Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Eco. Subtitle. His residence. 2015.

1.      As Humans, when we say “I,” we mean our Memory. Therefore Memory is Soul. If somebody loses his Memory, he becomes like a Plant, and he hasn’t got a Soul anymore. Even for a believer, Hell has no Meaning without Memory. Punishment lies in constantly remembering the Sins committed. So we are our own Memory. Moving ahead in Time, older Memories come back. I remember now Things from my Childhood I didn’t recall before. The Realm of our Memory gets bigger and bigger, therefore the older one gets, the more Soul he has. A grown up Man has more Soul than an Infant.
2.      Memory is selective. We cancel or forget Things we did not like, and we keep the Memory of Things we liked, but in a distorted Way. This is what NeuroSciences confirm. There’s a static Way to consider the Past, which is typical of reactionary Groups. They repossess what is suitable for them. Revolutionary Groups, instead, try to erase Memory. “Forget everything that was before. Let’s start from Scratch.”
3.      Shared Memories mean common Identity. We can’t think of ourselves as Europeans if we are not able to restore an european Identity. There’s a parallel to individual Memory, which is the Library, the vegetal Memory. Libraries are Mankind’s common Memory. So you see, common Memory and Reading are connected, and so are Books through their Preservation. Since Alexandria of Egypt, the Idea of a Library, of a Museum is the Continuity of Memory. A Library is both Symbol and Reality of common Memory. When Dante sees God in Paradise, how does he tackle the uneasy Job to describe God? This way: “A single Volume where lies everything that is scattered through the Universe...” He sees God as the Library of all Libraries.
4.      The Problem concerning Memory that I feel most urgently today was foretold in the [19]50’s by Isaac Asimov[]. He imagined a Society completely run by Computers, where, during a War, a Blackout stopped everything. So military Intelligence started looking for the only Man who still knew Multiplicationtables by Heart. [] And this Man was captured by the Pentagon, because he was the only one who could keep the War running and defeat the Enemies. It was a prophetic Tale. People less and less do Mathematics in their Head, because they’re used to pushing a Button. This will end up causing Memory to atrophy in younger Generations. You see it all the Time. My Colleagues tell me that after thirty minutes, their Students don’t remember anything they said unless they took Notes.
5.      Semantic Memory is what we know about the World while incidental Memory is what we learn from personal Experience. There were cases where people kept their semantic Memory, but they lost their incidental Memory. They remembered who Napoleon was but had no Recollection of their own Mother. I don’t know why and how this happens. It depends on some Aspect of the Brainstructure. Hence the Idea of my Book: recovering one’s personal Memory, by Means of Pieces of public Memory. “La misteriosa fiamma della regina Loana” was kind of antiProust, rediscovering the Past through external Objects, not through internal Memories.
6.      We are made of Time, we live in Time, through we don’t have a real Definition of Time. And living in Time, we are like athlete: to spring forward, he must back up first. If he does not take a Runningstart, he can’t jump ahead. It’s the three Ecstasies of Temporality according to Heidegger: Past, Present, Future. Which is what St. Augustin said, too. Without Memory, there is no Soul, and to imagine the Future, we need a Soul.
7.      “We are like Dwarfs on the Shoulders of Giants...” It’s a memorable Piece of Writing ascribed to Newton, who actually quoted it, but in fact it’s much older. It goes back to the Middle Ages, probably back to Bernard of Chartres. It’s meaningful that it comes from the Middle Ages, an Era considered illdisposed toward Innovations, because everybody had to be faithful to Revelation. But in time, many Innovations were enacted, only they had to pretend otherwise. And so we have this delightfully hypocritical Statement: for Giants are much more important to us, but sitting on their Shoulders, we can look farther than them, id est, we admiringly respect all that went past, but we can add something our own to it.
8.      Fathers die when they stop telling us what they know, and begin asking us something new. I remember my Father spending Nights reading my Dissertation. [Accurate.] It was full of Quotations in Latin, which he did not speak; [Accurate.] it was about Thomas of Aquinas’s Philosophy, which he did not grasp, [Accurate.] but he read it till the End. He had stopped telling me his own Stories, and he was willing to hear something from me.
9.      Lists and Catalogues always fascinated me. Has a list anything to do with Memory? Yes. It’s a way to gather whatever is known about something without being forced to organise it. The first list is to be found in Homer’s Iliad. The Poet does not know how to describe the Greatness and the Power of the greek Fleet, and so he enumerates the Ships.
10.   Getting old, if you’re not ill with Dementia or Alzheimer, Memory grows. It’s not true that with age you remember less. If you are in good Health, you remember more. Today I remember Things from my Childhood that I didn’t before. Our Memory’s Realm grows. Memories from our Childhood which had been totally remouved surface. One strange Thing that’s happening to me is this. As a Kid, I never spoke Dialect. My Parents talked to me in Italian, but since everybody around me spoke Dialect, I understood it, though I was never able to speak it. Now I speak it perfectly. Sound of wind. It came up like this. And in this way do so many other things of my Youth. The day I die, I’ll remember everything.

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