Relato dos sentidos da memória

Quase realidade, quase ficção em Carlos Heitor Cony e Milton Hatoum

Selma Vital
PDF extract preview

This is a PDF-only article. The first page of the PDF of this article appears above.



In this article I discuss the narrative of memory as a way of organizing time and making sense of the past. Informed by theories about memory, this essay analyzes the mechanisms of remembering and forgetting as a dynamic negotiation between past and present and discusses the selection of memorable moments in the process of “weaving” narratives together. As an illustration, I present a reading of two late twentieth century Brazilian novels: Quase memória, quase romance (1995) by Carlos Heitor Cony and Relato de um certo oriente (1989), by Milton Hatoum, highlighting how the authors represent and use human senses as symbols and tools in the building of their memories in the form of a narrative; and how they perform the past. Cony’s work is generally read as a memoir; Hatoum’s is defined as a fictional piece. However, I argue that each narrative, purposely, plays with definitions of memoirs and readers’ expectations and the authors inscribe themselves into a tradition of classical narratives of memory.