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Memory as a Remedy for Evil (Sb-The French List)by Tzvetan Todorov
Synopses & Reviews
Can humanity be divided into good and evil? And if so, is it possible for the good to vanquish the evil, eradicating it from the face of the Earth by declaring war on evildoers and bringing them to justice? Can we overcome evil by the power of memory? In Memory as a Remedy for Evil, Tzvetan Todorov answers these questions in the negative, arguing that despite all our efforts to the contrary, we cannot be delivered from evil.
In this work on evil, memory and justice, Todorov examines the uses of memory and the spate of memorial laws in France in order to show how memory has failed as a remedy against evil and how efforts to come to grips with past evil through trials and punitive justice have failed as well. Todorov locates the fatal flaw of all these approaches in our erroneous relationship with evil as alterity, the distinction that we draw between ourselves and others that allows us to imagine ourselves in the appealing role of hero and victim and confine others to the role of villain and criminal.
Similarly, in his analysis of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Cambodiaandrsquo;s Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Todorov argues in favor of restorative justice, which andldquo;seeks not to punish but to restore relations that should never have been interruptedandrdquo; between former perpetrators and former victims.
Memory as a Remedy for Evil is a powerful and timely work that asks that we recognize the good and evil within each of usandmdash;and reminds us that it is only by coming to terms with evil and trying to understand it that we can hope to tame it.
About the Author
Tzvetan Todorov is the author of The Conquest of America, Mikhail Bakhtin, On Human Diversity, Facing the Extreme, Imperfect Garden, Hope and Memory, and The New World Disorder, among others. Gila Walker has translated more than one hundred works from French, including texts by Jacques Derrida, Franand#231;ois Julienne, Yves Bonnefoy, and Georges Didi-Huberman.and#160;Naveen Kishore is a Calcutta-based publisher, lighting designer, graphic designer and photographer. His works are in several important collections worldwide.
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Memory as a Remedy for Evil
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