Introduction: Memory, Forgetting, and the Imagination

  • Vincent J. Cheng
Part of the New Directions in Irish and Irish American Literature book series (NDIIAL)


Amnesia—as a neurological condition—is always represented as a bad thing, a loss of a personal identity that one desperately needs to recover. Much scholarly and scientific work has been done, in recent decades, on issues having to do with memory, Alzheimer’s, trauma, remembrance, memorials and monuments, truth and reconciliation. But hardly anyone ever talks about the desirability or usefulness of forgetting—which is a central concern of this study. Drawing on Nietzsche, Marx, Renan, Freud, Luria, Anderson, Yerushalmi, and others, this introductory chapter considers the importance of forgetting—and then goes on to consider the complex relationships between remembering, forgetting, imagination, desire, and narrative.


Amnesia Forgetting Memory Trauma Imagination Narrative 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vincent J. Cheng
    • 1
  1. 1.University of UtahSalt Lake CityUSA

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