Being Caught Otherwise
DOI link for Being Caught Otherwise
Being Caught Otherwise book
In her Ethics of Remembering (1998) Edith Wyschogrod spells out the particular paradox that entangles us when we work to transmit the past. Wyschogrod notes that because the historian works with the texts of an other who cannot speak for herself, the historian must pledge a promise that she will remain loyal to her words, that she will in a gesture of pure affiliation restore the past in its own terms, guarding its summons against any present condensation or reduction. Yet, Wyschogrod admits to the impossibility of ever fully realizing this promise and affiliation. She writes, “The historian is placed in a Catch-22. Obligated by her vow to restore the past in its actuality, she nevertheless recognizes the impossibility of doing so” (1998:xii).