Mapping the Non-places of Memory:

A Reading of Space in Alberto Fuguet’s Las películas de mi vida



Rebbecca M. Pittenger

University of Kentucky



Nearly eighty years after the avant-guard movement, the so-called McOndo Generation of Latin American authors continues to identify and redefine its own brand -isms—namely, the urbanism, individualism, and consumerism that characterize globalism in its many forms. Not unlike previous artistic and literary movements, Alberto Fuguet and Sergio Gómez’s prologue-turned-manifesto of the 1996 anthology McOndo represented—if not a watershed moment—a sizeable ripple in contemporary Hispanic letters. The essay calls for the quick and decisive evacuation of Macondo (as synonymous with the Boom Generation as all things vaguely folkloric and magically real) and the relocation to its updated version—McOndo—a globalized world of megacities and pop icons, ubiquitous fast-food chains and mass media. At least superficially, Fuguet and Gómez tiptoe around the pitfall of fashioning another, equally fantastic realm out of globalized society (and thus avoid making any substantive value judgments) by positioning all of its features on the same plane. They write: “Nuestro país McOndo es más grande, sobrepoblado y lleno de contaminación, con autopistas, metro, tv-cable y barriadas. En McOndo hay McDonald’s, computadores Mac y condominios, amén de hoteles cinco estrellas construidos con dinero lavado y malls gigantescos” (“McOndo” 4). It would appear that the gritty urbanism that defines Latin American cities is just as much a product of globalization as CNN en español, for example, an observation which grants these authors’ perspective a kind of ultra-realistic (although not entirely documentary) quality, and confirms that the days of a rural, untouched, and miraculous reality, which once seemed so timeless, represents little more than a relic of the continent’s literary and imaginary past.

This renewed dedication to realism permits Alberto Fuguet, in particular, to scrutinize overlooked aspects of everyday life, since the focus shifts from creating new worlds to realistically portraying the one society inhabits and to which it actively gives meaning. In particular, his semi-autobiographical novel Las películas de mi vida, published simultaneously in English and Spanish in 2003, offers a literary and highly visual mapping of what Marc Augé has called non-places (1995), or the quotidian spaces that are both the product and emblem of the global era. They are the shopping malls, highways, airports, metro stations, and high-speed Internet connections that dot and define McOndo. Reminiscent of Certeau’s work on the practices of everyday life—which maintains the “city” is really nothing more than, in his words, “the pullulation of passers-by, a network of residences temporarily appropriated by pedestrian traffic”—, movement among these spaces is integral to the novel and its written illustrations of urban terrain (103). As the narrator navigates Los Angeles, California and Santiago, Chile, and in the process traverses international borders, hotel rooms, and suburbia, the novel gives form to a spatial reality in which these cities appear in their totality only by first passing through their vast and interconnected web of discrete non-places. 

Although they highlight a solitary, acutely individual experience, the non-places outlined in Las películas de mi vida are neither as dehumanized nor as placeless as they may appear initially.(1) If nothing else, as Fuguet confirmed in a recent interview, these spaces represent the crossroads of the modern era: “se ve la humanidad allí” (Interview with author). Despite the potentially homogenizing effect of these spaces on the city and the individual—one can feel just at home in a Starbucks in Lima, Peru, as in Chicago, IL, for example (2)—there’s something distinctly human about the way the narrator incorporates them into his search for meaning, as he literally and figuratively retraces his family’s trajectory between the United States and Chile. In this way, the novel appears to confirm Andreas Huyssen’s observation that memory serves, according to him, to “anchor ourselves in a world characterized by an increasing instability of time and the fracturing of lived space” (qtd. in Hidalgo 3). The narrator connects his memory with space as he moves from non-place to non-place, in an attempt to give meaning to the present and impose a sense of order on a rapidly changing world. Therefore, in addition to recreating the globalized cities of Los Angeles and Santiago—honed by a finely-tuned attention to realism—the protagonist also reterritorializes the non-places of these urban centers as much by moving through them as the threads of memory he uses to bind them together. Along this route—which finds him between continents, the past and present tense—he recounts the story of his life, constructs cities of transit, and allows memory to gain new ground in the form of non-places.

