The Art of Commemoration
The Art of Commemoration focuses on a particular historical event that illustrates how nations define their own identities and establish mutual relations in their discourse: the Warsaw Uprising of August 1944 and its Commemoration in 1994. This Commemoration was an innovative and unique form of transnational communication because it brought together representative speakers from all parties involved. They considered the commemorated event from different perspectives: the victim (Poland), the former enemy (Germany) and the former allies (England, USA, France and other countries, as well as Russia which liberated Poland but had not supported the Uprising). A letter from the Pope added a Catholic perspective.
The ‘art of commemoration’ consists in invoking the past events from one’s own perspective while simultaneously considering the other perspectives, as well as in making sense of the past and present at the same time. This volume analyses the artful way in which the speakers coped with these complexities in a full discourse analytic reconstruction of each address.