Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

   But to the extent that I can
   understand my own motives ..
   I want to keep the history of
   our generation fresh in my
   mind so that I don't let my-
   self slip - it is so comfor-
   table sometimes, so enter-
   taining - into easy cynicism.
   I want the anger that comes
   with its harsh ironies and
   absurdities, to keep my own
   sense of location from dying
   while I am still capable of

 The text is a diary entry
 by a character in a novel
 by a classicist and teach-
 er of distinct stature in
 my experience. Out of con-
 text, it is merely a frag-
 ment of characterisation,
 not the summation it can-
 not be, of external or in-
 ternal conditions. It ad-
 dresses remembrance as if
 conservation were still a
 respectable, and not just
 a nostalgic undertaking.

Edmund Keeley
A Wilderness Called Peace
[Tacitus, Agricola, 98 A.D.]
Simon & Schuster, 1985©

Jack Rans

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