Notes from the Era of Imperfect Memory
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Eclipse

Thus, every self-portrait (unlike autobiography which even when it resorts to a myth such as that of the four ages, is limited to an individual’s memory and to the places where he lived) ceases to be essentially individual except, of course, in a purely anecdotal sense. The writing machine, the system of places, the figures used – everything in it tends towards generalization, whereas the intra-textual memory, that is, the system of cross-references, amplifications, and palinodes that supplants a memory turned towards ‘remembrance,’ produces the mimesis of another type of anamnesis, which might be called metempsychosis; it is, at any rate, a type of archaic and also very modern memory through which the events of an individual life are eclipsed by the recollection of an entire culture, thus causing a paradoxical self-forgetfulness.

Michel Beaujour, Poetics of the Literary Self-Portrait

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