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The Sins of the FathersGermany, Memory, Method$
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Jeffrey K. Olick

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226386492

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226386522.001.0001

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History, Memory, and Temporality

History, Memory, and Temporality

(p.426) Chapter 19 History, Memory, and Temporality
The Sins of the Fathers

Jeffrey K. Olick

University of Chicago Press

In the concluding chapter, Olick discusses ways of referencing the past and the question of how memory of the past weighs on the present. He examines the complex relationship between history and sociology as well as the dangers of confusing the methods of retrospection, prospection, and analysis. Olick revisits the idea of dialogical memory and dialogical analysis. He asserts that the three epochs in German postwar history loosely provide distinct models for the different places that official memory may take in the overall scheme of things. Olick also addresses the question of genre, and provides examples of different genres and lenses with which to view German history as well as alternative bases for analysing images of the past, such as religion and political parties. The conclusion ends with a discussion of the ethics of memory and the politics of regret, in which Olick lauds Germany for suppressing the urge to forget.

Keywords:   history, memory, temporality, politics, Germany, West Germany, genre, sociology, collective memory

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