nfamy of Infamous people': Archive, Witness, Document (The Case of Bulgarian Military Executions, 1915-1918) Cover Image
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„Без-честието на безчестните...": Архив, свидетелства, документ. (Случаят с примерните войнишки разстрели, 1915—1918 г.)
nfamy of Infamous people': Archive, Witness, Document (The Case of Bulgarian Military Executions, 1915-1918)

Author(s): Snezhana Dimitrova
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Институт по философия и социология при БАН

Summary/Abstract: This article tries to challenge the potential of micro-history: following the clue ('a shadow of a soldier shot by his commanding officer for self-inflicting a wound') provided by a biographical situation of being concerned by... ('to be faced with the possession of a shameful past') in order to seek for documents of ‘infamy of infamous people’ (‘soldiers executed by firing squad in World War I’). Going through the ‘underground labyrinths’ of conventional archives (drumhead court-martial dossiers) and because of its winding research itineraries, micro-history analysis (in this case) ends up opening the particular archive (the living body); it has been constructed (in trauma the experience is stored in the body without the mediation of consciousness) by an unbearable view – his Gorgon glare kills by transforming human into inhuman – ‘the soldier shot by firing squad, the drooping, kneeling body, blind and alone on a picket for execution’, and (em)powered by and (em)powering onto its special subject – ‘a live witness, victim, survivor’. The archive documents of testimony (in Freudian terms, the survivor’s narrative is a way of mourning), as it were, lift the false masks that the plays of memory and history put on the martial past: a special place of ‘death-infamy’. Thus, microhistory analysis in this case outlines how the actuality of archive (in Foucault’s terms) helps us to discover that ‘our reason is the difference of discourses, our history is the difference of times, we ourselves are the difference of masks’; micro-history analysis is somehow bound to keep the ‘infamy of infamous people’ constructed by the system of ‘said and unsaid’, and explains why the witness (in Agamben’s terms), who insists on listening to the lacunas of bearing witness, covers with honor the body of infamous people (‘misfit soldier shot by firing squad in WW I’) through ‘the potentiality of language and its taking place’ (by empowering the parole – a clue left here by the live experience – a special document of the witness, the survivor).

  • Issue Year: 41/2009
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 277-307
  • Page Count: 31
  • Language: Bulgarian