The Intertwining of Remembering
and Forgetting in Walter Benjamin
The concept of aging in Walter Benjamin's essay on "The Image of Proust" as the interweaving or intertwining (verschränkte) of remembrance and forgetting reveals the similarity between them which must not be mistaken for identity. Even the confusion that results when something is remembered as forgotten should not lead us to equate the two. Yet to view them as purely antithetical or oppositional categories is also a mistake. A close reading of Benjamin's essay directs us to the difference between remembering and forgetting specifically as the discrepancy between the presence and the absence of the self.