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Forgetting, the Sensation

I’m sure in the dream all that senseless agitation came wrapped in a precise and admirable mechanism, but now I don’t know what that was. The key to the code has been erased. Or is that what I should provide myself, with my deliberate work? If so, the dream doesn’t have the least use, and it leaves me as unequipped as before, or more so. But I resist giving it up, and in that resistance it occurs to me that there’s something else I could rescue from the ruins of forgetting, and that is forgetting itself. Taking control of forgetting is little more than a gesture, but it would be a gesture consistent with my theory of literature, at least with my disdain for memory as a writer’s instrument. Forgetting is richer, freer, more powerful . . . and at the root of the dream idea there must have been something of that, because those serial prophecies, so suspicious, lacking in content as they are, all seem to come to an end at a vertex of dissolution, of forgetting, of pure reality. A multiple, impersonal forgetting. I should note, in parentheses, that the kind of forgetting that erases dreams is very special, and very fitting for my purposes, because it’s based on doubt as to whether the thing we should be remembering actually exists; I suppose that in the majority of cases, if not in all of them, we only believe we’ve forgotten things when actually they had never happened. We haven’t forgotten anything. Forgetting is simply a sensation.

—César Aira, The Seamstress and the Wind

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