Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access JSTOR through your library or other institution:

login

Log in through your institution.

Journal Article

Memory, Memorials, and Commemoration

Anita Kasabova
History and Theory
Vol. 47, No. 3 (Oct., 2008), pp. 331-350
Published by: Wiley for Wesleyan University
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25478767
Page Count: 20
Were these topics helpful?
See something inaccurate? Let us know!

Select the topics that are inaccurate.

  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Add to My Lists
  • Cite this Item
Memory, Memorials, and Commemoration
Preview not available

Abstract

According to a popular view, the past is present here and now. This is presentism combined with endurantism: the past continuously persists through time to the present. By contrast, I argue that memories, memorials, and histories are of entities discontinuous with present experiences, and that the continuity between past and present in them is a construct. Memories, memorials, and histories are semantic means for dealing with the past. My presupposition that past and present are different is supported by grammar: as verbal tenses show, the past is not present here and now, for otherwise it would not be past. A failure to note this difference is a lack of chronesthesia, a sense of time specific to human beings. I argue that presentism fails to account for the temporal structures of memory and the changes in perspective as we switch from the present to a past situation. My account is perdurantist in the sense that it allows for temporal parts of things such as memorials or tombstones, as well as events such as wars or commemorations. But my main goal is to outline a semantic approach to the past: the tie between past and present actions and events is the semantic ground-consequence relation: a past event is the antecedent grounding a present situation, explaining why it is the case. In addition, I show how we refer to the past by means of two rhetorical figures of speech: synecdoche, using the (emblematic-) part-whole relation for relating the past to the present by transposing its sense; and anaphor, which has a deictic function-it points back toward the past. In references to the past, the deictic field is a scene visualized by the speaker and addressees: the deictic field is transposed from a perceptual to an imaginary space.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[331]
    [331]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
332
    332
  • Thumbnail: Page 
333
    333
  • Thumbnail: Page 
334
    334
  • Thumbnail: Page 
335
    335
  • Thumbnail: Page 
336
    336
  • Thumbnail: Page 
337
    337
  • Thumbnail: Page 
338
    338
  • Thumbnail: Page 
339
    339
  • Thumbnail: Page 
340
    340
  • Thumbnail: Page 
341
    341
  • Thumbnail: Page 
342
    342
  • Thumbnail: Page 
343
    343
  • Thumbnail: Page 
344
    344
  • Thumbnail: Page 
345
    345
  • Thumbnail: Page 
346
    346
  • Thumbnail: Page 
347
    347
  • Thumbnail: Page 
348
    348
  • Thumbnail: Page 
349
    349
  • Thumbnail: Page 
350
    350