Sunday, April 22, 2007

Who Knew?

Man, the Holocaust is depressing... writing a paper about Reznikoff's Holocaust is really causing me to rethink my focus on trauma and representation. I mean, its super interesting, but I feel like I'm in a fog all day after working on it. I know this sounds fairly flippant but really, I'm starting to think I should focus my future eforts on works a little less dark. I've had enough pain and sadness in my life, why do I need to emerse myself in it as a career? Yet, I find I'm continually drawn to issues of historical trauma, like it's somehow my responsibilty to face them, work on/through them. I've always felt (well, since i can remember) that I was sort of the memory depositor for my family. Like I have been assigned the task of carrying the lost memories of my family (most of whom are dead now), and this sense of responsibility has grown to include the choices and issues I've been focusing on in my academic work. There's this feeling I have that I can't do anything but work to redeem the past--and as grandiose as that may sound, it's not meant to. I don't mean the Past, I mean, like Reznikoff, all the little moments that make up a person's life, all their memories, are what must be--but can never be--preserved. I now have memories that were once my mother's memories--of dresses she wore, boys she dated, fights she had--these memories that filled in my sense of who she was, what she cared about; and I have memories of my grandmother's memories--her passage to America from what was then Autria-Hungary, her struggle to "make it" in Detroit, her shame at her reading disability as a young girl, for which she was beaten and humiliated, since that was, of course, not known in the early 1900's as what we now know to be dyslexia. I feel responsible to and for these memories of others, and I feel haunted and burdened by them at the same time. In some major and terrible way they are what comprises my own sense of self; I don't know why I have always been drawn to other's memories, perhaps because they were the way I found to connect as a child who came into a family that was crumbling when I entered it--the past was what was most alive and enjoyable, it made my relatives happy to talk about the past...well, for the most part. Ah, this isn't helping.....

2 comments:

jazznoize said...

suicide-galaxie 500-spacemen 3-my bloody valentine...really good, the music likes me it´s the same. im from spain. good videos.
adiĆ³s.

kfd313 said...

thanks, you obviously have good taste in music as well. Too bad I don't read Spanish, your blog looks interesting.... and nice Belmondo pic!