Patterns of Memory in Askold Melnyczuk’s Novels as an Example of Ukrainian-American Émigré Fiction
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Słowa kluczowe

émigré fiction
immigration
memory
amnesia
nostalgia
identity

Jak cytować

Koval, M. (2020). Patterns of Memory in Askold Melnyczuk’s Novels as an Example of Ukrainian-American Émigré Fiction. Bibliotekarz Podlaski, 47(2), 125-137. https://doi.org/10.36770/bp.473

Abstrakt

Although Ukrainian emigration to North America is not a new phenomenon, the dilemmas of memory and amnesia remain crucial in Ukrainian-American émigré fiction. The paper focuses on selected novels by Askold Melnyczuk (What is Told and Ambassador of the Dead) and analyzes how traumatic memories and family stories of the past shape the American lives of Ukrainian emigrants. The discussion of the selected Ukrainian-American émigré novels focuses on the dilemmas of remembering and forgetting in the construction of both Ukrainian and American narratives of the past. The voluntary amnesia of the Ame- rican-born Ukrainians in Melnyczuk’s novels confronts their parents’ dependence on the past and their inability to abandon it emotionally. Memories of ‘the old country’ make them, similarly to Ada Kruk, ambassadors of the dead. The expression becomes a metaphoric definition of those wrapped by their repressed, fragmentary and sometimes inaccessible memories. Crucial events of European history of the 20th century are inscribed and personalized in the older generation’s stories which their children are reluctant to hear. For them, their parents’ memories became a burden and a shame. Using the concept of transgenerational memory, the paper explores the challenges of postmemory, and eventually its failure. 

https://doi.org/10.36770/bp.473
PDF (English)

Bibliografia

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