Enacting Past and Present

Enacting Past and Present : The Memory Theaters of Djuna Barnes, Ingeborg Bachmann, and Marguerite Duras

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Through a discussion of Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, Mieke Bal and others, author Michaela Grobbel focuses on the work three women authors as types of performance which lead to re-presentations of memory. These women writers foreground the present but also critically demonstrate the complex relationship of the present to the past. Grobbel's work is a critical addition to any discussion of feminism, memory and literary modernism.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 222 pages
  • 152.4 x 226.06 x 22.86mm | 340.19g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739134884
  • 9780739134887
  • 2,166,297

Review quote

Michaela Grobbel's careful and insightful readings of modernist prose texts by Djuna Barnes (Nightwood 1936), Ingeborg Bachmann (Malina 1971), and Marguerite Duras (Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein 1964) explore a 'new feminist art of memory,' that-in contrast to the classical rhetorical art of memory-is centered on the return of the (female) body within the production of memory and writing... This study is particularly relevant in light of the fact that neither the 'gender of memory' nor the aesthetic transposition of memory as inflected by gender have been the focus of recent research... Enacting Past and Present is an insightful, provocative, and discerning contribution to the evolving field of writing, memory, and culture. -- Susanne Baackmann The German Quarterly Enacting Past and Present invites us to reconsider memory as process and performance; it does so through insightful commentary on three important women's texts; and it makes a convincing case for the importance of restoring the materiality of gender to any such consideration. -- Karen Kaivola Biographyshow more

About Michaela M. Grobbel

Michaela M. Grobbel teaches in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at Sonoma State University in Northern California. She teaches German, world literature and theater, and interdisciplinary courses in the humanities. Grobbel studied at the University of Bonn in Germany, and received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of California in Los Angeles. Her research and academic publications focus on twentieth-century women's writing and feminist theory, cultural criticism, and ethnic minority literature, especially German-speaking Romany autobiography.show more

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Setting the Scene: The Art of Memory as Writing and Performance Chapter 2 In Memory of the Lost Body: Performance of Resistance in Djuna Barnes Nightwood Chapter 3 The Memory Theater of Ingeborg Bachmann's "Malina" Chapter 4 Strolling Through the Memory Palace of Oblivion: "Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein" by Marguerite Duras Chapter 5 Memory Performances in Literature and the Artsshow more