Before delving into Fuguet’s novel, this analysis will benefit from first exploring in greater detail Augé’s theory of supermodernity and the spaces of non-places. In contrast to postmodernism, which heralded the end of modernity and its grand narratives, supermodernity represents an excess of this period and its defining principles. Among these surpluses, Augé dedicates a considerable portion of his study to what he considers an abundance of history and the subsequent (and somewhat ironic) need to give meaning to the present. With help from the mass media, events become historical the moment they occur, or more precisely, the instant they are documented and distributed writ large. Be this as it may, Augé is quick to set himself apart from postmodern thinkers by explaining that—despite this apparent leveling of historical events—the world still has meaning:

What is new is not that the world lacks meaning… it is that we seem to feel an explicit and intense daily need to give it meaning… This need to give a meaning to the present, if not the past, is the price we pay for the overabundance of events corresponding to a situation we call ‘supermodern’ to express its essential quality: excess (“Introduction” 29).


Giving significance to the present occurs collectively and individually. The French anthropologist draws on historian Pierre Nora’s work to suggest that societies often complete this process by cordoning off urban space as sites of memory, or lieux de mémoire.(3)Thus, the city itself—with its monuments, placards, and museums—becomes a site where society practices and spatializes memory. The individual (which represents another of supermodernity’s excesses) may choose to maneuver or completely avoid these spaces, always aware that her rapidly unfolding past is shaping history.

Since it appears that space and memory are intimately connected, it should not come as a surprise that Augé identifies a surplus of the former as another significant characteristic of supermodernity. Although paradoxical, this excess of space—whether designated as historical or man-made—coincides with a general shrinking of the planet. Satellite technology, for example, makes it possible to view Earth in its entirety, and images can be transmitted from one country to another in real time (31). Likewise, non-places of transit, consumption, and communication make moving through real and virtual space and diffusing the excesses of supermodernity even more efficient.(4) In fact, they differ from anthropological place in precisely that way. If the latter are rooted in a specific terrain and tradition—they are the lived, social spaces of shared history, identity, and language—an apparent lack of meaning defines non-places (52). They are functional and facilitate movement and consumption with the least amount of resistance possible. Non-places exist only in the present inasmuch as they foster individualism instead of long-lasting relationships—transience as opposed to permanence. For this reason, they are what Augé perceives as the real measure of time—and, indeed, of supermodern times—to the extent that they dominate the air and motorways, and, in his words, “mobilize extraterrestrial space for the purposes of a communication so peculiar that it often puts the individual in contact only with another image of himself” (79).

Not entirely dissimilar, the narrator of Las películas de mi vida, Beltrán Soler, also manipulates these spaces in order to connect with another image of himself: his past as an adolescent coming of age between the US and Chile. The novel begins in the present, when an adult Soler, a seismologist, leaves Santiago for Tokyo in order to give a series of university lectures. An expected layover in Los Angeles, the city where he spent his formative years, leads to unexpected results. A tremor grounds the plane that was to take the narrator to his final destination and literally steers him off his original course. More metaphorically, this event serves as a catalyst for self-reflection. Disconnected from life, his family, and somewhat ironically, the ground beneath his feet, the protagonist finally confronts the city of his youth and—from his hotel room just beyond the airport—reflects on the 50 movies he considers the most exemplary of his life. The films do more than just provide a context for this young man’s past; at times, they intertwine with life, erasing the divide between pop culture and personal experience. Likewise, each new film sheds light on some long-forgotten aspect of the Soler family. Thus, as Beltrán journeys through real and virtual spaces—the city and memory—, he sketches a map of his family’s experience in Los Angeles and their eventual return to dictatorial Chile. In the process, he reconnects the aspects of his life, identity, and family that were previously fractured.

Several narrative styles complement the protagonist’s wanderings. Occasional phone conversations with his sister, for example, punctuate the development of the plot, which itself oscillates between Soler’s journey in real time to and from international airports, and his metaphorical trip through the past. They also serve to advance the narration in as few words possible—Beltrán succinctly reports revisions to his itinerary as they occur—and confirm the emotional and physical distance between him and his family. With the exception of these dialogues, use of the first person throughout the rest of the novel confirms its commitment to realism and represents what McOndo authors and Marc Augé (among others) have already identified as a recurring theme in contemporary society: the preeminence of the individual and subsequent transition from “who are we?” to “who am I?”(5) If the telephone conversations corroborate the narrator’s sense of individualism and itinerancy, the first person allows him to impose his sole perspective on the world, bringing into focus the details which give that reality meaning.

