Memories of Violence : Literature and transitional justice in Argentina

DSpace Repository

Memories of Violence : Literature and transitional justice in Argentina

Show full item record

Files for download

Find Full text There are no files associated with this item.


Simple item record

Publication BookChapter
Title Memories of Violence : Literature and transitional justice in Argentina
Author(s) Hemer, Oscar
Date 2015
Editor(s) Bird, Elisabeth S; Ottanelli, Fraser
English abstract
Literature has historically played an important role as witness-bearer to massacres and incidents of mass violence, especially when other forms of documentation have been missing. But today, when the media and new information and communication technologies give us immediate access to almost all dramatic events in the world, there is less incitement for literature to assume that role. More than just supplementing authentic testimonies, fi ction can add an important dimension to the interrogation and understanding of the horror, as demonstrated by the case of Argentina in the processing of the experience of the military dictatorship (1976–82). Whereas the testimonial narratives were a prime source of knowledge about the crimes of the Dictatorship, and served a crucial purpose as evidence in the judicial process, these testimonies are not more reliable than other sources when it comes to occurrences that preceded the Dictatorship or that were not related to the repression. Memory recurs to simplifi ed narrative forms that tend to replace analysis. In order to understand, the imagination has to distance itself from the subjective memory and become refl ective. Th erefore, literary fi ction may, paradoxically, present the most accurate images of the traumatic recent past and of its fabric of ideas and experiences Th e maturity of memory (and ‘postmemory’) is also a signifi cant factor. Unlike news reports, witness testimonies, and other documents, the literary text may sometimes reveal its historical/ethnographic value only in retrospect. It appears as prophetic, as forecasting the future. Yet, it oft en requires a long ‘incubation time’. Th e literary interpretation of historical events and social processes may need a distance in time of 30 or 40 years.
Link,%20Fraser%20M.%20Ottanelli%20%28ed.%29&title=The%20Performance%20of%20Memory%20as%20Transitional%20Justice (external link to publication)
Publisher Intersentia
Host/Issue The Performance of Memory As Transitional Justice
Series/Issue Series on Transitional Justice;19
ISBN 978-1-78068-262-4
Pages 181-196
Language eng (iso)
Subject(s) Transition
Humanities/Social Sciences
Handle (link to this page)

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record



My Account