A Primer for Forgetting: Getting Past the Past

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When I was young, I felt that I could entertain myself in old age through the memories I made while young. In later life, I realized that many of my memories were painful. How many of us would like to forget the past? The subtitle of this book is Getting Past the Past. In order to prove and somewhat disprove his thesis that much of the past is worth forgetting, the author relies on a variety of sources. The book is free form and does not build to a certain point of view, but considers the question of memory from different angles. Some of the book is quite poetic and thoughtful but much of it seems scattered. The lack of structure seems to be intentional since the author’s thoughts and quotations are wide-ranging. Not only because of the prevalence of Alzheimer’s in the aging population, but also because of the recent rethinking of Confederate civil war statues that this book has relevance. Can and should we erase the past in order to operate within the present moment without reference to what came before? An interesting idea and a subject worth the exploration.

Reviewed By:

Author Lewis Hyde
Star Count 3.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 3873 pages
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publish Date 2019-06-18
ISBN 9780374237219
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue November 2019
Category Self-Help


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