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Title: Witnessing and testimony of traumatic events and the function of cultural and collective memory in Harold Pinter's "Ashes to Ashes"
Author: Yenigül, Anil
Director/Tutor: Monforte, Enric
Keywords: Traumes psíquics
Memòria col·lectiva
Treballs de fi de màster
Pinter, Harold, 1930-2008. Ashes to ashes
Intimacy (Psychology)
Psychic trauma
Collective memory
Master's theses
Issue Date: 26-Jul-2012
Abstract: Ashes to Ashes (1996), one of Harold Pinter's overtly political plays, depicts a world of violence, political oppression and brutality through the character of Rebecca, whose memory is haunted by the imaginative witnessing of atrocities that mainly resonate with the Holocaust. The play is about the past and how it constructs reality in the present. However, Rebecca's fallible and unstable memory distorts reality, and instead provides the audience with versions of different realities. This instability in her memory questions the credibility of her testimony to the atrocities recounted. Despite the fact that the truth and reality of the play stay elusive, Ashes to Ashes points out a social reality -that of brutality, violence, torture and oppression- present throughout the world history, which haunts the conscience of humanity reflected in the character of Rebecca. In this sense, the play offers no comfort to its audiences, who share the same cultural and collective memory as Rebecca, as it creates the same sense of responsibility for human suffering in the past and warns the audience about the possibility of acts of oppression and violence taking place in their comfortable countries that seem to be far away from the atrocities recounted in the play. In this regard, this study aims at analysing Pinter's Ashes to Ashes with a focus on the process of witnessing and testimony of traumatic events, the relation between testimony and truth, and between trauma and memory, the function of cultural and collective memory through an analysis of the relation between reality and its representation, and finally the possibility of representing traumatic events, not least the Holocaust, in literature and theatre.
Note: Màster Oficial en Construcció i Representació d'Identitats Culturals (CRIC), director Dr. Enric Monforte
Appears in Collections:Màster Oficial - Construcció i Representació d'Identitats Culturals (CRIC)

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