As with the majority of memories, the history of this blog—indeed most blogs—is the groundwork of a nostalgia that is either in the process of forming or has already become sedimented. A pre-emptive leap toward the uncharted future. Posts, punctuated into episodes, thrust into the world of desire, estrangement, transgression, otherness, and loss. So much concealed by a necessary obscurity. Details of a life, stripped of its privacy, and yet sunken into the distance. On occasion, I have gone back in time to amend posts that I imagine are floating adrift in the ether, no longer there to be read. An indulgence, to be sure. Details, prosaic and intimate, added to posts that are otherwise without specificity. Names. Places. A history given the flesh it lacked. In short: an untimely confession.
A lifeworld brought together through thoughts and memories. But how to stand in relation to this past? If I am honest, then I would have thought that I would be done with certain themes by now. I remember 2002. A specific urge to rid myself of an unmovable weight, to break the rhythm of the past, played out with the memory of a glass table and a kitchen. I was writing on (or more specifically through) Hegel, appropriating the theme of despair and unity as one of endings. And yet, the desired end simply spilled over into another metamorphosis, another series of episodes. Perhaps there is something farcical in this fixation, as though the close proximity between thinking and remembering was simply a side-effect of narcissism, and nothing more.
To be done? But that would mean the withering away of repetition, and no such diminishment seems impossible where memory and time are concerned. All that alters are the manner in which these themes are held toward reflection. With some reservation, I recognise these words of Cioran: “My vision of things has not fundamentally changed; what certainly has changed is the tone.” (Cioran, 1992, p. 251). Despite this, I do not – or no longer – share Cioran’s fatalism. The theme of “weariness” is a false problem, and certainly not a concern of mine. Indeed, far from experiencing a sense of “memory fatigue,” my turn toward the history of this blog (and of other blogs, too) is symptomatic of a broad struggle (philosophically and personally [if such a distinction can be made]) to reconcile how Sebald’s “the nervature of past life” can be absorbed by the present without a massive surge of Verfremdungeffekt. That struggle continues. Only now with an emphasis on other ways of experiencing the tension between memory and temporal continuity.