How do you tell your teenager about your past, when you were their age, and not bore them to exasperation within thirty seconds with your sloppy nostalgia? I don’t know. Nevertheless, that was the impetus for writing my article published today.
The Promise Of Remembered Soundtracks
7 October 2013
In Tony Judt’s essay “Hannah Arendt and Evil” (1995), which is included in his book Reappraisals, Judt described the drive of people like Arthur Koestler, Primo Levi, Manès Sperber and Hannah Arendt to keep an accurate memory of the past, which they experienced, alive in the present:
“They were all ‘chance survivors of a deluge,’ as she [Hannah Arendt] put it in a 1947 dedication to [Karl] Jaspers, and wherever they ended up, in New York, Paris, or Rome, they were constrained, like Camus’s Sisyphus, to push the boulder of memory and understanding up the thankless hill of public forgetting for the rest of their lives.”
I am an incidental survivor of the Vietnam War, and “The Promise Of Remembered Soundtracks” is about that and popular music. For some readers it will also be about children and continuity. I am not claiming profundity or great insight here, merely truthfulness in recollection. I have been remembering the past, and my past, spurred by the questioning of a child of today emerging as an adult. I hope you listen to the music I cite in this article (skip the ads).
The first installment of my reminiscences (no music) was:
Overtones Of Awareness
8 September 2013
I’ll end here with this from 1971 (the best year of my life):
“Blue Sky”, Duane Allman’s Solo, at Stonybrook, 1971-09-19