shopping cart
nothing in cart
browse by subject
new releases
best sellers
sale books
browse by author
browse by publisher
about us
upcoming events
Mar 22nd - A Reading and Book Signing By Dr. James Maskalyk, The Art of Medicine Speakers' Series []
Mar 26th - Understanding and Managing Aggressive Behaviour (UMAB) Certificate: 2-Day or 3-Day Program [SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health / Hincks-Dellcrest Institute]
Mar 26th - 6-Day Certificate in Trauma Counselling for Front-Line Workers [CMHA Peel Dufferin]
Mar 27th - An Evening with Patrick J. Kennedy [MDAO - Mood Disorders Association of Ontario]
Mar 30th - Easter Weekend [the legislators of statutory holidays]
schools agencies and other institutional orders (click here)

In Praise of Forgetting by David Rieff

I have two uncles who haven't spoken to one another in at least fifty years. It is widely thought that neither of them know why. They are not enlisting “the ethical imperative of forgetting so that life can go on”. Instead they ignore their own forgetfulness of the original offence and continue on, stubbornly, in silence. I have now grossly oversimplified, and irresponsibly distorted, what David Rieff is on about in his latest book. I will dive in to that now. The quotation above cannot be applied across the board but Rieff does a bang up job of discussing where it can be, to what degree, and to what end. At first I was annoyed that this spunky little 145 page gremlin did not have an index. With a great thinker cited about once every half-page, or so, it would do well to be able to look up their whereabouts later. After prancing through this little devil, however, I found the absence of such a thing to be no biggie. The reader embarks on a guided journey through a huge number of morsels of history, academia, and beyond. Rieff references a lot of great minds, Friedrich Nietsche, Hubert Butler, Hannah Arendt, among so many others, and each submission from his well read brain contributes to tension that has glorious release whenever he takes the wheel to do his own explaining. When landing on a paragraph where the man himself inserts some of his own careful points the enjoyment is akin to my memory of what a pint of Guinness tastes like (gluten causes me severe nasal problems— I have not had Guinness for years). This book is, at times, not as much an argument for forgetfulness as it is a responsible attack on the hazards of collective memory. Particularly the collective memory of a mob or political machine that is driven by momentum rather than facts. All in all it is a lovely survey of forgetfulness as an alternative to the numerous road blocks thrown up by the molestation, intentional or not, of history as it is recalled. While using world events as lily pads Rieff presents an analysis that could as easily be applied to selective political memory as it could to my grudged-up uncles. Well worth a read. I'll bet some of you will finish it while waiting for your computer to start up. My laptop is old and slow you see. I keep forgetting to update it.
--reviewed by Neil Hendry

by: Neil

Click here to reach the Caversham Booksellers News & Discussion site, and read about authors, books, publishing, conferences and psychology on the web. You'll find a link to a Calendar of Events - see upcoming workshops and conferences; add new event listings as you hear of them. We've also added a News Feed and a Web Search using the Open Directory Project categories.

Caversham Booksellers
98 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S 1G6 Canada
(click for map and directions)
All prices in $cdn
Copyright 2014

Phone toll-free (800) 361-6120
Tel (416) 944-0962 | Fax (416) 944-0963
Hours: 9-6 M-W / 9-7 Th-F / 10-6 Sat / 12-5 Sun EST

Click here to read previous issues.
More Reviews
The Gift of Therapy by Irvine Yalom
Bellevue Square by Michael Redhill
Be More Cat: Life Lessons from Our Feline Friends by Alison Davies
Dramatic Dialogue: Contemporary Clinical Practice by Galit Atlas and Lewis Aron
F*ck Feelings: One Shrink's Practical Advice for Managing All Life's Impossible Problems by Michael I. Bennett and Sarah Benn
Five Constraints on Predicting Behavior by Jerome Kagan
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
Grit: The Power and Passion of Perseverance by Angela Duckworth
The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks
Claiming Anishinaabe: Decolonizing the Human Spirit by Lynn Ghel