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)
“The Forest at the End of the Hall,” by Lara Ek, is a truly epic voyage through a strange faerie country by the granddaughters of the moon. (November 20)
An Arthurian origin-story of Excalibur becomes its own eerie inversion in “The Girl Beneath,” by Angela Teagardner. (November 27)