Methods for the Study of Literature as Cultural Memory
Edited by Raymond Vervliet and Annemarie Estor
In this volume collaborators from different universities all over the world explore a wide variety of methods for the study of literature as cultural memory.
In literature, the past may be (re)constructed in various ways and in very diverse forms. This immediately raises the question as to how one can describe and inventory the various discourses and metadiscourses of historical representation. In what sense can the rhetoric of literary historiography itself contribute to literature's function as cultural memory? Which methods of analysis are most appropriate for describing specific text types or genres as cultural memory? What have been the pragmatic uses and the ethical merits of the stability and continuity that literature has often provided for European, American, Asian and African cultures? What are the dilemmas they create for our teaching at the end of the twentieth century?
To all these questions, a wide range of scholars here tries to find answers. In thorough and highly original contributions, they not only address theoretical problems, but also engage themselves in practical analyses of specific works.