Essay on The Art Of Forgetting by Adrian Forty

Essay on The Art Of Forgetting by Adrian Forty

Length: 876 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The introduction to Adrian Forty’s “The Art of Forgetting” discusses the uncertain relationship between memory and material objects, particularly regarding societal/ collective memory. Forty builds upon three distinctive points concerning objects and memory to illustrate the doubts in the Aristotelian tradition. He suggests that objects are agents to forgetting and that there is a process to remembering. With this argument Forty establishes a means of further understanding collective memory.

For Aristotle objects are “material enactments of mental decay. […] If objects are made to stand for memory, the decay or destruction of the object implies forgetting” (Forty 4). The issue here is that memory does not lend to a physical description and physical objects endure a different decaying process than that of mental material (Forty 6). This leads to doubts in the relationship between memory and material objects.

These doubts appear through the assumption that objects can replace mental memory. The first of the three is ephemeral monuments, which suggests that “collective memory doesn’t dwell on material objects,” and we get rid of what we don’t want to remember (Forty 5). Then there is Freud with his theory of mental process stating that repression of the ego is similar to forgetting, which is often intentional and desired (Forty 5). The third doubt is the Holocaust memorials, as they both desire to simultaneously remember and forget, challenged by the commemoration of the event without lessoning its severity (Forty 6). These problems illustrate how Western thought assumes forgetting to be more straightforward than it actually is.

Forty states that there are four principle categories that identify objects as agents to forgetting. ...


... middle of paper ...


...ly take its’ take place. This could allow for a larger audience and formation of collective memory on a global scale accessible form anywhere in the world with accommodating technology. The down side to advancements like this would be the loss of tactility and greater form of disconnection. Perhaps removing the shared experience with strangers at a site specific location may create a new issue with collective memory.

Aware of the lack of research on the topic, the introduction sets the footing to begin to understand how artistic practice and other methods of object making attend to issues related to collective memory. That said, what sorts of impact or influence does individual memory have on collective memory and its relationship with objects?



Works Cited

Forty, Adrian, and Susanne Küchler. "Introduction." The Art of Forgetting. Oxford: Berg, 1999. 1-18. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay about Men At Forty The Aging Process

- Men At Forty   The Aging Process Men At Forty   If asked what is the most miraculous thing in the world, most people would say that birth is definitely in the top five.  But, does anyone ever say that getting older, or even dying, is anywhere close to being a miracle?  Though we don’t look at it that way, it actually is a miracle in its own right.  The whole process of living and breathing, knowing that the end will eventually come is mind-boggling.  People just go about every day as if nothing were happening to them....   [tags: Forty]

Free Essays
622 words (1.8 pages)

Which Art Historical Method I Would Use: The Ideas of Erwin Panofsky and Adrian Piper

- ... Knowledge of a particular theme requires a respective cultural background. If one is not familiar with the theme of a work of art, then one must venture outside of the painting's frame and into educated sources that will provide the information that is needed in order to proceed to Panofsky's third step, the intrinsic meaning. The third step introduces the iconology of the painting; this step will urge the viewer to perform detective work in order to determine why the artist chose to depict aspects of the painting in a certain way....   [tags: art, historian, method, structure]

Better Essays
1172 words (3.3 pages)

A Feminist Reading of Cheever’s The Five-Forty-Eight Essay

- A Feminist Reading of The Five-Forty-Eight The short story "The Five-Forty-Eight" by John Cheever concerns the issue of a woman scorned by the inhumane treatment she has received by men, most notably that of Blake, whose oppression serves as the turning point in her life. This generalization is often the focus of a feminist criticism. Feminists believe that women should have equal rights as men, and they seek to "correct or supplement what they regard as a predominantly male-dominated critical perspective with a feminist consciousness" (Meyer 2014)....   [tags: Cheever five-forty-eight Essays]

Better Essays
1102 words (3.1 pages)

