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Toni MorrisonMemory and Meaning$
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Adrienne Lanier Seward and Justine Tally

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781628460193

Published to University Press of Mississippi: May 2015

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628460193.001.0001

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The Pursuit of Memory

The Pursuit of Memory

Chapter:
(p.66) The Pursuit of Memory
Source:
Toni Morrison
Author(s):

Claudine Raynaud

Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781628460193.003.0006

Using a psychoanalytic framework and an artful deployment of Morrison’s essay, “The Site of Memory,” Claudine Raynaud draws on memory as “the return of the repressed” in Beloved. She argues that the staging of the workings of memory is akin to phantasm and that Morrison’s “rememory” can be read as a “the narrative of a fable”—or “fabulation”—that figures the return of the repressed Whether bumping into to a rememory that belongs to someone else, or the haunting of a house by a phantasm that re-presents the traumatic (or catatonic) memory of the infanticide, Raynaud links the “geological metaphor” (of literary archeology) of a spatially-oriented “myth of memory” to “the metaphoric process at work in Black American literature.” In a third movement that concentrates on the color of memory, she shows how repression is described as a mise en abyme of remembering: Sethe cannot remember the workings of memory. (140 words)

Keywords:   Beloved, Sethe, rememory, “The Site of Memory”, trauma

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