Individual versus Collective?: Layers of Memory in Forster's 'West Hackhurst'

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Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Jason Finch
Editors: Teresa Prudente
Place: Alessandria
Publication year: 2012
Book title: The Capricious Thread: Memory and the Modernist Text
ISBN: 9788862742894


E.M. Forster's 'West Hackhurst: A Surrey Ramble' (c. 1943-48) is a complicated and subtle account of an ageing man's personal memories (it was written when Forster was in his mid- to late sixties). Its multilayered treatment of memory is importantly related to its time of composition, during and immediately after the Second World War, while its span of memory reaches back to Forster's early childhood in the 1880s. Memory in 'West Hackhurst' is both personal and that of a specific social class of people who lived in leisure off inherited and invested money, a class wealthy and powerful in late Victorian England and declining towards extinction in the 1940s. Its active and practical theorization of memory in these contexts nuances the picture of collective memory in relation to nationally traumatic events such as wars given by writers such as Assmann (2006) and Huyssen (2003).


Biography, Cultural memory, Forster, E.M. (1879-1970), Memory

Last updated on 2020-28-02 at 06:54