The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting
I want to insert in the title of this page the line above by Milan Kundera. I knew it could be easily found on the internet.
The quote sits within a Guardian Newspaper article dated 15th October 2008: The struggle of memory against forgetting. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting was downstairs, but I was lazy and upstairs in my room. The subtitle to the article reads Milan Kundera denies a claim he betrayed a spy in Communist Czechoslovakia, but lying now would be the greater betrayal.
I've heard of this story before, and that “friends such as Salmon Rushdie had signed a petition in support of him”. This article is a year and half old - it's old news but with internet search engines yesterday's news can still be today's and tomorrow’s news.
The article concludes juridically that if Kundera falsely denies his involvement in the story now he is protracting the suffering of those that have been implicated.
There are supposedly many sides to the story, but the question remains, irrespective of the big if that is legally present; why should - not how can - someone reside over the judgement of another? Why is there a functional need to clarify Milan Kundera as a communist informer? Must they infect our memories of the books? I believe occasionally that particular behaviors and ontologies are reified by Kundera in his books when I'm reading but it's usually when I'm in a possessive mood. Occcasionlly they allow me to remember the documents of the impotence of the moral conservatism in Stalinist Czechoslovakia but the impotence of litigious moral conservatism in my attitudes too and see them for what they are, though it's a never ending battle if I take only that from them. It's memories in the various - not necessarily conflicting - manner.
I'm not saying that Milan Kundera, because of his writings, can be allowed to shop anyone to the secret police, I'm not polemically arguing that the author of the article is an idiot. I'm not necessarily arguing anything. I don’t understand why we have to form a moral stance when it isn’t needed. What memories can be genetrated from this article? In Kundera's books, other testimonies and documents of Czechoslovakia's Stalinist past, the article itself, the comments beneath, the adverts at the side, the other results in the search engine?
I got distracted when thinking of the quote.