Essay: Disorders Of Memory

Washington is in the grip of a memorial epidemic. The success of the Viet Nam Memorial has spawned demand for more. Memorials are in progress to Korean War vets, to black Revolutionary War patriots, to women in military service, to law-enforcement heroes, to women in Viet Nam, to Francis Scott Key, to Kahlil Gibran (!). The hunger for memory etched in stone is exactly what one would expect from a culture that, having just now transcended paper and entered the radically ephemeral world of video, finds itself living in an ever moving pastless present.

The first casualty is memory. Every advance...

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