Painful Memory

Dean MacCannell

in The Ethics of Sightseeing

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520257825
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948655 | DOI:
Painful Memory

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This chapter suggests that pleasurable and painful memory converge in every attraction, and that every attraction stages an ethical meeting ground of the wonderful and the dreadful. An attraction either reveals or it masks existential sadness. The contemporary happy-face image of Bali as a tourist paradise is a mask for the pain of colonial subjugation. The denial of trauma is a marked feature of sites claiming to commemorate murderous hatred, horrific disaster, and tragic error. The people of Pulaski clearly desire to deny the racism of the original Klan as they identify with it. The examples presented show the strength of the collective desire to deny and forget not just the painful details of the past but pain in general. Finally, the chapter explores Peace Memorial Park and Museum at Hiroshima.

Keywords: painful memory; Bali; Pulaski; racism; Peace Memorial Park; Peace Memorial Museum; Hiroshima

Chapter.  5424 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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