Abstract and keywords

Ritið 1/13 - 2013

Jón Karl Helgason: Great Immortality: Figures of memory, civil religion and patrons of cultural memory

The article deals with Jan and Aleida Assmann’s ideas regarding cultural memory. Three aspects of cultural memory are discussed in particular, i.e. figures of memory, their relation to invisible and civil religions and finally the role played by patrons or postulators of cultural memory. These concepts are explained with reference to a few figures of memory referring to the Romantic poet Jónas Hallgrímsson. These include a bank note featuring his image, a cultural centre operating at the farm Hraun in Öxnadalur in Northern Iceland, where the poet was born, and finally recent ideas of a group of MPs to establish a Jónas Hallgrímsson chair at the University of Iceland.

Keywords: cultural saints, Jónas Hallgrímsson, cultural memory, civil religion


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