By Jan Assmann
Now to be had to an English-speaking viewers, this e-book provides a groundbreaking theoretical research of reminiscence, id, and tradition. It investigates how cultures have in mind, arguing that human reminiscence exists and is communicated in methods, specifically inter-human interplay and in exterior structures of notation, reminiscent of writing, that could span generations. Dr. Assmann defines theoretical ideas of cultural reminiscence, differentiating among the long term reminiscence of societies, that may span as much as 3,000 years, and communicative reminiscence, that's in most cases constrained to 80-100 years. He applies this theoretical framework to case stories of 4 particular cultures, illustrating the functionality contexts and particular achievements, together with the nation, foreign legislation, faith, and technological know-how. finally, his study demonstrates that reminiscence isn't really easily a method of preserving info, yet fairly a strength which may form cultural id and make allowance cultures to reply creatively to either day-by-day demanding situations and catastrophic adjustments
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Extra resources for Cultural memory and early civilization : writing, remembrance, and political imagination
Nothing appears more natural than the formation of the past – it comes into being through the passing of time. Thus by tomorrow, today will be history in the form of yesterday. But societies can react to this natural process in completely different ways. ” Anyone who during today fixes his eyes on tomorrow must preserve yesterday from oblivion by grasping it through memory. This is how the past is reconstructed, and this is the sense in which we can say that the past comes into being when we refer to it.
2 [Leipzig: Teubner, 1929] 148 § 41). It is clear that here Halbwachs represents a positivistic concept of history from which more recent historians have long since distanced themselves. All historiography is bound to its time and to the interests of its writers or their patrons. This is why the distinction between “memory” and “history” (in the sense of “historiography”) – as Halbwachs draws it – no longer stands up to scrutiny, and instead historiography is classified as a particular kind of social memory, as suggested by Peter Burke, “Geschichte als soziales Ged¨achtnis” (History as Social Memory), in A.
What counts for cultural memory is not factual but remembered 38 Cultural Memory and Early Civilization history. One might even say that cultural memory transforms factual into remembered history, thus turning it into myth. Myth is foundational history that is narrated in order to illuminate the present from the standpoint of its origins. The Exodus, for instance, regardless of any historical accuracy, is the myth behind the foundation of Israel; thus it is celebrated at Pesach and thus it is part of the cultural memory of the Israelites.
Cultural memory and early civilization : writing, remembrance, and political imagination by Jan Assmann