…or memory. Following a trip to the archives at the University of Regina, I immediately thought about how much information I’ve shredded, or tossed, or simply deleted. I’m left wondering how much I will remember years from now, and how much I will forget. The UofR archives are home to numerous writers, but the most famous are Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane. How much do we save, and why do we need to save it? This question has been on my mind longer than the archive session. The question goes back to the Ancient Civilization class I took in the fall, when there was some discussion over the human memory, and the advent of writing. I remember the discussion revolved around some fact– that 70% of the world’s population exhibits a particular mutation in the genetic code. The theory of the mutation–I think, as I didn’t write it down–was an anti-memory, or to be more precise, now that we write most of our information down, we no longer have the capability to remember it. This, I believe, is based on the oral storytelling tradition. Of course, it may be completely untrue (who can really believe what they teach us nowadays anyway), but it was brought back to my memory (see, it wasn’t lost) by the visit to the archives, and by this article (which also reminded me of Rhona’s blog post from Austin–March 08/06).
i’m told to keep everything, as someday the archives of some famous university will want to study me, a la lane and crozier. i doubt that, and if i kept all my ms. drafts, i would be drowning in paper… on the other hand, it has happened to a poet friend of mine in edmonton. she received an email from like, bulgaria or somewhere, telling her all about the dissertation that was being written about her. i suppose stranger things have happened.