Prufrock's Page

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The Virtues Of Forgetting

British psychoanalyst and writer Adam Philips has a provocative essay in Index On Censorship in which he says that remembering and commemorating the traumas of the past are over-rated activities; instead, we ought to learn to forget:

"To leave memory to itself, forgetting is required; the time-lag, the metabolism, the deferrals of forgetting. Forgetting has to be allowed for if memory – non-compliant, unmanufactured memory – is to have a chance. But giving memory a chance may not be the kind of thing we are willing to risk now. After so many memorials it may be worth wondering now what a Museum of Forgetting could be a museum of?"


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