In the reckoning of historian Enzo Traverso, the accumulative inventory of the past’s crimes has exceeded the ‘frontiers of historical research’ and colonised the public sphere to ‘interpellate our present’. The quarrel over the crisis of historicism before World War ii has been superseded by postwar debates that have now spilled over into everyday life that demand recognition as instances of the continuing collision of claims of a past that refuses to pass and the formation of a new historical consciousness in which collective memory of the crimes occupies a central position. Traverso’s purpose has been to repair this emergent dichotomy between historical practice and memoration, event and experience, as well as to overcome attending binary couplings like subjective and objective, individual and group in order to avoid falling into an unbridgeable antinomy that risks collapsing into contradiction.
Historical Materialism – Brill
Published: Aug 3, 2017
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