shopping cart
nothing in cart
browse by subject
new releases
best sellers
sale books
browse by author
browse by publisher
about us
upcoming events
Jan 18th - Bringing Understanding, Turning Differences into Strengths | OAFM Professional Develoment Day [Ontario Association for Family Mediation]
Jan 19th - Introduction to Using Dialectical Behaviour Therapy in Individual Sessions [SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health / Hincks-Dellcrest Institute]
Jan 22nd - Collaborative Therapeutic In-Session Note Taking [SickKids Centre for Community Mental Health / Hincks-Dellcrest Institute]
Jan 25th - Compassionate Inquiry with Gabor Maté [Leading Edge Seminars]
Jan 25th - Finding Clarity Amidst Chaos: An Introduction to the Ancient Practice of Mussar (Jewish character development) [Jewish Family Institute and the Village Shul]
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

More Reviews
Collected Tarts and Other Indelicacies by Tabatha Southey
Intimacy, Change, and Other Therapeutic Mysteries : Stories of Clinicians and Clients by David C. Treadway
Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life Adam Phillips
Queer: a Graphic History by Meg-John Barker and Julia Scheele
The Last Asylum by Barbara Taylor
The Unsayable by Annie Rogers
When the Sun Bursts by Christopher Bollas
The Myth of Sanity by Martha Stout
How Emotions Are Made by Lisa Feldman Barrett
Where I Live Now by Sharon Butala