Although his movement through the present is vital to plot progression, the majority of the novel revolves around the Soler’s recollection of the past, which he recounts in the form of an e-mail. Thus, similar to its narrative structure, the novel also exhibits a layering effect of time and space. Following Augé’s logic which maintains the Internet is as representative of a non-place as, say, an international airport, the act of converting the story of his life to an electronic file transforms the act of writing into a kind of non-place. Likewise, the e-mail will presumably travel through virtual space to its recipient, Lindsay, the woman Soler met on the plane and who inspired him to chronicle the major events of his life. Beyond just the screen in front of him, however, the protagonist also finds himself physically sheltered within several non-places. The opening pages establish a context for the rest of the novel in which he poses a series of rhetorical questions about where he is and why: “¿Por qué sigo aún en esta ciudad? ¿Por qué, en vez de hallarme en Tokio, como era el plan, como estaba estipulado, estoy ahora encerrado escribiendo como un demente, en una habitación de un Holiday Inn con vista panorámica a la autopista 405?” (“Películas” 4). Soler capitalizes on the economy of language characteristic of realism to establish—with as little description possible—a completely unexceptional but recognizable setting. Although he first identifies the city as Los Angeles, in the above statement the narrator distinguishes his unremarkable hotel room and the surrounding thoroughfare from the rest of the city. In addition to being an extended memory of the past, it would also appear the majority of the novel doesn’t even occur within a real place, but rather a fragment of the city expressly designed for people moving through it on their way somewhere else.

Upon establishing that he will eventually end up in a hotel room in Los Angeles, the narrator then traces the physical and lived trajectory that led him to that point. These beginning chapters are really mini-chronicles that, true to the novel’s form, are starkly realistic and serve to define the spaces through which Soler moves. Each begins with a heading that includes spatial and temporal markers, like the date, place, and time of each leg of his journey. For example, the first of these entries reads: “DOMINGO. A bordo del van de TransVip, Alameda Bernardo O’Higgins, altura Universidad de Chile, Santiago. Hora: 7:14 pm” (17). The next finds Soler at the Estación Central exactly eleven minutes after the first entry; the sequence continues in this fashion until he finally arrives at the Los Angeles International Airport. These captions serve the double function of systematically reporting the protagonist’s movement through the city as well as orienting the reader within downtown Santiago. They spatially define the present-day Chilean capital. In just a few words (and careful reference to recognizable street names and sites of transit) the reader pieces together the city according to its fragments. Even if the content of these chapters outlines the protagonist’s past—namely his relationship with his grandfather, his first contact with The Book of Lists, and his own formation as a seismologist—there is a sense that what he recalls is intimately connected to real time and space. His remembrance of the past and movement through the city appear simultaneous and even mutually dependent. As one begins to unfurl, so does the other.

Soler’s trip through the capital ends with his arrival to the international airport. Spatial markers particular to Santiago may have defined his movement through that city; however, upon entering the airport, these references become less place-specific, citing police checkpoints and flight gates instead of exact street names and stations. “DOMINGO. Aeropuerto Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez. Sala de embarque. 8:57 pm Santiago de Chile,” reads one of these chapters’ titles (27). Allusion to its name may suggest the narrator inhabits a specific place belonging to only one city in the world, but reference to the “sala de embarque” signifies a universally accepted space common to all airports. Likewise, the fact the caption reiterates “Santiago de Chile” (information that was not included as Soler was crossing that same city) implies that this space of international transit pertains somewhat less explicitly to a specific urban terrain and national identity. The urban space which previous markers simply referenced in passing must now be specified with greater clarity within the context of this homogeneous setting. Similarly, a sign Soler reads at the LanChile terminal—which could also be read as country-specific—reaffirms the airport as a fundamentally globalized space: “Welcome to LanChile, member of the One World Alliance. One world. Una vez fuimos un solo mundo. Un solo continente: Pangea. Un solo océano: Panthalassa (27). Airports like the one Soler occupies are responsible, in part, for reuniting a world that space and time had previously fractured. Thus, the city as a mosaic of non-places gives way to a non-place that appears connected only somewhat to its surroundings.

