Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Whose Memories Are These Anyway?

We possess all our memories but not the faculty of recalling them [...] What then is a memory which we do not recall? Or indeed let us go further. We do not recall oru memories of the last thirty years; but we are wholly steeped in them; why then stop short at thirty years, why not extend this previous life back to before our birth? If I do not know a whole section of the memories that are behind me, if they are invisible to me, if I do not have the faculty of calling them to me, how do I know whether in that mass which is unknown to me there may not be some that extend back much further than my human existence? If I can have in me and round me so many memories which I do not remember, this oblivion (a de facto oblivion, at least, since I have not the faculty of seeing anything) may extend over a life which I have lived in the body of another man, even on another planet. The being that I shall be after death has no more reason to remember the man I have been since my birth than the latter to remember what I was before it.


The title is my memory failing...a call back to H's blog.

Who writes these stories of the past? Who writes your stories of the past?

4 comments:

Horacio said...

So, according to Proust, we are the person that is the result of things we can't even remember? I love this idea...
where are those memories that we can't recall? are they imprinted in our bodies? so i guess not one memory ever dissapear?

Lolabola said...

and are memories really some kind of permanent thing? aren't they always changing? is it possible the time we remember has changed while we weren't looking?

John B-R said...

Horacio: "according to Proust, we are the person that is the result of things we can't even remember?" According to Freud, too.

Memories are fictions, rewritten every time they come to mind.


Nobody writes my stories of the past. Nobody I know, at least ...

argel said...

"But let a noise or a scent, once heard or once smelt, be heard or smelt again in the present and at the same time in the past, real without being actual, ideal without being abstract, and immediately the permanent and habitually concealed essence of things is liberated and our true self, which seemed - had perhaps for long years seemed - to be dead but was not altogether dead, is awakened and reanimated as it receives the celestial nourishment that is brought to it." M.Proust. "In Search of Lost Time" Vo. VI. p. 264.

I loved this post!