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The Claims of Memory

I write in defense of memory. Not Memory in her gaudy mythological form, the Titan goddess Mnemosyne, mother of the nine Muses—but memory as the glue that holds our lives together and imposes order and continuity amid the blooming buzzing confusion of sensations, thoughts, and activities that . . . . Continue Reading »

The Politics of Memory

In January 2020, the Socialist government of Spain, led by Pedro Sánchez, proposed a bill of profound cultural and political significance: a “Law of Historical and Democratic Memory.” If adopted, this law will bring to completion a twenty-year effort on the part of the Spanish left to limit . . . . Continue Reading »

Learning by Heart

In Darwin, Australia, sometime in 1958, an old man lay dying in hospital. He asked to see—of all people—the British writer ­Malcolm Muggeridge. They didn’t know each other, but ­Muggeridge was touring Australia and the old man had heard him on the radio. As ­Muggeridge recalled it, . . . . Continue Reading »

D.C. Gets its Gehry

Washington, D.C.’s cultural apparatchiks have long hankered for a Frank Gehry showpiece. On the eve of the new millennium, the director of Washington’s Corcoran Gallery implored Gehry, then basking in accolades for his titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, to enter a competition to . . . . Continue Reading »

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