BOOKS & TEXT REFERENCES

AGAINST REMEMBRANCE. DAVID RIEFF

In Against Remembrance, David Rieff provocatively argues that the business of remembrance, particularly of the great tragedies of the past, are policitised events of highly selective memory. Rather than ending injustices, as we expect it to, collective memory in so many cases dooms us to an endless cycle of vengeance. Humanity, he says, simply cannot cope with the true ambivalence of historical events. And if we remember only partially, how can our memories serve us, or our society, as well as we hope?

The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers

The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers is a book (ISBN 0-618-21919-6) by Daniel Schacter, former chair of Harvard University‘s Psychology Department and a leading memory researcher.

The book revolves around the theory that «the seven sins of memory» are similar to the Seven deadly sins, and that if you try to avoid committing these sins, it will help to improve your ability to remember. He argues that these features of human memory are not necessarily bad, and that they actually serve a useful purpose in memory. For instance, persistence is one of the sins of memory that can lead to things like post traumatic stress syndrome. However persistence is also necessary for long-term memory, and so it is essential.