Erinnerung | Memory - Part 16

posted by PP on 2005/08/15 12:36

[ Erinnerung | Memory ]

JANUS HEAD, a Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature, Continental Philosophy, Phenomenological Psychology, and the Arts, published in Volume 8.1 (Summer 2005) a quite interesting Dialogue between Paul Ricoeur (who died in May 2005) and Sorin Antohi about Memory, History, Forgiveness (from March 2003) ...
You may find the Dialogue (18 pp.), translated from French by Gil Anidjar, in .pdf here. Just two Quotations:

SORIN ANTOHI: [...] I would like to get to what seems to me the very ground of your work on history, memory and forgetting: your philosophical anthropology. You have proposed at first an anthropology of fallible man, of weak man, of suffering man.
PAUL RICOEUR: I am enjoying this conversation!
SORIN ANTOHI: This philosophical anthropology was defined by a modesty, a humility that is quite rare in the human sciences. It was telling us to accept that man is not all-powerful and omniscient, but that he is prone to err. [sic!] He is fallible by virtue of his very nature. But then . . .
PAUL RICOEUR: . . . Yes, this is a notion that I have been trying to transcend. In the intermediary book between Memory, History, Forgetting and Time and Narrative, namely, Oneself as Another, the central concept is man insofar as he is able and capable. What man can do: I can speak, I can narrate, I can act, I can feel responsible.

PAUL RICOEUR: I have even invented a word, la représentance, which is about the ability of the historian to give us a credible equivalent to what the Germans call Darstellung - that great concept of the German historical school, of Droysen in particular. For me, the problem of history is the problem of Darstellung, which is related to the idea of truth. And I will tell you why I hold on to it. I hold on to it because of the moral discussion surrounding the question of knowing whether there is a duty to remember [un devoir de mémoire] vis-à-vis such or such group of victims. If we were not certain of what the witnesses report and of what the historians within a fairly large consensus have begun to establish concerning these crimes, if none of it were true, we would not be under the obligation to remember. Therefore, we are under an obligation to seek truth before we are bound by a duty, by a debt of memory.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to
Sorin Antohi, Department of History, Central European University, Nádor u. 11, H-1051, Budapest, Hungary; E-Mail:


Senior Editor

Seitenwechsel. Geschichten vom Fußball. Hgg. v. Samo Kobenter u. Peter Plener. Wien: Bohmann 2008, 237 pp.
(Weitere Informationen hier)
Transcarpathica. Germanistisches Jahrbuch Rumänien 3-4/2004-2005. Hgg. v. Andrei Corbea-Hoisie u. Alexander Rubel. Bukarest/Bucuresti: Editura Paideia 2008, 336 pp.
[Die online-Fassung meines Einleitungsbeitrags "Thesen zur Bedeutung der Medien für Erinnerungen und Kulturen in Mitteleuropa" findet sich auf Kakanien revisited (Abstract / .pdf).]
Seitenweise. Was das Buch ist. Hgg. v. Thomas Eder, Samo Kobenter u. Peter Plener. Wien: Bundespressedienst 2010, 480 pp.
(Weitere Informationen hier wie da, v.a. auch do. - und die Rezension von Ursula Reber findet sich hier [.pdf].)
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