Memory is a type of storytelling. And there is a knife-edge to telling such stories. In one hand, the story becomes a means of provoking understanding. In another, it becomes a tool for deceit.
Beware memory’s pitfalls, deceptions, and false pieties! Beware its abusers and false prophets!
We live in a mediated society where what is true has become pliable, arguable, where memory is subject to reinterpretation and loses its reality, under siege by mad-eyed crusaders and desperate con artists bent on reshaping our world to their own purposes, through cant, through revanchism, through base demagoguery.
The best stories, even the deepest fictions, will tell us true things. We must learn, as a society, to recognize the truths and the falsehoods in our stories.
We must tell our stories truly, so that we never forget.
The Fabulist Words & Art: Remember, Remember
November 2020 • Vol. 14, No. 8
In “The Siege,” by Heather Bourbeau, the hard-won gifts of peace and prosperity are squandered by their idle, inattentive, cruel inheritors. (November 6)
Colin Newton’s “Worse Than Wolves” is a vividly surreal vignette of cocktails and quasi-lycanthropic transformation. (November 13)
In “Just After You Open Your Eyes,” Northern California artist Theresa Pisani shares painterly visions of a world of dreams that fade in the morning sun. (November 20)
Angela Teagardner’s “The Girl Beneath” reimagines the origin story of the Lady of the Lake; it’s an eerie inversion of an ancient Arthurian tale. (November 27)