Memory

Memory

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World of memory is immensely big. In some senses, it touches all that is human - but also much more. It belongs to times and places over which we have virtually no control, but that seem available. It spreads through the environment, technology and networks in the world that technologically progresses, but thanks to them the forgetfulness is a characteristic of social life. The term of memory, in relation to its identity and the implicit gap that we can see between our own subjective presents and pasts, is basically founded on the separation and our own state of mind about experiencing a kind of irretrievable loss. Based on this understanding we remember, because we have lost or distanced ourselves from our own origin, from the past and our true home. This past pulls us and stimulates memory that is seen as the core of our own identity in the modern world that is determined by the turbulent commotions and separations, as well as the end the ancient tradition.

Memory is our sense of where we belong, and how we relate and connect to others. We worry that ageing makes us forgetful, because at its worst, forgetting collapses the entire basis of personal and social life. But as technology for computer data storage improves, it seems that whatever anxieties we might have about forgetting particular information, the latest technological fix will allow us to leap into a new future where human limits on remembering become increasingly irrelevant. Why worry about memory, if all that remains is to find robust means of retrieving and reading its 'data'?

This book explores how we have come to live with and within 'memory'. It shows how for some philosophers the identity of the self resides in a set of overlapping memories - and one might argue that to be human is to remember - to see oneself as a being in time, with a past and a future. Yet at the same time, by presenting us with our past lives, our memories can undo our present sense of time and place. Moreover, in the digital age we are immersed in a vast archive of data that colours our everyday experiences and supplies us with information on anything we might otherwise have forgotten, arguably breaking down the distinction between the memories of the individual and the collective.

Scanlan draws on history, philosophy and technology to offer a sustained investigation of how we can comprehend recollection, whether elusive or vivid. Engaging and inspiring, Memory: Encounters with the Strange and Familiar explores how the nature of memory itself has been remade over time; and how, as a historical, technological, and collective phenomenon, it is continually remaking everyday life.

John Scanlan is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. He is the author of On Garbage (2004) and Van Halen: Exhuberant California, Zen Rock'n'Roll (2012).

  • ISBN: 978-953-7177-97-3
  • Dimensions: 128x200 mm
  • Number of pages: 224
  • Cover: paperback
  • Year of the edition: 2015
  • Original title: Memory
  • Original language: English
  • Translation: Damir Biličić