Commemoration from a Distance: On Metamemorial Fiction

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    Exploring two works of contemporary American and South African fiction, this essay meditates on memorials created at a distance from original sites of violence. These two metamemorial fictions both make concerns with comparative suffering and outsider participation an integral part of the commemorative process they address. They create an ambivalent space for the outsider to participate in the commemoration of atrocity: both by honoring the dead and, provocatively, by investing such empathetic acts with signs of fraudulence. These fictions envision new kinds of public memorials that foreground the significance of sacrilegious as well as sacral impulses to commemorate the dead.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)40-65
    JournalHistory and Memory
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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