Friday, 17 June 2016
Religion and Cultural Memory (tr. Rodney Livingstone),
Jan Assmann, Stanford University Press, 2006, page 3
Aleida and Jan Assmann have coined the term 'communicative memory' to describe the social aspect of individual memory identified by Maurice Halbwachs. Emotions of every flavour and none define memories and provide a horizon, a conrext if you will, for them.
For a functioning communicative memory, forgetting is just as vital as remembering. This is why it is not 'photographic'. Remembering means pushing other things into the background, making distinctions, obliterating many things in order to shed light upon others. This is what brings horizon and perspective into individual memory spaces, and these perspectives are emotionally mediated.
In other words, we remember what we feel is important - either like or dislike - and suppress other memories to create contrast and distance.
Emotional emptiness, in contrast, points to arbitrariness of content. Only emotionallu cathected forms of communication bring structure, perspective, relevance, definition and horizon into memory.