemonic study with mainly a historical perspective.

The style in which Ricoeur writes is difficult therefore it requires much attention and...rereadings.

Anyway when it comes to memory, oblivion, anamnesis, history, this is a very important book.

Hmmm...too bad I don't have it in English!!!!!
mahatma
belum baca semua tapi udah ngasih rating.
biarin...
habis, emang asyik sih bagian introductionnya.
[haah? baru intro? lelet bangeet bacanya!]
biarin...
ini kotak review kok nggak cerita tentang 'what i learned from this book'seeh?
biarin...
María Eugenia
..."la autonomía del conocimiento histórico respecto al fenómeno mnemónico sigue siendo la presuposición principal de una epistemología coherente de la historia en cuanto disciplina científica y
literaria"...Me dejó pensando...
John
Jan 20, 2010 John added it
Shelves: partial
Um...almost incomprehensible. Only read the first section. The few ideas I was able to grasp, however, did seem pretty remarkable. Still...it's 500 pages on memory, and the overall argumentation is hard to follow.
Katie Stafford
Mar 29, 2011 Katie Stafford is currently reading it
I have hopes for this one! Perhaps the fact that it is a dense 600 page philosophical text in translation makes me optimistically dream that it will be worth it. I will let you know.
morning Os
Dense. It surely makes you wonder if it is worth spending time reading this book instead of reading others. But you'll feel his passion.
Courtney
It was interesting, insightful, and I enjoyed it. BUT it was as dense as a brick.
Chris Meyer
Sort of a one-trick pony, but an insight to be sure.
Joe Torchedlo
phenomenology, philosophy, history, hermeneutics
Ngyw
Thought provoking!
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  • Negative Dialectics
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  • Marxism and Literature
  • Entre Nous: Essays on Thinking-Of-The-Other
  • The Space of Literature
  • Acts of Literature
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Paul Ricoeur (1913–2005) is widely recognized as one of the most distinguished philosophers of the twentieth century. In the course of his long career he wrote on a broad range of issues. His books include a multi-volume project on the philosophy of the will: Freedom and Nature: The Voluntary and the Involuntary (1950, Eng. tr. 1966), Fallible Man (1960, Eng. tr. 1967), and The Symbolism of Evil ( ...more
More about Paul Ricoeur...
Time and Narrative, Volume 1 Oneself as Another The Symbolism of Evil Interpretation Theory: Discourse and the Surplus of Meaning The Rule of Metaphor

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