The Past in the Matrix of Memory and Traditions of Historical Writing
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The Past in the Matrix of Memory and Traditions of Historical Writing
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Lorina Repina 
Institute of World History RAS
Russian State University for the Humanities
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The “cultural turn” in social and humanitarian knowledge has led to an intensive development of various aspects of the problem of collective representations of the past. Today historians are actively interested in how people perceived events of which they were contemporaries or participants, how they stored and broadcast information about these events. Historical memory is an integral part of the culture of any human society. The idea of a common past, being an embodiment of a system of values shared by the community, represented by historical events, heroes, memorable places, act as one of the most important means of creating and maintaining internal unity. The article discusses various interpretations of the phenomenon of memory and historical consciousness. The main attention is paid to the concept of images of the past, with the help of which society forms and maintains its identity through various mechanisms of memorialization and historization of events in public consciousness and reconstruction of the “common past”, each time proceeding from the needs of the present in the relevant perspective. In recent decades, research has made significant progress on the complex phenomenon of historical culture, which acts not only as an articulation of the historical consciousness of society or a set of cultural practices of individuals and groups in relation to the past but includes all cases of the presence of the past in everyday life. Changing ideas about the past is inextricably linked with the processes of accumulation and comprehension of new social experience, the experience of experiencing events that are constantly happening in history. The idea of which event is historical has changed significantly, also because historians have paid attention to the question of the relationship between social memory and the traditions of historical writing, as well as to the place of collective memory in the historian's subjectivity. Speaking equally against the identification of history and memory, and against the absolutization of their differences, the author proposes to turn to a comprehensive analysis of the rational, mental and emotional components of this or that “image of the past” and their correlation at different levels of its formation.

historical memory, communicative memory, generation memory, images of the past, myth-building, historicization, historical consciousness, tradition of historical writing
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