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Books About Memory in Literature


Memory is the act of remembering or recollecting events from the past. Past events come back to haunt us, or happy remembrances help to brighten our days. As the story line weaves in and out of time, memories play an important role in character development and the progression of the plot. Cultural memory also plays a role in literature. Read more about memory and literature.

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1. Memory in Literature

by Suzanne Nalbantian. Palgrave Macmillan. In "Memory in Literature," Nalbantian looks at literature as a laboratory for the workings of the mind, exploring writers from Jean-Jacques Rousseau to Octavio Paz. Nalbantian makes connections between the memories of literary subjects and neuroscientific theories.
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2. Memory and Desire: Representations of Passion in the Novella

by Peter Mudford. Gerald Duckworth & Co. "Memory and Desire" discusses the ways 12 novellas (from English, French, German and Russian writers) represent passion and sexual obsession.
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3. Amnesiac Selves: Nostalgia, Forgetting, and British Fiction, 1810-1870

by Nicholas Dames. Oxford University Press. In "Amnesiac Selves," Dames discusses authors from Jane Austen to Wilkie Collins. This book "evokes a novelistic world and a culture engaged in forming a modern nostalgia whose origins our own time has largely forgotten."
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4. Bridge Across Broken Time: Chinese and Jewish Cultural Memory

by Vera Schwarcz. Yale University Press. Here, Schwarcz explores the cultural memory in the Chinese and Jewish traditions. How does metaphor become an aid to memory? And, how are the wounds healed?
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5. Maps and Memory in Early Modern England: A Sense of Place

by Rhonda Lemke. Palgrave Macmillan. Why are maps so important to our understanding of period literature? In "Maps and Memory," Lemke explores Faerie Queene, Shakespeare's Cymbeline, Jonson's "To Penshurst," city comedy, and other genres of literature.
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