War, Truth and Memory <ul><li>War </li></ul><ul><li>Truth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Munich </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We Were ...
War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>“War makes the world understandable, a black and white tableau of them and us...
War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>“The historian Will Durant calculated that there have only been twenty-nine y...
War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>“Our dead. Their dead. They are not the same. Our dead matter, theirs do not....
War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>Collective amnesia: suppressing historical facts, in order to further nationa...
War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>“In wartime the state seeks to destroy its own culture. It is only when this ...
War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>“National symbols – flags, patriotic songs, sentimental dedications – take ov...
Munich
We Were Soldiers
Memory <ul><li>Memory vs reality </li></ul>
Memory <ul><li>A manageable past: “societies often represent their own past in a form that is acceptable to current genera...
Memory <ul><li>Forgetting vs reliving </li></ul>
Memory <ul><li>Personal vs collective memory </li></ul>
Memory <ul><li>“It is in this sense that there exists a collective memory and social frameworks for memory: it is to the d...
Memory <ul><li>“ Why  and  how  the past is remembered has increasingly become a source of conflict” (3) </li></ul>
Memory <ul><li>The media has encroached upon many of our traditional forms of remembering. </li></ul>
Memory <ul><li>Collapse of memory </li></ul>
Memory <ul><li>Perceptual fields </li></ul>
Memory <ul><li>Which media forms represent war best? </li></ul>
Imagology <ul><li>verbal, visual and conceptual images </li></ul>
Imagology <ul><li>images work in an epistemological economy of recognition value rather than truth value </li></ul>
Imagology <ul><li>image worlds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>private </li></ul></ul>
Imagology <ul><li>Iconosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>exterior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>material form </li></ul></ul>
Imagology <ul><li>Image cache </li></ul>
Imagology <ul><li>Resurfacings </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Displacement </li></ul><ul><li>Portabilit...
“How to Tell a True War Story” <ul><li>“To understand trauma as a form of protest and attempted witness thus suggests that...
“How to Tell a True War Story” <ul><li>“To understand trauma in the Vietnam context [...] we must understand it within the...
“How to Tell a True War Story” Political reality Military reality Psychological reality
“How to Tell a True War Story” <ul><li>Truthfulness and accuracy? </li></ul><ul><li>What subjects matter to the narrator? ...
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War, Truth And Memory

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War, Truth And Memory

  1. 1. War, Truth and Memory <ul><li>War </li></ul><ul><li>Truth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Munich </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>We Were Soldiers </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Memory </li></ul><ul><li>Imagology </li></ul><ul><li>“How to Tell a True War Story” </li></ul>
  2. 2. War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>“War makes the world understandable, a black and white tableau of them and us. It suspends thought [...] Most of us willingly accept war as long as we can fold it into a belief system that paints the ensuing suffering as necessary for a higher good...” (10) </li></ul>
  3. 3. War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>“The historian Will Durant calculated that there have only been twenty-nine years in all of human history during which a war was not underway somewhere.” (10) </li></ul>
  4. 4. War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>“Our dead. Their dead. They are not the same. Our dead matter, theirs do not.” (14) </li></ul>
  5. 5. War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>Collective amnesia: suppressing historical facts, in order to further national identity </li></ul>
  6. 6. War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>“In wartime the state seeks to destroy its own culture. It is only when this destruction has been completed that the state can begin to exterminate the culture of its opponents. In times of conflict authentic culture is subversive.” (62) </li></ul>
  7. 7. War is a force that gives us meaning <ul><li>“National symbols – flags, patriotic songs, sentimental dedications – take over cultural space. Art becomes infected with the platitudes of patriotism. More important, the use of a nation’s cultural resources to back up the war effort is essential to mask the contradictions and lies that mount over time in the drive to sustain war.” (63) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Munich
  9. 9. We Were Soldiers
  10. 10. Memory <ul><li>Memory vs reality </li></ul>
  11. 11. Memory <ul><li>A manageable past: “societies often represent their own past in a form that is acceptable to current generations” (1) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Memory <ul><li>Forgetting vs reliving </li></ul>
  13. 13. Memory <ul><li>Personal vs collective memory </li></ul>
  14. 14. Memory <ul><li>“It is in this sense that there exists a collective memory and social frameworks for memory: it is to the degree that our individual thought places itself in these frameworks and participants in this memory that it is capable of the act of recollection” (2) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Memory <ul><li>“ Why and how the past is remembered has increasingly become a source of conflict” (3) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Memory <ul><li>The media has encroached upon many of our traditional forms of remembering. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Memory <ul><li>Collapse of memory </li></ul>
  18. 18. Memory <ul><li>Perceptual fields </li></ul>
  19. 19. Memory <ul><li>Which media forms represent war best? </li></ul>
  20. 20. Imagology <ul><li>verbal, visual and conceptual images </li></ul>
  21. 21. Imagology <ul><li>images work in an epistemological economy of recognition value rather than truth value </li></ul>
  22. 22. Imagology <ul><li>image worlds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>interior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>private </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Imagology <ul><li>Iconosphere </li></ul><ul><ul><li>exterior </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>material form </li></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Imagology <ul><li>Image cache </li></ul>
  25. 25. Imagology <ul><li>Resurfacings </li></ul><ul><li>Accessibility </li></ul><ul><li>Displacement </li></ul><ul><li>Portability </li></ul><ul><li>Loss </li></ul>
  26. 26. “How to Tell a True War Story” <ul><li>“To understand trauma as a form of protest and attempted witness thus suggests that the war in Vietnam, conceived as a traumatic event, was not only about atrocity, death and loss but about the specifically political ways in which the deceptions and self-deceptions of how the war was run helped both to create the atrocity-producing situation of the war and to make it difficult to perceive the way in which it was being carried out.” </li></ul><ul><li>Cathy Caruth 152, in Witness </li></ul>
  27. 27. “How to Tell a True War Story” <ul><li>“To understand trauma in the Vietnam context [...] we must understand it within the context of different witnesses of the way in which this particular war literally made it difficult to see. It is this difficult of seeing and the attempt to break through it that, I will argue, lie at the heart of the political protest so central to this war.” </li></ul><ul><li>Cathy Caruth 153, in Witness </li></ul>
  28. 28. “How to Tell a True War Story” Political reality Military reality Psychological reality
  29. 29. “How to Tell a True War Story” <ul><li>Truthfulness and accuracy? </li></ul><ul><li>What subjects matter to the narrator? </li></ul><ul><li>Witness </li></ul><ul><li> Personal experience </li></ul><ul><li> Why the frustration mentioned by Herzog? </li></ul><ul><li> Intermingling life and fiction </li></ul><ul><li>Narrative closure violates our experience of life </li></ul><ul><li>‘Story truth’ vs ‘happening truth’ </li></ul>
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