Fragments: Indexing Memory

A collection of ‘fragments’ on memory, history and mourning in commemoration of Gaza

And the dead –
What time are they due back?  

– Joe Bolton, In Search of the Other World

The act of mourning….becomes a continued way of ‘speaking to’  the other who is gone, even though the other is gone, in spite of the fact that the other is gone, precisely because that other is gone.

– Judith Butler,  “Jaques Derrida”

Your death and our death:
Are two different deaths.

–  Wladyslaw Szlengel, “Two Deaths”

It is clearly impossible to return to point zero, to eliminate everything that has happened and retrieve the illusory moment of purity…for this would amount to…a vain attempt to cancel the past. But it also impossible for any Palestinian to honestly pretend that the trauma of 1948, or of the subsequent dispossessions and forced exiles which afflicted us and continue to do so, are no longer central to our lives. Nothing makes much sense without those memories and that history

– Omar Al Qattan, Nakba: Palestine, 1948 & the Claims of Memory


Our losses: between two and eight martyrs each day.
And ten wounded.
And twenty homes.
And fifty olive trees…
Added to this the structural flaw that
Will arrive at the poem, the play, and the unfinished canvas.

–  Mahmoud Darwish, “Under Siege”

Who says that all must vanish? 
Who knows, perhaps the flight 
of the bird you wound remains, 
and perhaps flowers survive 
caresses in us, in their ground.

– Rainer Maria Rilke, What Survives”

In reality the dead suffer a fate which the Jews in the olden days considered the worst possible curse:  they are expunged from the memory of those who live on.

– T.W. Adorno & Max Horkheimer, The Dialectics of Enlightenment

In the ruins of monu-memorialization, there are only gaps.

– Jacques Derrida, The Work of Mourning

The cruelty of memory manifests itself in remembering what is dispelled in forgetfulness.

– Naguib Mahfouz, Echoes from an Autobiography

.the contradictions and antinomies of our life remain as they are, assembled neither into neat wholes nor into sentimental ruminations about the past. Fragments, memories, disjointed scenes, intimate particulars.

– Edward Said,  After the Last Sky

What I have called the fragment—a weaver’s diary, a collection of poem’s by an unknown poet…..women’s songs, family geneaologies and local traditions of history—is of central importance in challenging the state’s construction of history, in thinking other histories and marking those contested spaces in which some unities are constituted and others destroyed

– Gyanendra Pandey, In Defense of the Fragment

It is the essence of power that it accrues to those with the ability to determine the nature of the real. They authorize the language, the grammar, the vocabulary within which others live their lives.

-Arthur Miller, (Excerpt from his notebook)

4 thoughts on “Fragments: Indexing Memory”

  1. and how ignorant are we,all the developed nations and humanity,who can save the animal from cuelty but cannot save the humans cruelty aginst another innocent and oppressed. How hippocrate of us all. embarrased HB

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