Control in Crews's Body and Cheever's Five-Forty-Eight Essay

- Control in Crews's Body and Cheever's Five-Forty-Eight Harry Crews's Body and John Cheever's "Five-Forty-Eight" offer characters whose lives lack control. Although Crews's Bateman is a perfecting, attractive, and popular body builder, his life does not satisfy him. However, from the outside Bateman appears happy and content. On the other hand, Cheever's Ms. Dent is skinny, shy, emotional, and disheveld. Her description reflects the unsteadiness and the insecurity in her life. Although Bateman's personality contrast with Ms....   [tags: Crews Body Cheever Five-Forty-Eight Essays]

Better Essays
862 words (2.5 pages)

Mayor Adrian Fenty Essay

- Adrian Fenty’s tenure as mayor of Washington D.C. is a perfect example of the impact of black elite displacement. For one thing, the difficulties faced by a political entrepreneur are the direct result of running a deracialized campaign. A deracialized candidate cannot ignore the black vote and the ideal of linked fate especially if African-Americans comprise a majority of the electorate. Additionally, elite displacement can be observed in an open race where the incumbent has picked a successor....   [tags: Political Entrepeneur, Black Elite Displacement]

Better Essays
904 words (2.6 pages)

The Art of Pacita Abad Essays

- The artist Pacita Abad was born in Basco, Batanes, a small island located near the most northern part of the Philippines. Her parent’s involvement in politics influenced her choice in her college education as well as her early art works. Prior to her career as a painter she received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of the Philippines. She continued on to law school and became more deeply involved in social and political activism for her people and against President Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos....   [tags: Art ]

Better Essays
2254 words (6.4 pages)

Good vs. Evil in John Cheever's The Five-Forty-Eight Essay

- Good vs. Evil in John Cheever's The Five-Forty-Eight John Cheever was an award winning American author of the twentieth century. His work often possessed 'psychological and religious vision' with central themes of 'sin, deception, and redemption' (Kennedy, 551). Cheever's short story entitled 'The Five-Forty-Eight' portrays a struggle of good vs. evil. Following the themes of sin, deception, and redemption, we read of a young woman (good) seeking revenge for the evil done to her. Through the course of the story the reader can distinguish between the traits of good and evil....   [tags: Five-Forty-Eight John Cheever Essays]

Better Essays
1310 words (3.7 pages)

The Study Of Imagery In Adrian Essay

- In all the aspects of literature, authors use literary devices to add suspense, depth and significance to their works. This concept is valid in 'Adrian Mole: The Wilderness Years'; by Sue Townsend . The diary-type story revolves around a young adult named Adrian, who constantly goes through the tragedies of life, but finally with some fortunate fate, achieves to live a life in which he cannot 'fail to see the happiness.'; (p 267) Therefore, in order to make the readers laugh at several tragedies of life, Townsend establishes an accurate use of the literary devices of irony, satire and exaggeration to create a humorous plot....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
1315 words (3.8 pages)

Forgetting and Hope Essay

- Forgetting, as defined by the Webster dictionary, means to be unable or fail to remember. There are many theories as to why people forget. Some of which include encoding failure, decay theory, interference, consolidation failure, motivated forgetting, and prospective forgetting. Encoding failure happens when the information was not stored in long-term memory in the first place. If information did not transfer from short-term memory to long-term memory, most likely the information will not be retained....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
863 words (2.5 pages)

Forgetting Essay example

- Forgetting 1. The greatest amount of forgetting occurs directly after finishing the learning task. 2.The greatest amount of forgetting occurs rapidly, during the first day. 3. Forgetting is still sizable during the first fourteen days. 4. Forgetting slows down after two weeks, but again there is not much left to forget. 5. Remembering what you have heard is usually more difficult than remembering what you have read. 6. Forgetting is sometimes incorrectly labelled. Normally the causes are 1) Pseudo-Forgetting - You never had it forgetting 2) Mental Blur forgetting....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
902 words (2.6 pages)