Andermann, Chapter 3

I did not read this chapter well enough but it discusses museums and archives, preserving and remembering, in terms of anxiety and absence. As the world changes and “progress” is installed, the national memory is obliterated at the same time as it is being created. History museums are material expressions of what is not (not now, and perhaps not ever) more than of what was or has been.

The sense is of instability, of a need to record things before they disappear. The nation is in the museum and it is quite spectral. We can add these perceptions — instability and anxiety around nation, identity, history, and self-image — to what we already know about the contradictory aims in nineteenth century nation building and it all becomes quite interesting.

Fleetingness. Memories that are not quite memories. Memories one does not want to lose. Memories one is not sure one wants.

(I might be ready to start writing.)

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