This article addresses the irreconcilability of memory in the context of the still contested history of the Greek Civil War of the 1940s. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Attica, the article analyzes past critical events that in many ways contest the concept of the linearity of time. The study explores the events surrounding the establishment of a monument in commemoration of the torching of a village by the German Nazis and the civil war, both of which have been indelibly engraved in people’s memories. Observing these happenings in simultaneity has enabled narratives to be understood, not simply as remembrances, but also as temporalities.
Narrating and Temporalizing the Post–Civil War Era through a Monument
Within the historical context of the Spanish Civil War, 1936–39, ineffectuality, vacillation and irresolution in social and political commitment came under scrutiny as a kind of ‘Hamletism’. Catalan journalist and writer Paulino Masip (1899–1963) cites Hamlet as a type in his article ‘Carta a un español escéptico’ [‘Letter to a sceptical Spaniard’] in the Barcelona-based newspaper La Vanguardia on 16 September 1937, as does José Bergamín (1895–1983) in his contribution to the 2nd International Congress of Writers in Defence of Culture, published in the monthly review Hora de España in August 1937. A theatre production of Hamlet in Valencia in December 1937 reveals similar conflicts and anxieties. In the novel El diario de Hamlet García [The Diary of Hamlet García], written during his exile in Mexico, Masip criticizes wartime Hamletism and reflects upon the dilemmas the civil war imposed on him, contemporary intellectuals and the civilian population of Madrid.
The Israeli Communist Commemoration of the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1986
The Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939 aroused strong responses in the Jewish Yishuv in Palestine. The support for the Spanish Republic—prevalent in the Zionist left as well as among the Communists—resulted in young Jews and Arabs volunteering to fight in Spain. These volunteers, primarily Jewish Communists, became part of a cult created around the war by the Communist Party. This article will examine the content of this cult while relating it to parallel groups in the West and in East Germany. Through this analysis, the ideological elements, heroes, modes of memory, and dissemination of the memory of the war will be explored.
This article contrasts two accounts by women written between 1936 and 1939 describing their experiences of Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The aim is to question how far travel writers have a political and ethical relation to the place they visit and to what extent they deal with this in their texts. The global politics of travel writing and the distinction between colonial and cosmopolitan travel writers affect the way a foreign culture is articulated for the home market through discursive and linguistic strategies. The texts are Kate O’Brien’s Farewell Spain (1937) and Gamel Woolsey’s Death’s Other Kingdom: A Spanish Village in 1936 (1939). The conclusions suggest women adopt a range of positions toward the Spanish conflict, depending on their personal commitment and their contact with local people, but their concern to articulate the experience of others in time of crisis has a strong ethical component.
Alameddine’s Appropriation of Shakespeare’s Tragedies
In I, The Divine (2001) and An Unnecessary Woman (2013), Arab American novelist Rabih Alameddine borrows lines, characters, themes, motifs and tropes from Macbeth and King Lear to portray the horrendous experiences his protagonists undergo during and after Lebanon’s fifteenyear civil war. In An Unnecessary Woman, traumatic memories of the war leave Aaliya Saleh reclusive and isolated, sharing a building with three other women whom she dubs ‘the three witches’; in I, The Divine, Sarah Nour El-Din, the youngest of three daughters of a Lebanese-American couple, feels alienated and displaced and eventually chooses self-imposed exile. Alameddine frames Aaliya’s and Sarah’s stories within narratives of chaos, anarchy and sweeping violence reminiscent of Macbeth and Lear. Reading Alameddine’s novels as appropriations of Shakespeare’s tragedies valorizes the novelist’s contrapuntal vision and demonstrates how Arab writers in diaspora, writing in English for an international readership, strategically draw on Western canonical texts to represent the experiences of Arab characters.
The Heroic Tale of “Taiyuan's Five Hundred Martyrs” in the Chinese Civil War
Dominic Meng-Hsuan Yang
On 19 February 1951, a state-sponsored funeral took place in north Taipei in which a splendid cenotaph to commemorate the “five hundred martyrs of Taiyuan”— heroic individuals who died defending a distant city in northern China against the Chinese Communist encirclement—was revealed. In the four decades that followed, the Nationalist government on Taiwan built a commemorative cult and a pedagogic enterprise centering on these figures. Yet, the martyrs' epic was a complete fiction, one used by Chiang Kai-shek's regime to erase the history of atrocities and mass displacement in the Chinese civil war. Following Taiwan's democratization in the 1990s, the repressed traumas returned in popular narratives; this recovery tore the hidden wounds wide open. By examining the tale of the five hundred martyrs as both history and metaphor, this article illustrates the importance of political forces in both suppressing and shaping traumatic memories in Taiwan.
Remembering the Civil War and Francoism in Panels
Juan Carlos Pérez García
The graphic representation of traumatic memory of war disasters constitutes a broad tradition that can be traced back to Francisco Goya. Comics, with the resources provided by their textual-visual narrative, have been part of that tradition especially since the 1950s. However, representing traumatic memory of war disasters is troublesome, in regard to the artists’ strategies and public reception – as shown by the conflicts between memory, history and myth posed in these works. This article develops a comparative study of traumatic memories in Spanish comics and presents an analysis of the modes of representation in works such as Carlos Giménez’s Paracuellos, Francisco Gallardo Sarmiento and Miguel Gallardo’s Un largo silencio, Antonio Altarriba and Kim’s El arte de volar and Paco Roca’s Los surcos del azar.
Dina A. Amanzholova
This article examines the movement for the achievement of national and regional autonomy for the indigenous peoples of Siberia. Concentrating on East Siberia, the author discusses the various conflicts between advocates of autonomy - political, territorial and cultural - in the region, and the various warring factions during the Revolution, Civil War and the early 1920s. She demonstrates how the native peoples did not necessarily understand the political ambitions of the leaders and politicians. She also demonstrates how difficult it was for the general principle of national self-determination to be achieved with so many conflicting interests during a period of nation-wide upheaval and civil war. Underlying this were also the perennial contradictions between the political aims of the centre and the local interests of the outlying regions and peoples. In conclusion, the author suggests that many of the problems of Siberian autonomous movements in the early twentieth century re-appeared at its end.
Humanitarian Aid, French Women, and Popular Mobilization during the Front Populaire
The Spanish Civil War stirred an array of humanitarian relief campaigns in France that placed women in the front lines of popular mobilization. As communists, socialists, liberals, antifascists, feminists and pacifists, French women invoked the iconography and language of sexual difference to construct pro-Republican aid appeals as an expression of gendered social concern above party politics. Through exploring the female leaderships, organization, and popular participation in different relief campaigns, this article emphasizes the extent to which Spanish aid efforts were dominated by tensions within the Front Populaire.
Civil War Executions and the Harvard Irish Study
This article traces ideological constructions of communication that enable powerful actors to determine what counts as silences, lies and surpluses in efficacious narratives about violence (Briggs 2007) in order to elucidate occlusions regarding legacies of the Civil War in the Irish Free State. It does so through a precise triangulation of multiple competing and overlapping narratives from unpublished fieldnotes, interviews, published ethnographies and other first-person accounts. The inquiry highlights social memories of the Irish Civil War that have been 'assumed, distorted, misunderstood, manipulated, underestimated, but most of all, ignored' (Dolan 2003: 2). The article argues that the excesses of the anthropological archive make the recuperation of a multiplicity of collective memories possible through a linguistic anthropological perspective that enumerates the kind of erasures at play in contentious memory-making moments, highlights polyvocality in metapragmatic discourse and tracks the gaps in entextualisation processes of historical narratives about political turmoil.