Lecture by Mark Currie

The Two Faces of Memory: Knausgård’s struggle

By Professor Mark Currie (Queen Mary, London). Respondant: Adjunct Professor Poul Behrendt (INSS).


In My Struggle, Knausgaard claims to remember nothing from his early life while producing volumes of detailed memory. This paper aims to establish philosophical co-ordinates for this paradox, in the relationship between memory and imagination, the dynamic of remembering and forgetting, and the externalization of memory. It draws on the work of Bernard Stiegler and his elaboration of retentional finitude in Time and Technics. The argument focuses on the motif of the face in Knausgaard, as an object of recollection, and as a mode of enquiry into the nature of memory.