Be that as it may, national identity not only remains relevant, but also becomes increasingly important within international airports like the one Soler navigates. In fact, although Augé dedicates only a small portion of his study to the topic, it is important to remember that non-places (and airports in particular) are highly secure areas, where one has to prove his citizenship, where he has been, and why. Soler’s situation presents no exception. Upon arriving to the airport, he must first pass through a security checkpoint: “Estoy en la fila de Policía Internacional, esperando que tecleen el número de mi pasaporte y que el gobierno se entere de todas mis entradas y salidas” (24). To a certain extent, at that moment the protagonist leaves Santiago behind for the international zone of the airport, which has its own rules, regulations, and reason for identifying individuals according to their nationality. This is not to say, however, that all indications of culture suddenly disappear. An elderly woman from rural Chile asks Beltrán to chaperone her adolescent grandson, who is traveling to Los Angeles for the first time. The fact that they hail from far beyond the capital at once suggests that airports are truly the modern crossroads that Fuguet suggested and implies, more subtly, a continued exchange between the rural and the urban—the local and the globalized—even within the supposedly neutral setting of this non-place.

A parallel also exists between Beltrán’s experience and the boy’s. In the present, each is traveling to undertake life in another part of the world, but not without a certain degree of apprehension. Although at this point it represents little more than a necessary layover for the narrator, both he and the boy are bound for a life-transforming stay in Los Angeles. More significantly, however, the boy in the present-day airport mirrors Soler’s prior experience as an adolescent coming of age between two worlds. In fact, the protagonist was returning to Chile with his family at presumably the same age at which this boy is leaving for Los Angeles. Beyond defining international migration as both a collective and undeniably individual experience, the mirroring effect taking place in this section also implies the cyclical and distinctly human aspect of this kind of movement and the spaces it creates. Interaction between them may be limited to just a few gestures, but the narrator identifies with the boy’s situation and is sympathetic towards him. Once again, a non-place is responsible, if not for establishing a profound relationship at least facilitating contact between Soler and another reflection of himself.

After a flight that would outline the coast of South and Central America and inspire him to delve into the past, the narrator offers his second observation of the city of Los Angeles upon descent. From a vantage point that now overlooks the entire city, Soler’s perspective appears synecdochic to the extent that it fashions the metropolis out of its discrete spaces. The city becomes spatially intelligible from just a few symbolic points of reference—mapped out by convenient stores and highways. In this way, the city of Los Angeles becomes the sum of its non-places (6) :

El avión estaba ya bajo, a punto de aterrizar en medio de la ciudad. Entonces afiné aún más el foco: dos Seven Eleven, una estación Shell, el Forum de Inglewood, la autopista 405 y, de pronto, sin esperarlo, como si lo hubiera visto ayer, el inmenso donut de Randy’s brillando en la noche, a pasos de la calle Ash (55).


Use of this rhetorical devise allows the narrator an even more acute observation of the everyday, which hones his already realistic perspective and descriptions of space. In fact, according to Certeau, “Synecdoche makes more dense: it amplifies the detail and miniaturizes the whole… A space treated in this way and shaped by practices is transformed into enlarged singularities and separate islands” (101). Thus, even before entering his hotel room—itself an island cordoned off by the 405 thoroughfare—it is impossible to perceive the city in its entirety without first observing its singular, quotidian spaces.

Similarly, the narrator’s perception of Los Angeles also relies on a pre-fabricated image of that city. After documenting the first twenty five most important films of his yearly life, Soler sets out in search first of a DVD Planet and then family members with whom he had lost contact. In the process, he becomes reacquainted with the city, or at least its most recognizable image: “Los rascacielos del downtown están a la vista, la misma imagen que uno ha visto en innumerables programas de televisión” (155). For a moment, the city ceases to exist as a real space and is simply conjured up through its visual representation—created, disseminated, and accepted as authentic, via the mass media. Thus, similar to Augé’s observation that certain non-places (especially those related to tourism) “exist only through the words that evoke them,” as he contends, the city of Los Angeles exists as much as a symbol as it does a real place (“Introduction” 95).

