Home> Archive> 2023> Volume 13 Number 4 (Aug. 2023)
IJSSH 2023 Vol.13(4): 246-250
doi: 10.18178/ijssh.2023.V13.1153

The Urban Mirror in the Makings of Memories

Xinzhu Chen

Abstract—The modern individuals are not passive containers of their memories. Rather, they are subjects who create memories. Memories are mirrors, the very apparatus upon which people identify themselves. Under personal motives or desires, they consciously or unconsciously create their own versions of the past, by subjectively neglecting some essential and stressful “others,” capturing some particular moments, and empowering certain details with special meanings. When modern individuals are petrified by their confusion or loss, they strive to “create” identity for themselves – a solid shelter to provide a strong sense of belonging, which at the same time generates an “othering” process within the dominant discourse. There are many versions of the past within people’s minds, while the ontological “past” is always under the weight of multiple “interpretations.” Literature and films are crucial means in this process of reconstructing “history.” Certain entrenched beliefs are constructed in people’s minds by interior or external forces, powers, and desires. However, those concepts also face challenges of deconstruction every now and then. This paper attempts to explore the process of reconstructing history by creating private and collective memories in modern and contemporary Chinese literature and films centering on the city of Shanghai along with some other urban narratives.

Index Terms—Memory, reconstruction of history in literature and films, Shanghai, urban narratives

Xinzhu Chen is with American Straight A Academy, Beijing, China. E-mail: chenxz0208567@163.com (X.Z.C.)


Cite: Xinzhu Chen, "The Urban Mirror in the Makings of Memories," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 246-250 2023.

Copyright © 2023 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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