Collective Memory, Collective Dreaming, and Personal Narrative Identity

  • Abstract:

    The proposal is framing the issue of so-called false memory and its impact on the personal identity narrative. While collective memory studies propose quite a clear definition of the faculty, collective dreaming language is less widespread. Collective memory, being related to substantial knowledge or experience is in a way contrasted by collective dreams – reconstructing and over-constructing the past, having less and less common with its factual reality. Collective dreams include a spectrum of false memories, elements related to the past in its ideal sense, past as it “should” had been, but presented as an ultimate reality. Identity construct is analyzed through its narrative presentation, narrative identity. False memories are interpreted as a “source” of narrative identity on individual level, following Charles Taylor’s corpus. Collective narrative identity is scrutinized through the lens of imaginary and “amnesias”, following Benedict Anderson’s contribution. The case provided for analysis is constructed around empire-oriented post-Soviet discourse. This discourse being inspired by Soviet Union past, consists of various metaphors and stamps. Only some of them are related to collective memory faculty, while others symbolize imaginary Empire construct being a product of dreaming about the past on a base of false memories presenting it in idealized and embellished way.