Friday, January 15, 2021

Losing the Memory of the Experience

Friday, January 15, 2021

You write a thing down because you’re hoping to get a hold on it. You write about experiences partly to understand what they mean, partly not to lose them to time. To oblivion. But there’s always the danger of the opposite happening. Losing the memory of the experience itself to the memory of writing about it. Like people whose memories of places they’ve traveled to are in fact only memories of the pictures they took there. In the end, writing and photography probably destroy more of the past than they ever preserve of it. So it could happen: by writing about someone lost—or even just talking too much about them—you might be burying them for good."

~Sigrid Nunez, The Friend, 2020

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