n Slavic Almanac : The South African Journal for Slavic, Central and Eastern European Studies - The act of remembering in , by Iu Annenkov

Volume 13, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1025-3386


The investigation of the two-volume edition of Yuri Annenkov's Journal of my meetings focuses on the act of remembering, defined here as a concrete act during which the past is construed in the present. The act of remembering is closely interconnected with the autobiographical genres. It is viewed as a process, as a movement in time on the line: past-present; it is a spiritual journey to the basis of one's personality and life. Such understanding of the act of remembering contests the view of a Russian critic who negates the presence of self portrait in Annenkov's memoirs. However, the presence of autobiographical aspects in Annenkov's memoirs is important as far as their reliability as a source of information about the epoch and the people who shaped it is concerned. In analysing the dynamics and forms of remembering in the Journal, the examination is limited to the configuration author-narrator versus subject-object of memory. Among the most frequent are such passages where the author-narrator remembers himself as an active participant in the events (1), where the author-narrator remembers his own life (2), where the authorĂ¢??narrator remembers himself as a passive witness (3), and where the instances of remembering arise in connection with information derived from a variety of sources (4). This last category often brings the author-narrator to the line beyond which he is only the author, while the narrative loses its retrospective characteristics typical of the act of remembering. These are the numerous digressions that destabilise the main narrative thread. Stylistically and grammatically they belong to other forms of communication. They also differ in function since remembering is subjective, whereas the passages that we call 'digressions' are meant to illustrate and contextualise the matter of memory, that is, to objectivise it.

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