Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Eclipse of the Memory

What is the benefit of reading poetry for example? And to make the question more answerless we can add "since you will forget most of what you have read?"

Lately I found a movie which was issued back in the 90s, "Total Eclipse: Rimbaud and Verlaine". I was estranged to the emotional unrest of Rimbaud and Verlaine. Back in the 90s a friend lent me a book about Rimbaud, a book that I liked to a degree that I photocopied it. And since not more than 2 months I have bought a new book about the life and poetry of Rimbaud. But when I saw the movie it seemed that I am getting to know Rimbaud for the first time in my life.

When I reached the scene where Verlaine shot Rimbaud's hand with a gun I stopped watching the movie and thought that it is more fictional than real and went to the book that I bought since 2 months and found, to my surprise, that I have underlined the phrase which talks about that same incident: "Verlaine had shot Rimbaud's hand with a gun". I have even put an exclamation mark in front of the phrase.

While seeing the movie I get interested in one of Rimbaud's peoms named: "Sensations". I have googled it and read it gain and again. When I was consulting the book I read before 2 months I found that the same poem is present in the book and that I have added notes to it and put circles and lines around some of the lines.

It is evident that while reading the same poem, just 2 months after, I have no any recollection of any of its parts.

So again, why we read things like poetry? Not only that, why we do read since we will forget?

Is it about the pleasure of the moment? Does it leave a non-specific trace, for example, an emotional tone, an unconsious emotional tone toward somethings? Does it affect our Amygdala, for example?

More seriously, reading an autobiography, is meant to add to our experience of life, but since I am forgetting the autobiographies I read, what should I continue?

I think I am forgetting the details and getting some generalizations. Some concepts that I find difficult to underline here in this post. Rimbaud is ventilating my tendecy of rebellion in my inhibited society. Does Rimbaud's autobiography is an answer to the experience of rebelion?

No question about it, reading an important book once sometimes is not sufficient. No question about it reading a book as a must do thing trying to finnish it as fast as possible is a bad practice. Reading a book, for me, should be slower, since I seem to read so fast, and superficiously.

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