A notion used for the first time by Marianne Hirsch to describe artists’ experience who grew up with stories from the World War II survivors, reflection of post-memory in modern French writer Patrick Modiano’s works, who won a Nobel prize in 2014 for reflecting the most inaccessible and implicit human destinies of the World War II French occupation with the memory art, is the subject of our study. Post-memory, shaped by traumatic experiences that are transferred by parents or previous generations even though they did not experience it themselves, is usually the memory that is transmitted to the following generations by generations that went through immense trauma such as the Shoah (the Jewish genocide). The exile victims’ children, even though they never witnessed the exile trauma and the houses being demolished, remain constantly in diaspora, always excluded from the society or exiled. Modiano, who often alludes to the dark years, is obsessively bonded to his past and tries to show history’s effect on individual destinies using post-memory. Traumatic experiences do not only affect the actual victims who’ve been affected by the events, but also the post-trauma generation with intergenerational transmission and form their identities. The author, who carries the weight of the oppression and torture his family suffered on his shoulders even though he didn’t experience the World War II directly, doesn’t let go of the mysterious and tragic past his roots are connected to. In this study, it is aimed to present through examples how the author, who has accepted to think about facts he doesn’t fully know or only knows in pieces, rebuilds his own past with post-memory and whether the author, who brings the past to the present day, aims to protect his memories or repair his damaged identity.
Patrick Modiano, post-memory, Shoah, trauma, diaspora, omission, identity
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