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Literature / Damnatio Memoriae

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"No one wants to be forgotten."
Albertson to Enim.

Damnatio Memoriae is a Young Adult Psychological Thriller and Comingof Age Story by Laura Marcelle Giebfried. It focuses on Enim Lund, a seventeen-year-old boy whose only goal is to finish his last year of school and forget the tragedy involving his mother the Christmas beforehand – a feat that should be easy given that he attends Bickerby Academy, an all-boys boarding school on a remote island off the coast of Maine. His plans are thwarted, though, when a teacher vanishes without explanation and a local girl’s body washes up on shore. With all signs pointing to one of Bickerby’s students, Enim’s best friend Jack Hadler convinces him to investigate the crime.

As Jack becomes more and more obsessed with finding the killer, Enim finds himself consumed by his own responsibility in the accident that befell his mother, and neither can seem to find a way to acquit himself for the crime. It soon becomes clear that there are worse things than not solving the crime: it’s doing so but having no one believe you.


Damnatio Memoriae contains examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Jack's grandmother has a volatile temper.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Enim's mother suffered from an unknown illness which his father fears will be passed on to Enim. He later finds out that she had schizophrenia, and that he most likely has it, too.
  • Berserk Button: For Enim, comments about his mother's botched suicide.
  • Bittersweet Ending
  • Bungled Suicide: Enim's mother. Also, Enim himself.
  • Coming-of-Age Story
  • Foil: Enim Lund is introverted, non-confrontational (usually) and cautious compared to his unrestrained and careless friend Jack.
  • Go to Your Room!: Subverted. Karl wishes Enim would come out of his room.
  • Mind Screw: The ending. And how so ...
  • My God, What Have I Done??: When Enim pulls/drags Beringer off the cliff.
  • Properly Paranoid: Enim.
  • Teens Are Monsters: It takes place at an all-boys boarding school. Enough said.
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  • Wham Line: For For Karl when Enim blames him for his mother's suicide.