Museum Elegies

Eric Gidal

in The Oxford Handbook of the Elegy

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199228133
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Literature

 Museum Elegies

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This article discusses elegy in terms of museum culture. Elegy and the elegiac may provide critical purchase upon both the cultural disruptions and political reconfigurations embodied in the museums of the modern era and the increasingly diversifying and recuperative practices of conservation and display at work in the twenty-first century. The association of the elegiac to the museum poetics is reviewed. It is possible to conceive the programmatic rituals performed within the walls of the art museum as fundamentally elegiac. It is recognized that the museum is not as a domain for disinterested aesthetic reflection, objective ethnography, or triumphal history, but as a site of ethical contest among competing memories and identities and, through that contest, a place for cultural regeneration.

Keywords: museum culture; elegy; museum poetics; art museum; cultural regeneration

Article.  7997 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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