Curating Fictions of Memory: The Postmodern Novel as Museum
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In this thesis, I analyse the working of personal and cultural memory in Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum of Innocence (2008) and Dubravka Ugrešić’s The Museum of Unconditional Surrender (1999). By placing emphasis on the topoi of “the archive,” “the museum” and “heterotopia,” I argue that both texts problematize processes of remembering on a meta-level by foregrounding both the ways in which memories are constructed and the implications and shortcomings of personal and institutional archives. Furthermore, in their problematizing memory and remembrance on a meta-level, the texts offer a counter-memory, while simultaneously they show that this experiential retracing also has it flaws. In this way, I posit that these postmodern narratives offer a productive instability that ultimately allows for a transformation of our perception of the novel as well as the museum.