COOKING ALBUM AS A “MEMORY BOX” IN “FIVE QUARTERS OF THE ORANGE” NOVEL BY JOANNE HARRIS
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Keywords

“Memory box”
memory map
collective memory

How to Cite

Belimova , T. (2022). COOKING ALBUM AS A “MEMORY BOX” IN “FIVE QUARTERS OF THE ORANGE” NOVEL BY JOANNE HARRIS. Astraea, 3(1), 11-28. https://doi.org/10.34142/astraea.2021.3.1.01

Abstract

The article is devoted to the actualization of memory studies in Ukrainian literary criticism. In particular, it is about expanding the working tools of this humanitarian field by introducing new terminological definitions («memory box», memory map, «wounds of time»). These terms were transferred from the research of Aleida Assmann and used in the analysis and reconstruction of the architecture of memory based on the material of a particular work. The object of analysis is the novel of the modern British writer Joanne Harris “Five Quarters of the Orange” (2001), which is the final one in the so-called French cycle (novels “Chocolat”, “Blackberry Wine” and “Five Quarters of the Orange” that are united by the topos of the French province of Brittany).

The purpose of the article is to reveal the conditional architecture of memory of Joanne Harris’s novel «Five Quarters of the Orange». This is a reconstruction of a conditional memory map, which is primarily associated with the tragic events of the Second World War. The outlined «wound of time» is directly connected with the relationship between the Dartigen family and the German soldier Thomas Leibniz. Individual memories of past events are encrypted in an old cooking album, which in its turn is identical to a “memory box” – the portable repository of memories or the ark.

The article implements several tasks that made it possible to achieve the main goal. It is primarily about discovering and exploring the mechanisms of memory that are inherent in both narrative structures of the text: both Mirabelle’s notes on the margins of her cooking album and the memories of the main character Framboise are analyzed in terms of correlation of individual memories and collective flashback of the past. The influence of trauma and traumatic experience of the Dartigen family in general on the formation of memory architecture in the novel is also outlined. Illness of mother, early loss of father, which the children are going through, seen murder (Franboise was the witness); expulsion from home and forced expulsion of painful memories for the sake of continued existence are all conditional points on the memory map that are recreated by Fraumboise in her story, which simulates oral storytelling. Finally, several symbols are researched that also correspond to certain points on the memory map. They are aimed at actualization of reader’s attention and focus on the significance of certain events in the life of the family and Les Laveuses (cooking album of Mirabelle; orange encrypted in the title of the novel; Observatory, Standing Stones, Loire River, where the Hunt for the Old Mother was and who finally took away Thomas Leibniz).

The conditional architecture of memory in Joanne Harris’s novel “Five Quarters of the Orange”, in fact, results in deciphering the cooking album (“memory box”) and presents the author’s message of forgiveness and understanding, as well as affirms the anti-war message that is extremely relevant today.

https://doi.org/10.34142/astraea.2021.3.1.01
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References

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