Chapter 5. Saving Our Lives with a Story

Memory and Narrative

  1. Jonathan Tran

Published Online: 8 APR 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444324129.ch5

The Vietnam War and Theologies of Memory: Time and Eternity in the Far Country

The Vietnam War and Theologies of Memory: Time and Eternity in the Far Country

How to Cite

Tran, J. (2010) Saving Our Lives with a Story, in The Vietnam War and Theologies of Memory: Time and Eternity in the Far Country, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444324129.ch5

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 8 APR 2010
  2. Published Print: 16 APR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405183208

Online ISBN: 9781444324129

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Keywords:

  • memory and the Americans in Vietnam;
  • Saving Our Lives with a Story - O'Brien's The Things They Carried reflecting memories of Vietnam;
  • stories remembering the past - and storytelling imaging time for its own purposes;
  • salvific power of stories, what O'Brien terms “saving life with a story”;
  • gift exchange as a metaphor for forgiveness - that as the triune God forgives, God emplots stories within the muthos of forgive;
  • forgiveness, not forgetting, ars oblivionis - redeeming memories of horror as re-narration recapitulating memory;
  • forgiveness beginning by unleashing time - those past others from whom forgiveness must be sought;
  • The Human Condition, Hannah Arendt predicating forgiveness as basic for temporal existence;
  • realism and narrative - The End of Memory, Volf arguing that right use of memory requires truthfulness;
  • trinity, forgiveness and gift - afflicting image of forgiveness through a series of objections

Summary

This chapter contains sections titled:

  • The Case for Forgetting

  • Realism and Narrative

  • From Paradox to Mimesis

  • From Mimesis to Forgiveness

  • Trinity, Forgiveness, and Gift

  • Forgiveness as Gift Exchange

  • The Gift of New Stories