Mariya Tretevych


The term “memory” is usually understood as a complex phenomenon and refers both to the physiological
and mental processes, which deals with such areas as medicine, biology and psychology, it gives an opportunity
to gain experience and it applies the focus of the sociological, political, cultural and literary research. This
also requires different approaches to the analysis of memory concepts. These approaches may be particularly
relevant to the study the concept of memory in contemporary German literature, as well as it correlates with
the modern consciousness of the past. The opening of numerous historic museums, memorial plaques, art and
photography exhibitions, production of historical fi lms throughout Europe testifi es that such events as the First
and the Second World Wars, revolutions, crimes against humanity have become the central part of the culture
of remembrance. The article deals with to the problem of reconstruction of individual and collective memory
and the processing of historical experience. The author attempted to analyze the ways of functioning and
interaction between individual and collective memory in fi ction. The subject of the study is the novel written
by German contemporary writer Uwe Timm “The Friend and the Stranger” (“Der Freund und der Fremde”,
(2005)), which combines historical and autobiographical components. The research of the novel “The Friend
and the Stranger” is based on theoretical works of Maurice Halbwachs, who was the fi rst to introduce the notion
of collective and individual memory, justifying their interaction, as well as the generative approach of Aleida
Assmann. The prerequisites of the emergence of a number of works devoted to the theme of the past, in the
modern German literary space are revealed. The generational aspect and socio-cultural approaches to the study
of artistic work are described. It was established that the author attempts to analyze again the role of personality
of Beno Onesorg in the historical context and his involvement in the students’ movement, whose activity
occurred in 1967–1968, also to present him as a person who does not deal with politics. The author actualizes
the individual memory and complements the narration by his own memories too, indicates the interaction of
collective and individual memory in the process of processing the historical past with the help of recollecting
the circumstances of the students’ murder. He complements the memories with the offi cial documents, letters,
stories, refl ecting the image of a friend, who consolidates collective memory of the Germans.
Keywords: memory, individual memory, collective memory, generation, reminiscence, historical

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