This article reports on research into the little-known process of how documents of memory, in this case biographical narratives of life under the communist regime, are received by members of the community of memory. The research is based on an experiment in which three generations of family members (two generations of eyewitnesses of communism and one postcommunist generation) were asked to infer the political identity of narrators from very short fragments of biographical texts concerning the communist era. Using a semiotic approach, the authors perform a detailed analysis of how readers, in their formulation of an acceptable interpretation of the narratives, cooperate with these excerpts of biographical texts. The results show that behind generally weak intergenerational differences in cooperation with the texts, there are certain specific differences in such cooperation between the young postcommunist generation and the generations of their parents and grandparents. The authors suggest that these distinctions indicate the role semiotic competencies play in determining what memory will be accomplished in a given situation.
Hájek, Martin, Dlouhá, Marie. 2014. „Interpretative Cooperation with Biographical Texts: A Semiotic Approach to Analyzing Collective Memory.“ Memory Studies 7 (2): 207–222.