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Helga Krook


Minnesrörelser (Movements of Memory)

Dissertation in Literary Composition, Poetry and Prose, Valand Academy, 2015


The starting point of the doctoral project Minnesrörelser (Movements of Memory) is a documentary material, based on interviews, archival documents, letters, diaries and more, from Germany and Sweden from the 1930’s to present time focusing on childhood, upbringing, eugenics, bilingualism. The family as a place for historical writing, family stories inevitably connected with political history, and how they can be passed on or kept secret makes up the main subject matter, where questions of memory and postmemory, heritage and transgenerational consequences of oppression and guilt, as well as the role of silence, speaking and translation, are investigated. The project is considered a very practice-based one but also a historical one, as a link in the life of stories in the material interwoven with the history of Germany in the 1930’s and 40’s and of Sweden in the period of Folkhemmet. The way the project has developed and come to a preliminary end, that is, this dissertation, is in itself a story, an open end narrative, where the roles of the author and the reader are focused on. The famous statement by Roland Barthes that the birth of the reader must be at the cost of the death of the author is used as an impulse, along with Novalis’ view on reading and writing as an ever continuing literary dissemination process. Different perspectives and opposites like family album/reference book, memory/ history, ruin/reconstruction, daughter/daughter are reflected upon through the reasonings of, among others, Aleida Assmann, Harald Welzer, Marianne Hirsch and Pierre Nora as well as through different works of art, literature and historical documentation, for example by Victor Klemperer, Irina Liebmann, Susan Hiller, David Chipperfield. The dissertation is an artistic way of focusing a complex of problems of narration, which remain, naturally, unsolved.

This is thesis no 49 in the ArtMonitor dissertation series.

ISBN: 978-91-979948-7-3


The dissertation is in Swedish.

Order the book here:

Utgiven på förlaget Autor, www.autor.se. Read how to order here.


The dissertation is e-published in GUPEA - Gothenburg University Publications Electronic Archive. Download the dissertation here.

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