Original Research

Die politiek van herinnering: spore van trauma

J. Snyman
Literator | Vol 20, No 3 | a487 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v20i3.487 | © 1999 J. Snyman | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 26 April 1999 | Published: 26 April 1999

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J. Snyman, Departement Filosofie, Randse Afrikaanse Universiteit, Johannesburg, South Africa

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Abstract

The politics of memory: Vestiges of trauma
The politics of memory is fraught with paradoxes; however, it remains an unavoidable and necessary strategy to cope with (historical) trauma. After a brief concept of historical memory has been outlined, an analysis follows of the various strategies of memory that have been employed to deal with the trauma of the British concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. The point of the analysis centres in the moral universalisability of the politics of traumatic experience. The initial male strategy of memory (heroization) is found wanting. Emily Hobhouse’s observations and interpretation of suffering are important criticisms of this initial strategy. In the final instance, it is the interpreted voice of the victim herself that makes trauma audible - by approximation.

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