Memory’s bright paintbox

Was memory ever photographic, or was it better understood as painterly.

Was memory ever photographic, or was it better understood as painterly.

Section 82 gets philosophical

He was interested in memories. But they were so dependent on the filter of the present. More than that, some fundamental human experiences do not submit to memory at all. Birth and Death for example. The philosopher Merleau-Ponty recognised these as pre-personal horizons. Heidegger insisted moreover that no-one could die your death for you and probably you wouldn’t experience it either, only its approach. The trouble was that these capable continentals seemed to have said so much he wanted to say already.

Vernon wiped the rain out of his eyes, noticing with satisfaction that the sun was winning the battle of titans. It was drying up. His thoughts turned to borrowed memories. If you can’t remember formative events that are your ‘birthright’, do you have any kind of right to them at all? His parent’s recollections of Pune in India, the veranda and the ayah, the mosquito nets and the Holy Men, these potent images he’d inherited.

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