Ritið 3/16

Ritið 3/16 - 2016

Vera Knútsdóttir: The Haunting of Reykjavík. Cultural Memory and the Urban Space

The article explores the relation between urban space and memory in a recent Icelandic work on contemporary oral ghost stories titled The Haunting of Reykjavík (2013). The ghost stories bring new perspectives to memory sites, complicating the meaning of spaces, places and buildings in Reykjavík, that already have certain statuses in the cultural memory. This complication emphasizes the dynamics of memory sites, which furthermore points towards how cultural memory is never stable or fixed, but rather under constant renovation, revision, and recycling. Spectralities and stories of ghosts reflect forgotten or silenced counter-memories, suggesting how cultural memory is inherently characterized by simultaneous remembering and forgetting.

Keywords: Cultural memory, spectralities, forgetting, urban space, literature

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