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Living Memory

From: Journal of Jewish Identities
Issue 6, Number 2, July 2013
pp. 67-88 | 10.1353/jji.2013.0021



This essay invites readers into a process of exploration. In order to address the dynamic nature of memory, it opens with a reconsideration of the author's engagement with Holocaust memory. This is my way into demonstrating the performative nature of memory. Here memory is a lively endeavor that moves from Holocaust commemoration to ritual and from there to a contemporary rereading of Freud and finally culminates in reconsideration the legacy of the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 through the medium of photography. Building towards an engagement with the work of contemporary Israeli cultural critic Ariella Azoulay, this essay enacts the kind of ongoing critical engagement it calls for. It makes its case by taking readers on a journey from Holocaust memory towards 1948 with excursions into ritual, prayer, and Freudian-inflected letters and postcards.

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