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The Afterlives of Walter ScottMemory on the Move$
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Ann Rigney

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199644018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644018.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Afterlives of Walter Scott
Author(s):

Ann Rigney

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199644018.003.0001

The Introduction outlines the cultural significance of Scott’s work from the perspective of recent discussions in the field of cultural memory studies particularly as these relate to the relationship between modernization and the cultivation of the past. Scott’s enormously popular work, both his poetry and his Waverley novels, synthesized a highly portable form of memory for a modern public and, thanks to multiple adaptations to other media, helped integrate it into material culture as a key feature of identity. But his immense popularity was also transient creating the paradox that this maker par excellence of modern memory was himself quickly forgotten. The case of Scott, it is argued, provides a keyhole perspective on the dynamics of remembering and forgetting in the age of rapid turnovers.

Keywords:   Waverley novels, popularity, material culture, identity, portable memory, transience, modernization, forgetting

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