Although this may be the case, the narrator continues to maintain a personal connection with the city. The images he evokes of Los Angeles—especially multiple references to its most recognizable non-places—create the impression that this is a universal (if not completely homogeneous) city. The narrator’s descriptions, thus, seem to confirm what Augé has already observed about these spaces:

A paradox of non-place: a foreigner lost in a country he does not know (a ‘passing stranger’) can feel at home there only in the anonymity of motorways, service stations, big stores or hotel chains. For him, an oil company logo is a reassuring landmark; among the supermarket shelves he falls with relief on sanitary, household or food products validated by multinational brands (105).


Soler not only observes these non-places, but also credits them with defining the city. For him, it would appear even that Los Angeles epitomizes what could be called the “non-city,” an urban terrain whose spatial referents are predominantly non-places. This is not to say that the narrator does not share a bond with the city. In addition to moving through it, his memory links him to these universal non-places, reterritorializing them, in a way, and incorporating them into his own experience. “Yo he estado aquí antes. He recorridos esta autopista. Ciertos hitos del camino vuelven a entrar en foco: el letrero de Hollywood allá al fondo, arriba del cerro; los interminables cementerios, el dirigible de la Goodyear circulando por el cielo infectado de smog,” he recalls, thereby connecting Los Angeles’ most recognizable and serialized features with his own experience (151). Reminiscent of his trek through Santiago, the city and the practice of memory become inseparable.

This fact confirms that urban space in Las Películas de mi vida is neither as deterritorialized nor as placeless as it may at first appear. The narrator may indeed eventually find himself in a nondescript hotel room—writing from the edge of a city that appears more like a hologram than a real place—, but beyond its non-places, the city teems with real, lived spaces. In a phone conversation with his sister, Manuela, the protagonist distinguishes between the airport he is traveling through and the city of Los Angeles, hinting at the placelessness of the former. Manuela inquires, “¿Nunca has vuelto? Tú que viajas tanto… –No. He estado en el norte. Un par de veces en San José, en Palo Alto. Me ha tocado combinar vuelos en Los Ángeles, pero nunca he vuelto a pisar la ciudad… Es posible” (8). Traversing the international space of the airport is not the same as passing through the city itself. Rather, the narrator indirectly suggests that the airport follows only the logic of globalization to the extent that it is separate but vital to the city—it occupies real space but embodies the characteristics of a non-place.

The narrator continues this line of thinking by pointing out that the Los Angeles airport does not have a name that would tie it to the identity of its surroundings; it is simply known as the Los Angeles International Airport:

La mayoría de la gente que llega a Los Ángeles lo hace por un aeropuerto que no tiene nombre: Aeropuerto Internacional de Los Ángeles, o LAX, que es su código. Siempre me llamó la atención que no tuviera un nombre, que fueran tan provincianos que sintieran que con ‘internacional’ bastaba. El aeropuerto se alza a un costado de la ciudad, en medio del barrio de Inglewood, entre un trozo del Pacífico sin gusto a nada y la feroz autopista 405 (61).


This observation is significant, especially in light of Augé’s observations about space and movement in supermodernity. The airport’s name may indeed connect it to Los Angeles, but it makes an attempt to capture the local aspects of that city. The airport is what it is: an international non-place. However, as the chapter develops, it becomes increasingly clear that this nameless hub actually forms part of a real, lived place: Inglewood. The narrator describes the ethnic makeup of the community and how it has shifted demographically throughout the years. Even more than this information, he confirms his personal connection with the place where he lived so many years ago. Therefore, the airport may represent one of the city’s many islands—one among many transient parts that make up the whole—but it continues to participate in a lived landscape, where individuals are more than just bodies in motion and memories are created, not just recalled.

In a similar way, it is only fitting that earthquakes should represent an extended metaphor in this itinerant novel, demonstrating to what extent Earth’s movement continues to fracture and subsequently reunite cities and entire societies. In light of the emphasis placed on the individual, earthquakes remain collective, and in cities of standardized, man-made places, the earth’s tremors continue to topple buildings, fragment space. “Los terremotos son hitos, puntos aparte, un momento de inflexión, un megaevento colectivo que nadie pierde, ni siquiera aquellos que no acostumbran asistir a nada. En los países donde la tierra se mueve, cada generación tiene su propio terremoto,” the narrator observes, lending credence to the idea that seismic pressure remains a natural force capable of altering the flow of events and movement from one place to another (153). Similar to the way memory appears in and attaches itself to space—especially that which appears only superficially to be deterritorialized—references to earthquakes in Las películas de mi vida literally create fissures in the earth where they occur, and metaphorically fuse the individual with the space and society she inhabits. It would appear, then, that only an earthquake could ground Soler in Los Angeles once again, forcing him beyond the anonymity of the airport; only an earth-shaking event could convince him to reconnect with his and his family’s present and their past.

