This chapter discusses the role of amnesia in covert action stories. Amnesia is a popular way of exploring the historical implications of postmodern theory. Also, the amnesic assassin, such as from Richard Condon's The Manchurian Candidate (1959) and the Bourne trilogy, is a figure for public half-knowledge of U.S. foreign policy. The chapter then turns to Tim O'Brien's novel of the My Lai massacre, In the Lake of the Woods (1995). Through a story of profound individual and national amnesia, O'Brien attempts to conceptualize the effects of covert state action on U.S. cultural memory. The novel and its source materials also suggest that public amnesia about U.S. foreign policy must be alleviated by a combination of narrative “trickery” and a postmodern emphasis on the difficulty of knowing.
Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.
To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.