Committing the Future to Memory: History, Experience, Trauma by Sarah Clift (review)

Committing the Future to Memory: History, Experience, Trauma by Sarah Clift (review) Book Review Sarah Clift , Committ ing the Future to Memory: History, Experience, Trauma (New York: Fordham University Press, 2014). Cloth, 264 pp. isbn 9780823254200. $80.00. Paper, 264 pp. isbn 9780823254217. $31.00. sam stuart- booth Sarah Clift ’s monograph is a complex and thorough examination of human fi nitude in light of recent work in memory, both literary and trau- matic. Th e book centers on the concept of “experience” as the determin- ing horizon of human existence that imposes limits on our knowledge and understanding, and thus it marks a welcome extension of trauma theory by taking in philosophical works and perspectives. For Clift , it is finitude, rather than any “causality,” that enables us to make sense of history and historical memory. Th is suggests an intricate interlacing of epistemology, history, and ontology and it is therefore no surprise that Hegel is one of the main sites of Clift ’s readings and theorizing. However, Clift does not set herself the task of creating a new “ethics of memory” or a defi nitive philosophical account of “experience” (7) but rather sets out the case for an increased “vigilance in the diffi cult task of reading and writing” as http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Literature and Trauma Studies University of Nebraska Press

Committing the Future to Memory: History, Experience, Trauma by Sarah Clift (review)

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
2045-4740

Abstract

Book Review Sarah Clift , Committ ing the Future to Memory: History, Experience, Trauma (New York: Fordham University Press, 2014). Cloth, 264 pp. isbn 9780823254200. $80.00. Paper, 264 pp. isbn 9780823254217. $31.00. sam stuart- booth Sarah Clift ’s monograph is a complex and thorough examination of human fi nitude in light of recent work in memory, both literary and trau- matic. Th e book centers on the concept of “experience” as the determin- ing horizon of human existence that imposes limits on our knowledge and understanding, and thus it marks a welcome extension of trauma theory by taking in philosophical works and perspectives. For Clift , it is finitude, rather than any “causality,” that enables us to make sense of history and historical memory. Th is suggests an intricate interlacing of epistemology, history, and ontology and it is therefore no surprise that Hegel is one of the main sites of Clift ’s readings and theorizing. However, Clift does not set herself the task of creating a new “ethics of memory” or a defi nitive philosophical account of “experience” (7) but rather sets out the case for an increased “vigilance in the diffi cult task of reading and writing” as

Journal

Journal of Literature and Trauma StudiesUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Jun 16, 2016

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