On the other hand, although the metaphorical significance of the earthquake holds weight in Las películas de mi vida, it could be that the non-places of supermodernity serve as natural conduits for memory. A tremor connecting the two continents may have served as the catalyst, but the non-places he encounters along his journey allow the protagonist the solitude he needs to recall the past. He is not distracted by endless references to local culture, and therefore may recede into his own memory. Thus, the universal non-places that define globalized cities and transit through them do more to excite memory than deny it. As Soler moves among these places he establishes the textual coordinates of two cities, and in the process, tells a story in which space and memory are inseparable, and the individual is reacquainted with the ground beneath his feet—wherever that may be.



(1). Although transit is what gives shape to urban spaces, Certeau defines movement as inherently placeless: “To walk is to lack a place. It is the indefinite process of being absent and in search of a proper” (103). Since non-places commonly facilitate movement in one fashion or another, it is reasonable to assume that they undermine a sense of place. This is, of course, in addition to a universal aesthetic thought to unite these spaces.


(2). Augé contends they even mimic one another, creating a sense of fluidity as the transient body moves from non-place to non-place: “Estos no-lugares se yuxtaponen, se encajan y por eso tienden a parecerse: los aeropuertos se parecen a los supermercados; vemos la televisión en los aviones” (“Sobremodernidad” 129).


(3). In his work Realms of Memory: Rethinking the French Past, Nora credits the acceleration of history with the separation of social memory from history (the way in which modern societies structure the past) and the rapidly expanding designation of sites of memory: “Lieux de mémoire arise out of a sense that there is no such thing as spontaneous memory, hence that we must create archives, mark anniversaries, organize celebrations, pronounce eulogies, and authenticate documents because such things no longer happen as a matter of course. When certain minorities create protected enclaves as preserves of memory to be jealously safeguarded, they reveal what is true of all Lieux de mémoire: that without commemorative vigilance, history would soon sweep them away” (7).


(4). After the publication of his celebrated Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity, in which he introduces his theory of non-places, Augé identifies at least three different classifications: the non-places of circulation and transit (airports, gas stations, highways), consumption (supermarkets and hotel chains), and communication (in the form of screens, cables, virtual space) (“Sobremodernidad” 129).


(5). In the prologue to McOndo, Fuguet and Gómez identify this trait in Latin American literature: “El gran tema de la identidad latinoamericana (¿quiénes somos?) pareció dejar paso al tema de la identidad personal (¿quién soy?)” (3).


(6). The narrator describes Paris in much the same way, making the two cities almost completely indistinguishable: “Lo que más recuerdo de esos años parisinos es mi pieza y mi colchón; el McDonald’s de Saint Germain; el restaurante vietnamita del Viejo Lu Man; la FNAC subterráneo de Beaubourg… los afiches de las películas viejas hollywoodenses en los cines—arte que repletaban mi angosta calle y a los que nunca fui a pesar de que, de niño, y luego de adolescente, no hacía otra cosa que devorar la mayor cantidad de películas posibles” (32).



Works Cited


Auge, Marc. Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity. London and New York: Verso Books, 1995.


---. “Sobremodernidad: del mundo tecnológico de hoy al desafío esencial de mañana” In Sociedad mediatizada. Ed. Denis Moraes. Gedisa: Barcelona, 2007: 119-137.


De Certeau, Michel. The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkeley: University of California, 1984.


Fuguet, Alterto. Personal interview. 8 August 2008.


Fuguet, Alberto and Sergio Gómez, eds. McOndo: antología de nueva literatura hispanoamiericana. Prologue. Barcelona: Grijalbo-Mondadori, 1996.


Hidalgo, Emilse Beatriz. “National/transnational negotiations: the renewal of the cultural languages in Latin America and Rodrigo Fresán’s Argentine History, The Speed of Things, and Kensington Gardens” LLJournal 2.1 (2007): 1-11.


Nora, Pierre. Realms of Memory: Rethinking the French Past. Vol. I: Conflicts and Divisions. Trans. Arthur Goldhammer. New York: Columbia UP, 1996.