Remembering as Reparation: Psychoanalysis and Historical Memory - Karl Figlio
This book brings together psychoanalysis, clinical and theoretical, with history in a study of remembering as reparation: not compensation, but recognition of the actuality of perpetration and the remorseful urge to rejuvenate whatever represents this damage. Karl Figlio argues that this process, intensively studied by Melanie Klein, is shadowed by manic reparation, which simulates, but is antithetical, to it. Both aim for peace of mind: the former in a guilt-induced attitude of making better a damaged ‘good object’, internal and external; the latter, supported by defences thoroughly studied in psychoanalysis, in claiming liberation from an accusatory object.
This psychoanalytic line of thinking converges with historical scholarship on post-war German memory and memorialization. Remembering is posited as ambivalent - it is reparative, in ‘remembering true’, with respect and self-respect. It is also manic reparative, in ‘remembering false’, shedding bonds to the actuality of history through acts of triumph and liberation.