Communities of memory and the problem of transmission

2013-10-07T13:50:50Z (GMT) by Michael Pickering Emily Keightley
In this article we explore the issue of memory transmission by considering it along the two temporal planes on which it occurs: vertically, through time; and horizontally, in time. It is because we regard memory transmission as involving the mutual interaction of these two planes that we introduce the concept of the mnemonic imagination. The value of the concept is that it enables us to see, inter alia, how communities of memory emerge. Our route into this is the sociology of generations and most particularly the evidence of mnemonic transmission provided by second-generation Holocaust narratives. The purpose of the article is to bring together a range of work relevant to the sharing and inheritance of memory across and within time, to explore the application of collective mnemonic frames in processes of personal remembering, and so move us closer to understanding the mechanism by which experience derived from others becomes integrated into our own life-stories.