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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 87 | volume XV | November-December, 2012



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                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 87November-December, 2012
Essays

A Post-Modern Approach: Literature and Memoirs as Memory and Archive

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Ivan Djeparoski

I

Almost a hundred and seventy years ago, the “dialectical lyricist”, Danish philosopher Sören Kierkegaard (1813-1855), speaking of his own time in the preface to his work “Fear and Trembling” (1843), pointed out: “Not just in commerce but in the world of ideas too our age is putting on a veritable clearance sale. Everything can be had so dirt cheap that one begins to wonder whether in the end anyone will want to make a bid.” (Kierkegaard, 1985: 41)
    Contrary to Kierkegaard's fear of the possible lack of offers in the sphere of ideas, the entire 20th century has been filled with an enormous number of both theoretical and practical offers at the philosophical and ideological level! One of the main offers of this kind, manifested in the last four decades, is the Post-Modernism which I refer to in my presentation in the context of Literature, Memoirs, Memory, Archive and History.
    However, if we give in to history non-philosophically, which is even more valid for the still lasting phenomena with which we are contemporaries, then there is a strong possibility that great troubles will overtake us. For, as Karl Löwith says: “If the history of time can teach us anything, then it is clear that it is not something which a person can stick to or to which one can orient oneself. To try to orientate oneself to history is the same as for the shipwrecked to try to hold on the waves.” (Löwith, 1980: 52)
    Nevertheless, since the post-modernist way of thinking has abandoned the discourse of Modernism – that is to say the theme which was introduced by Hegel as a self-critical confirmation of Modernism and which, according to Habarmas, at the same time “set the rules according to which this topic could be varied – the dialectics of Enlightenment” (Habarmas, 1985: 65) – it has consequently also abandoned the constitutive relation between history and mind. Post-Modernism claims that Modernism ended because in its essence it was a project which could not be realised, and because it rested on the belief in what has frequently been called the “great meta-narratives", which is only another term for the “Great Stories” that have dominated the Western culture and civilisation for millennia. These great stories appear in history in different fashions and under different names. Let me state, together with Dick Habdige, a number of these: “divine revelation, the unfolding Word, the shadowing of History






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