The advent of the new age has alerted us to the conflicted nature of historical memory which defined the 20th century while simultaneously assaulting us with new historical upheavals that demand responsibility and critical consideration. As the historical text bears traces of the writing subject, the element of deception is remarkable, meaning historical memory easily lends itself to forgery and false and subjective projections.As such, how do we think about the past, about history, about memory, and how does memory function? Is history an objective account, a collection of dry, reliable facts? Is it an imaginative narrative, tinged with nostalgia, a projection of our wishful thinking, the workings of our subjective perceptions and attitudes, our states of mind? The essays in this volume focus on the relevance of the past to the present and future in terms of the shifting attitudes to personal and collective experiences that have shaped dominant Western critical discourses about history, memory, and nostalgia. The contributors here take issue with the epistemological, hermeneutic, ethical, and aesthetic dimensions of the representational practices through which we revisit and revise the meaning of the past.
Regina Rudaityte is Full Professor of English Literature at Vilnius University, Lithuania. She holds an MA in English from Vilnius University and an MA in the Novel from the University of East Anglia, UK. She received her PhD in American Literature from Moscow M. Lomonosov University. She is a national representative for Lithuania on the board of the European Society for the Study of English. She has published widely on contemporary British fiction, women's writing, literary translation and is the author of The Metamorphosis of Character in Postmodern Fiction (2000) and An Outline of Contemporary British Fiction (2006). She edited the volumes Postmodernism and After: Visions and Revisions (2008) and Literature in Society (2012). She is editor-in-chief of the scholarly literary journal of Vilnius University Literatura.