“the translated image of the past creates a compelling imprint in the present”

1 Jul

“Whether memory serves to place a personal moment in historical context, fights to reconcile the present with the past, or seeks to transform, it serves.  And while many may believe that history demands a cool objectivity, divorced from emotion and coupled with uncompromising accuracy, history itself is bared as a construal, usually written by the pen of the victor.  For precisely this reason there is nothing more emotionally true, nothing more authentic than what you think you knew, what you think you saw, what might have been and what you know presently; the translated image of the past creates a compelling imprint in the present. ”

For all of us struggling to write (or read, yes, read) memoir, and maybe especially if we feel we are not struggling with the role of memory in writing, Airea Matthews’ essay speaks.

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