The Deaths of Others, by John Tirman

Friedrich Nietzsche observed that the human capacity to forget is not solely the result of inertia: "It is rather an active and in the strictest sense positive faculty of repression." According to Nietzsche, we forget not merely because we have to but because we want to—and we forget selectively, picking and choosing what we remember in order to construct the world in which we choose to live. At times such willful forgetting is an act of self-defense and even empowerment, but more often than not it is an act of self-deception. Frequently the results are tragic.

 

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