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Sunday, October 25, 2009

mnemosyne

How very fitting it turns out to be that Mnemosyne, daughter of Earth, granddaughter of Chaos, mother to the muses, lover of Zeus, and the creator of memory and reason… is nearly forgotten. Whispered in the writings of Greek legends, it is she who first gave us designation, recognition, recollection, acknowledgment and imagination. There are very few written accounts of her legends, and I think I like it that way.  "Please assume ... that there is in our souls a block of wax, in one case larger, in another smaller, in one case the wax is purer, in another more impure and harder, in some cases softer, and in some of proper quality...Let us, then, say that this is the gift of Memory, the mother of the Muses, and that whenever we wish to remember anything we see or hear or think of in our own minds, we hold this wax under the perceptions and thoughts and imprint them upon it, just as we make impressions from seal rings; and whatever is imprinted we remember and know as long as its image lasts, but whatever is rubbed out or cannot be imprinted we forget and do not know."


(Socrates to Theaetetus. Plato, Theaetetus 191d).

1 comments:

Michael said...

Perhaps she wanted to be forgotten. It would be easy for her to arrange it, if that were the case.

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