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            Peter Tijhuis Photography

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on forgetting

This project is part of the 'Wandelweg' project. They are portraits of people, taken during interviews about their memories of this area in Amsterdam. I was inspired by a fragment of an interview with Jorge Luis Borges in 1968. He talks about the working of memory and, perhaps even more important, about forgetting.

...Borges began to think back to his childhood, and to his father, a lawyer with a passion for the psychology of memory. Many years before, his father remarked that he thought he could recall his childhood when “we first came to Buenos Aires, but now I know I can’t.” “Why?” Jorge asked.
His father answered with a theory of forgetting that lingered with his son for decades afterwards. “I think if I recall something,” his father said, “for example, if today I look back on this morning, then I get an image of what I saw this morning. But if tonight I’m thinking back on this morning, then what I’m really recalling is not the first image but the first image in memory. So every time I recall something, I’m not recalling it really, I’m recalling the last time I recalled it. I’m recalling my last memory of it. So in reality, I have no memories whatsoever, about my childhood, about my youth.”

 

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