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Download Acts of Memory: Cultural Recall in the Present by Mieke Bal, Jonathan Crewe, Leo Spitzer PDF

By Mieke Bal, Jonathan Crewe, Leo Spitzer

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I look at that bare corner wall and at the ghostly figures emerging from its depths and I am propelled back into my childhood daydreams. The dreams and fantasies of a child of survivors of Nazi persecution during World War II growing up in Eastern Europe in the 1950s were dominated by The War: Where would I have been, then? How would I have acted? The door bell rings in the middle of the night, the Gestapo is at the door, what Page 8 do I do? The imbalance of Novak's image speaks to me most forcefully: in remembering my childhood, I too feel as though I were crouching in the corner of a bare room populated by larger-than-life ghosts: my parents' younger selves during the war, and those who were children like me and who had to face dangers I tried hard to experience in my imagination.

The memorial circle is enlarged, allowing for shared memories and shared fantasies. As we look at Novak's image, the image looks back at us, through multiple layers of eyes; by means of the mutual reflection and projection that characterizes the act of looking, we enter its space, the visual space of postmemory. Let me try to explain this term. Postmemory and "Heteropathic Identification" I have been haunted by "Past Lives" since I first saw it. When I look at it I see myself both in the sad little girl who is clutching her mother's dress and in the smiling girl who, at the very left of the picture, is half outside its frame, looking to a space beyond.

And Onno van der Hart. 1995. " In Trauma: Explorations in Memory, edited, with an introduction, by Cathy Caruth, 15883. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Vromen, Suzanne. 1993. " YIVO Annual 21:6986. Page 1 I HELPFUL MEMORIES Page 2 1. From the Stroop Report on the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. Page 3 Projected Memory: Holocaust Photographs in Personal and Public Fantasy Marianne Hirsch I saw her wide-open eyes, and all of a sudden I knew: these eyes knew it all, they'd seen everything mine had, they knew infinitely more than anyone else in this country.

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