The Fictional Value of Memory

Laura Neri

Abstract


Memory is commonly viewed as the psychic function of recreating in our mind past experiences, as a simple static recollection. On the contrary, it involves a much broader semantics, a prismatic area of meaning, a dynamic and complex process. Therefore, in the spatiality and temporality of fictional worlds, memory is hybrid, depository of falsehood and, nevertheless, vehicle of an experience-shaping truth. If the boundaries between memory’s falsities and imagination is unstable, the distance separating the mind recollection from a supposed objective reality constitutes, precisely, the cognitive process of fictional worlds. Analysing Borges’s Funes (in Ficciones), Italo Calvino’s Le città invisibili, Alice Munro’s Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage and Les Années by Annie Ernaux, this paper focuses on the connection between memory and identity, showing the profound link with forgery, revision and falsehood of speech acts, whilst remaining in the domain of verisimilitude. In this sense, the narration of memory is both subjective and objective: because the narrative is conveyed by memories and memory is thematized by the act of narrating itself. The image, true or false, true and false, reflect the ambivalent quality that memory project on objects. From this perspective, memory interact in a very peculiar way with the narrative, working continuously on the true/false dichotomy.

Keywords


Memory; Possible Worlds; Truth and Falsehood; Experience and Narrative

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/3752

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-25755

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