But pain may be a gift to us. Remember, after all, that pain is one of the ways we register in memory the things that vanish, that are taken away. We fix them in our minds forever by yearning, by pain, by crying out. Pain, the pain that seems unbearable at the time, is memory's first imprinting step, the cornerstone of the temple we erect inside us in memory of the dead. Pain is part of memory, and memory is a God-given gift.
We no longer see the evolution of the nervous system, but that of a certain individual. The role of the memory is very important but... not as important as we believe. Most of the important things that we do don't depend on memory. To hear, to see, to touch, to feel happiness and pain; these are functions which are independent of memory; it is an a priori thing. Thus, for me, what memory does is to modify that a priori thing, and this it does in a very profound way.
A song playing comprises a very specific and vivid set of memory cues. Because the multiple-trace memory models assume that context is encoded along with memory traces, the music that you have listened to at various times of your life is cross-coded with the events of those times. That is, the music is linked to events of the time, and those events are linked to the music.
It is true that one of the first acts of tyrants is to erase history, to wipe out the recorded memory of a people. With that in mind, it's important to remember that the work that we do as writers, artists and performers will form an essential part of the collective memory that future generations will draw upon. And so we owe it to those future generations to defend that memory and be honest witnesses to our times.