On the Sea of Forgetting Cover Image

A felejtés tengerén
On the Sea of Forgetting

Author(s): András Keszei
Subject(s): History
Published by: KORALL Társadalomtörténeti Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: Although it often remains unnoticed, memory is inseparable from forgetting. The process of remembering, which includes different stages from experiencing to encoding and retrieval would be impossible without the selection of forgetting. It is necessary in order to unburden the human mind, which would otherwise suffer from serious problems related to the processing of surplus information. We cannot pay attention to everything happening in our environment. There is too much information to be processed, but even more important is the fact that we simply do not need that much for our ordinary lives. What we will not forget has relevance in regard to our personal aims, self understandings, norms and values which are embedded in wider sociocultural contexts. Forgetting as a deeply social phenomenon is operating through well defined social mechanisms. Remembering in social context is based on communication. Unmentioned information or certain aspects of the original information are likely to fade away. The more we are silent about certain memories the less they can spread in society and become part of the collective memory of the wider society. Traumatic pasts that may haunt whole social groups cannot be easily worked through in the context of silence. We tried to examine the workings of forgetting and silence by analyzing examples from twentieth century hungarian history.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 50
  • Page Range: 138-160
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Hungarian