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The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict$
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Stephen Hopkins

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781846319426

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846319426.001.0001

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Chroniclers of the Conflict

Chroniclers of the Conflict

(p.189) Chapter 11 Chroniclers of the Conflict
The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Conflict

Stephen Hopkins

Liverpool University Press

This concluding chapter argues that a careful reading of the memoirs of the Northern Ireland conflict may enable us to gain genuine insights into the lived experience and retrospective judgments of some of the key protagonists of the conflict. It may also allow an analysis of the rhetorical strategies employed by these memoirists, as they seek to influence the ways in which the Troubles are remembered and interpreted by the wider society. Memoir-writing is but one dimension of the current ad hoc approach to ‘dealing with the past’ in Northern Ireland, but these memory entrepreneurs or ‘people’s remembrancers’ can sometimes appear locked into self-justifying and exclusive discourses. However, the potential for a creative and inclusive approach to the past should not be ruled out a priori.

Keywords:   Retrospective judgment of conflict, Rhetorical strategies, Dealing with the past, Memory entrepreneurs, ‘People’s remembrancers’

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