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History and memory support one another
- Baker precedes on a journey to unravel past of parents
- Genia relies on Baker = gaps in memory, relied on history
- figurative + objective language + documents = historical support for flawed memory
- *** memory also fills in history
- failed to provide Yossl's "exact date of birth", he says that he was "born sometime in the month of March"--> both integrate = build to more accurate
Memory captures life history fails to
- memory plays significiant part history fails to
- Genia "hiding in darkness"metaphorically symbolizes = haunting memories that became distorted due to burdened minds of past
- = difficult for Baker to immerse himself
- "pitch black" repetition
- juxtaposes non emotional history with sensory imagery
- RELATED TEXT:Judith W's poem "A Document" recounts the historical event of signing a contract for deforestation
- first line = anonymous voice/impersonal imperative "sign there" = devoid of personal
- "a flesh-pink plaint wood" "bark smells sweetly"alliteration + sensory = specific features history misses out
History is objective, memory is subjective
- clash between two when Yossl informs ...
- "it was cold. Winter"
- "it was warm. Autumn"concise sentences + caesura = confidence of what both believe
- as notions clash = memory's fallibility
- Yossl = cold from fear = altering memory = believe to be winter
- opposing ideas --> understand that memory is personal interpretation, history is valid truth
History needs memory to recall more accurately
- Baker = historian = cold
- "I only recognise suffering in numbers and lists and not in the... please of a human being"highly emotive = brutality of past history doesnt catch
- first person = personally delivers explanation of holocaust in a way dry historical discourse cant
- onamatopoeia = "tak tak tak" "left.right.left"= brings life to historical documentation
- ---> h&m enlighten on past events in a way it alone could not "It's perspective I value"
History needs memory to recall accurately - Related Text
- contrasting perspectives of history and memory, benefit of understanding both
- = first stanza "I signed"= short succinct = history's view
- throughout stanzas, slowly unravel memory's view
- last stanza = "I set upon this land my signature"
- juxtaposing history's bland view
- metaphorical language = memory's facet of event
- understanding both = more extensively educates
Alone or together can not fully capture the past
- as resourceful as the combiation are, still does not seem to obtain full capacity of past
- "gates" = chapters
- each gate = more knowledge
- archive = "fiftieth gate...refers to...the highest knowledge of God"Jewish mysticism = cannot retain totality of event
- "it always begins in darkness, until the first light illuminates a fragment of memory"= cyclical --> limitless capacity of knowledge
- ---> even together, can not understand fully past event
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